Big 3rd quarter leads NHS past ECHS
By By Paul Keane
Northview scored 33 unanswered points to break open a close contest en route to a 40-6 win over Escambia County High School Friday night at Herbert Barnes Stadium.
The win moved the Chiefs to 3-5 on the year heading into Friday night's season finale against Navarre. The Blue Devils completed their season at 1-9.
The game appeared to be a tight one in the first, as neither squad scored in the first quarter and the Chiefs held a slim 15-6 halftime advantage. Northview then scored 19 points in the third quarter, including 16 in less then four minutes, to blow the game wide open.
After a fourth-and-3 play failed on ECHS' first drive of the night, the Chiefs drove downfield to the Blue Devils' 39, only to see Clifton Cook recover a fumble to kill the only scoring threat of the first quarter.
Northview was driving at the end of the first, though, and would cap off a 51-yard, eight-play drive when Onell Dubose scored from 15 yards out. The Jeremy Greenwell kick made it 7-0 with 11:29 left in the first half.
The Blue Devils would answer that score, though, on the next series when Chris Simpson scored on a 1-yard run, cutting the margin to 7-6 with 6:24 left before the intermission. Simpson was the workhorse on the drive, rushing for all 44 yards of the drive on three carries.
Northview had one final chance to score – and took advantage of it – after a fumble punt snap gave the Chiefs possession at the ECHS 22-yard line. Five plays later, Chase Lashley scored on a 3-yard run, and Nick Gradia executed the trick play on the two-point conversion to perfection, hitting John Madison in the front corner of the end zone to make it 15-6 with 27 seconds left in the half.
Northview exploded early in the third quarter to put the game away.
Taking the second half kickoff, the Chiefs drove 51 yards in five plays before Bradley Faulk hooked up with Daryl Cohen on a 29-yard scoring strike. The Greenwell kick made it 22-6 with 9:26 left in the third quarter.
Two plays later, Lashley recovered a fumble that gave the Chiefs a first down at the ECHS 24-yard line. The Blue Devils' defense held, though, and NHS had to settle for a 37-yard field goal by Greenwell.
On the ensuing kickoff, the squib kick bounced off an ECHS player and was recovered by Daniel Greenwell, giving Northview possession at the ECHS 38. Three plays later, Dubose scored on a 7-yard run. The Greenwell kick opened up a 32-6 lead with 5:48 left in the period.
After trading punts, Dubose would score again, this time on the defensive side of the ball. The junior running back/linebacker tackled Simpson in the end zone for a safety, making it 34-6 with 39 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Blue Devils would threaten in the fourth quarter – reaching the NHS 7-yard line on one drive and the Chiefs' 5 another time – but penalties thwarted both drives.
Northview would add another score on a 63-yard run by Antione Johnson to make it 40-6 with 6:57 left in the contest.
Dubose led the Northview offense with 98 yards on 21 carries while quarterback Bradley Faulk connected on all three of his passes for 73 yards. Cohen would haul in four passes for 83 yards and the Chiefs rolled up 229 yards on the ground.
The Blue Devils were led by Simpson's 143 yards on 15 carries, and the offense gained 157 yards rushing and 54 yards through the airways. Franklin Boykin caught all four completions for the 54 yards.