Chiefs maul Tigers
By By Matthew Nascone
Nakita Myles put the Blountstown Tigers in an early 20-0 hole with three touchdown runs in the first quarter of the Northview Chiefs' 35-20 victory over Blountstown Friday night in Bratt.
Myles, Northview's senior tailback, rushed for only 79 yards on the night, but added one more touchdown for a total of four on the night of Homecoming.
"Nakita ran the ball hard and it was a great team effort for the whole game," NHS head coach Cody Keene said. "It was real big for us to explode like that early."
The Chiefs (4-2) compiled 303 yards total offense and rolled over a Blountstown team that was averaging only 10 points allowed per game in 2007.
"We gave up the most points we have given up all season," BHS head coach Greg Jordan said. "We gave up 16 points to 3A Wekulla and the rest has been a bunch of sevens. We struggled offensively and we didn't tackle well. But they do have some shifty running backs who ran the ball well. And their offensive line was a lot more physical than we thought they were going to be."
"That was a good win for our team against a good football team," Keene said. "We keep on telling our kids that when we play how we are supposed to play, we are a real good football team. Our offense played well and we made things happen offensively. Our offensive staff did a great job."
The Chiefs benefited from good field position to start their opening two drives of the game. They got the ball on the BHS 35 and took six plays to get the ball in the end zone, as Myles scampered in from three yards out. The PAT attempt from Scooter Hamilton was no good and NHS had a 6-0 lead with 8:13 to go in the first quarter.
Following a muffed snap for Blountstown recovered by NHS senior linebacker James Lewis on the BHS 34-yard line.
Senior fullback Farrin Jackson rumbled 29 yards to the five-yard line and Myles punched it in for a 12-0 NHS lead after a failed two-point conversion attempt with 4:56 in the first quarter.
Myles' final touchdown in the first quarter came with 37 seconds to go in the quarter. The Chiefs got the ball at their own 21 and sophomore quarterback Tarus Thomas connected with senior wide receiver Matt Walker and Jackson on consecutive plays for nine and 31 yards, respectively.
Thomas also collected 39 yards on the ground during the drive and Myles had two three-yard runs, the latter for a score. Thomas hit Walker in the back of the end zone for a successful two-point conversion and Northview widened the lead to 20-0.
"Our coaches have the job of getting these guys prepared and it is the players job to execute the plays when it comes game time," Keene said. "And they did just that tonight."
But Blountstown senior quarterback Cory Cox did not let a 20-point deficit stop him from competing. He completed 2-of-2 passes in the Tigers' first drive of the second quarter, the second of which was a 15-yard touchdown strike to senior wide receiver Jared Lilly.
That score cut the NHS lead to 20-7 with 8:03 to go before halftime.
The Chiefs milked almost five minutes off the clock with their next drive and Myles ran two yards for his fourth and final touchdown of the night. He also ran in for the two-point conversion and NHS grabbed a 28-7 lead with 3:18 left in the half.
Cox sliced into the lead again with a 3-for-3 effort on the drive through the air and 48 yards. He connected with senior wide receiver Jon Lockhart on an 18-yard touchdown pass to cut the NHS lead to 28-14 with 35 seconds left in the half.
Lockhart is the Tigers' playmaker in the passing game, having verbally committed to Georgia Tech.
"We gave Tarus the assignment to cover Lockhart and he did a great job," Keene said. "Of course we doubled him at times, but Tarus did an excellent job in coverage."
Thomas ended the day with two interceptions on defense and 145 total offensive yards. He was 4-of-8 through the air for 67 yards and he rushed eight times for 78 yards.
The Chiefs forced Blountstown to turn the ball over on downs when Myles stopped the Tigers' running back about one inch from a first down.
NHS started in Blountstown territory once again on the 40-yard line and Myles rushed twice for 17 yards and Jackson busted it outside for a 33-yard gain and the touchdown with 5:26 to go in the third quarter. Hamilton nailed the PAT and NHS held a 35-14 lead.
Jackson finished with 74 yards and one touchdown on six carries.
The Northview defense stood strong and Thomas intercepted Cox on the next two drives for BHS. The Tigers finally punched it in again with 2:32 to go in the game when Cox connected with Lockhart again for a two-yard touchdown.
"We made a bunch of good plays on defense and we did enough to win the game," Keene said. "We made some mistakes, but we won the game."
Cox finished the game going 14-for-25 through the air with 257 yards and three touchdowns. The Tigers only added 40 yards rushing for a total offensive production of 297.
The Chiefs gained enough to run the clock out and grab the win, 35-20.
Up next for the Chiefs is their first road district game against Vernon. Keene said he will remind his team what happened last time they went on the road.
"We have to take this intensity on the road," Keene said. "The last time we went on the road, it was a 35-0 loss to Walton County, so we will have these guys better prepared for an away game next week."