'Dogs chomp Chiefs

Published 12:52 pm Monday, October 29, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
Jeff Price and Trent Freeman did all they could Friday night, but it was too little, too late for the Northview High School Chiefs.
The Chiefs (4-4) could not turn the late surge of Price, the team's junior quarterback, and Freeman, one of the senior wide receivers, into a victory. NHS lost 34-14 at the hands of the visiting Marianna Bulldogs.
"We didn't play very good defense in the first half," NHS head coach Cody Keene said. "We are in a little rut right now and we need to find a way to get out of it. When we lose, we don't recover very well."
Price went 15-of-29 for 245 yards with two touchdowns and one interception against the Bulldogs. Freeman caught five of those balls for 121 yards and one touchdown.
"Trent did a good job tonight catching the football," Keene said.
The Bulldogs ran mainly two plays at the Chiefs in the first half, the halfback trap and the halfback toss, but NHS did not have an answer and the Chiefs headed to the locker room for halftime down 21-0.
"We came out and we executed what we were trying to do," MHS head coach Rob Armstrong said. "Northview has good skill kids and they scare you to death, but we did a pretty good job of containing them. When we got the ball we were able to take advantage of some things and put the pressure on them by getting a couple of scores and making them one-dimensional."
The Bulldogs' junior fullback, Bradley Battles, rushed for two touchdowns and threw for one on a halfback pass for the three scores in the first half.
Battles powered in from the one-yard line to cap an 80-yard drive that ate nearly four minutes off the clock to open the game. The PAT was good and MHS held a 7-0 lead.
On the next drive NHS senior fullback Farrin Jackson busted through the Bulldogs' defense for a 31-yard gain, but the Chiefs stalled on the MHS 31-yard line on fourth down.
The Bulldogs burned the rest of the first quarter with a 11-play, 69-yard drive that saw Battles in the end zone again from six yards out and the PAT made the score 14-0 with 30 ticks to go in the first quarter.
After the Chiefs managed only one first down, the Bulldogs took the ball with about nine minutes to go in the half and marched down the field again on a 16-play, 81-yard drive for their third score of the half.
On fourth and goal from the 15-yard line Battles heaved the ball for the end zone, NHS senior defensive back Nakita Myles had a read on the ball and tipped it, but the ball fell into MHS senior fullback Ren Williams' hands for the touchdown and a 21-0 lead after a true PAT attempt with 2:09 to go in the half.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with an onside kick and NHS muffed the return, setting up Battles for a 33-yard rumble to the end zone on the first play of the drive. MHS grabbed a 28-0 lead with a good PAT attempt. Battles and the Bulldogs rushed 52 times for a total of 298 yards.
Keene said the Chiefs did not give up.
"We didn't quit and that is we told them at halftime to continue to play hard, no matter what," Keene said. "And we came out in the second half and made a mistake and they scored on one play."
The Chiefs could not answer on the ensuing drive and MHS got the ball back and scored their final touchdown on a 32-yard pass from senior quarterback Brandon Gardner to Williams. A missed PAT made the score 34-0 MHS with 4:47 to go in the third quarter.
NHS mounted a comeback, scoring the final two scores of the game.
The Chiefs started on their own 20-yard line and Price hit Freeman for gains of 35 yards and 45 yards after just missing a long pass attempt to senior wide receiver Matt Walker. Freeman took a short slant route 45 yards to the end zone for the Chiefs opening score with 4:04 remaining in the third quarter.
The two teams swapped three-and-outs until Northview scored with 3:00 showing on the clock for the game. Price led the Chiefs 75 yards to the final score of the game. He was 5-for-7 on the drive with 64 yards through the air and 11 yards on the ground. He connected with Myles for a five-yard touchdown strike.
The Chiefs hit the road for the final two games of the season. They face district foe South Walton next week.
"We have to get back to work and work hard on the practice field," Keene said. "We have to travel next week, so we have to work hard and find a way to win a game."

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