Northview takes 35-21 loss to Baker

Published 10:32 pm Friday, October 30, 2015

Northview's Nick Adams rushes the ball for a gain tonight. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Northview’s Nick Adams rushes the ball for a gain tonight. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Missed opportunities and Baker big plays plagued Northview as the Chiefs suffered a 35-21 loss to the Gators in the district championship tonight.

The Chiefs took a 6-0 lead early, but Baker tacked on 21 unanswered points before NHS earned a safety to take a 21-8 lead going into halftime.

“Missed opportunities,” NHS head football coach Sid Wheatley said. “They break a couple of big runs, and to their credit, that was the difference in the game.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Early in the second quarter, Gators running back Jalen Ciurleo broke off a 74-yard run to set up a 4-yard score from fullback Montae Barto with 8:54 let in the half to go up 13-6.

On Baker’s next possession, quarterback Jon Beck found Kailee Ciurleo for a 47-yard pass, and three plays later, Barto found the end zone again from 11 yards for a 21-6 advantage.

Northview quarterback Gavin Grant threw an interception on the Chiefs’ next possession, but his team buckled in and managed to get a safety with 2:31 left in the half to add two points to the score.

With this loss, the Chiefs will travel to play Vernon in the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs. NHS finishes as the Region 1, District 1 runner up.

The Gators came out chomping at the start of the second half by completing a 9-play, 63-yard drive on a 19-yard scamper from Barto around the right end for a 28-8 lead.

Two possessions later, the Chiefs added another score when Grant found Jacob Dunsford on a screen pass from 27 yards with 4:40 left in the third quarter.

However, Baker’s Ciurleo found pay dirt on a 53-yard run not two plays later to give his team a healthy 35-15 girth.

The Chiefs couldn’t get anything going on their next offensive possession, but their defense stepped up to hold the Gators on a three-and-out to end the third quarter.

After throwing the ball away on an interception on their next possession, the Chiefs held the Gators again on defense, and full back Nick Adams found the end zone from 5 yards after Grant connected with Toney Harrison for a stellar 44-yard pick up in the air. NHS trailed 35-21 and was aiming for the end zone after holding the Gator offense.

Grant got the ball to Harrison a couple times for some significant gains to drive the ball down the field to the 13-yard line.

Harrison caught the ball for a 6-yard play, and then three consecutive passes later, the Chiefs had to turn the ball over on downs with 2:20 to go in the game.

Wheatley said they decided to pass the ball because Grant was making good progress down the field.

“We thought we could’ve gotten a quick score (co cut it to seven),” he said. “Bam, I thought we could’ve hit those quick passes there. Sometimes you hit those passes, sometimes you don’t, but we had a great chance to make a play.”

Back in the first quarter, Harrison helped the Chiefs draw first blood with a 3-yard touchdown run with 4:43 left in the first.

On the Chiefs’ next possession, they decided to go for it on a fourth-and-inches play, but came up short. BHS would go on to score its 21 unanswered points after the play.

Wheatley said hind site is 20-20 on that play.

“We probably could’ve gone back to punt the ball,” he said.