Northview tops Escambia Academy, 21-14, in battle

Published 11:22 pm Friday, September 2, 2016

Northview's Luke Ward (1) accounted for three touchdowns tonight. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Northview’s Luke Ward (1) accounted for three touchdowns tonight. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

A battle.

A dogfight.

A hard fought game.

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Those were just a few of the phrases used to describe Northview’s 21-14 win over Escambia Academy Friday night in a cross-line contest in front of a sold-out, standing-room crowd in Bratt, Fla.

Northview senior quarterback Luke Ward accounted for all three of the Chiefs’ touchdowns in the game, and helped on defense in another second-half shutout effort.

“There was a bunch of hype behind the game,” Ward said. “There were two close teams playing together. It’s been in the making for 28 years.

“It was a good game,” he said. “It was a dogfight the whole time.”

EA drew first blood less than 5 minutes into the contest as standout senior running back Kris Brown took the rock 44 yards to the house. The Cougars led 7-0 with 7:43 on the clock.

On the Chiefs’ next offensive series, Ward fumbled the ball for a loss of 18 yards, but regrouped after a 47-yard pass to receiver Niekel Robinson and a 13-yard run from Hunter Edwards put NHS in good field position. From there, Ward took it in from 6 yards with 3:59 left in the first quarter, and then completed the 2-point try for a 8-7 lead.

After trading possessions, the Cougars found themselves in good field position at the start of the second quarter.

EA senior quarterback Kainoa Gumapac ended a five-play drive with a 30-yard strike to Gary Campbell for what would be the last score for the Cougars in the game. With the PAT, EA led 14-8, and held it all the way to halftime.

From the start of the second half, the Chiefs came back a different team as they utilized both their run game and aggressive line play to create holes and opportunities for plays.

Ward found Robinson for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 6:18 left in the third, and added a 47-yard scoring scamper with 1:03 to go up for good at 21-14.

Several penalties and a couple of turnovers were the name of the game for EA for the rest of the game.

Cougars head football coach Hugh Fountain said there were a lot of mistakes made, which can be fixed.

“They did a good job, and made the critical plays,” Fountain said. “We just made a lot of mistakes. We got a lot of penalties that hurt us.”

Fountain said the boys put themselves in good opportunities, but penalties negated any chance to get on board again.

“I don’t think it’ll be a problem to regroup from the game,” he said. “This was a great game to play. Look at the crowd we had. It was awesome. That was the biggest crowd we had around here tonight.”

NHS head football coach Derek Marshman said the front line and the run game were the differences in the win.

“I thought we imposed our will up front,” Marshman said. “I thought conditioning was a big deal. We work really hard on that all the time.”

Marshman said every game, the Chiefs take a winning the second half approach.

“Big plays helped us,” he said.

Marshman said the win against a good EA football team is going to help the Chiefs as they get ready for Gulf Breeze next week.

“I told my coaches this would be the toughest thing to respond from, but it gives us momentum,” he said.