Grant shifts momentum for Northside
Sat. September 22, 2012 at 12:28 a.m. | By Morgan Upton
Northside’s A.J. Travis (22) attempts to elude Greensboro’s Thaddius Minor (5) as they collide with the referee during the first quarter of Friday night’s game at Northside. (Photo by Jason Harless)
SAMANTHA | A 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Zarrian Grant gave the Northside Rams the momentum to snuff out Greensboro’s comeback and win Friday night’s Class 3, Region 3 game, 33-18.
The Rams had a 21-12 lead going into halftime. In the third quarter, Greensboro put together a drive that ended with Jevontey Smith scoring on a 6-yard run to cut the margin to 21-18.
The Raiders recovered a fumble by Grant at the Rams’ 46. Two plays later, with the ball at the at the Northside 2, Grant picked up a fumble and returned it all the way to push the Rams’ lead to 27-18.
Greensboro coach Curtis Graves said Smith’s presence on the field wasn’t enough to pull the Raiders though.
“Jevontey’s been out for two weeks and finally comes back,” Graves said. “He gave us a spark, but in the end we kind of beat ourselves, not to take anything away from Northside.
“A fumble on the goal line changed the game. Their running back returned it for 98 yards for the touchdown. That’s hard to come back from.”
Grant finished with 269 total yards, including 224 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Grant and his backfield partner AJ Travis and quarterback Justin Beck put together gritty runs and eluded tackles all night, draining the Raider defense.
Northside coach Chris Hilliker said those runs demonstrate how tough his team is becoming.
“I want them to be tough,” Hilliker said.
“I want them to play hard with great effort on every play and I think they did that tonight on both sides of the ball.”
Hilliker also praised his defense for stepping up.
“They made some big plays for us,” he said. “There were some three-and-outs that were big in the second half and that’s good for us.”
Northside (3-1, 2-1) hosts Oakman next Friday for homecoming.
Greensboro (1-3, 0-3) travels to Moundville to face Hale County next Friday.