Northside was in bounce back mode this week, fresh off a loss to Botetourt, the Vikings first of the season.
One loss William Byrd paid a visit to Jim Hickam Field this week. For the Terriers it was the start of a tough three game stretch to close out the regular season.
Northside gave-up 21 points to LB last week, the most they had surrendered all season, dropping them to 7 and one on the year. But that only served as motivation for the Vikings to step it up against Byrd this week, a team they've beaten the last 4 meetings.
As for the visiting Terriers they're on a 3-game win streak, but the last time they beat Northside was in 2008. Needless to say, Byrd was ready to try and get back in the win column against the Vikings.
The 7 and one Vikings were eager to replace the memory of last week's loss with a win over the 6 and one Terriers and trying to preserve their undefeated record at home in the process. Dominic Dunnaville got the Vikings started on the right foot when he kept it himself and shook some tackles on the way to a 35 yard touchdown run. It was 7- nothing Northside.
But the Terriers got to work themselves right after. On the ensuing kickoff, Josh Marcus fielded the ball and got a big-time return all the way back to the 22 yard line. A few plays later, Byrd went for it on 4th and goal from the 3. Zac Hill was up the middle and in for the score. They were tied at 7. Byrd kept the momentum in their favor on Northside's first play from scrimmage after that touchdown. Marcus picked-off Dunnaville's pass, intended for Tra Jackson, and got a solid return on it. The drive continued into the second quarter where Hill finished-off the drive from 3 yards out once again. The extra point was no good, but Byrd was able to take the 13-6 lead into the half. Out of the break though, Northside pulled it together. Dunnaville was in for the score and the Vikings take the 14-13 lead.
Burt Torrence, Northside Head Coach, "I mean in the first half we'd given-up 58 yards of total offense and had 160 so it wasn't like we were playing that badly, we were just turning the football over and that's not something you can do."
Dominic Dunnaville, 3 TDs in win, "We've got great coaches and they figured it out at halftime and we came out with a different approach."
Byrd's Simeon Horstmann left the game in the first half and then they lost LJ Williams to a knee injury in the third quarter and that killed them on both sides of the ball.
Jeff Highfill, William Byrd Head Coach, "They're my two best blockers and it's been that way all year so that made it tough plus LJ's the heart of our defense."
Burt Torrence, "When you lose 2 studs like Simeon Horstmann and LJ Williams, that doesn't just hurt you on the offensive side of the ball. That kills you on the defensive side of the ball. That was really big for them and I think that they're emotional leaders too so I'm sure that hurt their morale."
Eric Johnson picked-off Hill's pass and returned it to the 27 and that turnover lead to more Vikings points. Dunnaville hit Tyler Doyle in the endzone for the Northside TD 20-13 Vikings after a failed 2 point conversion. Then with a minute-45 to play, Dunnaville put this one away with a 68 yard touchdown run. Northside defeated Byrd 27-13.
Dominic Dunnaville, "We're coming together good. I feel like it's a state championship team so we're doing fine."
Jeff Highfill, "Well that was the biggest thing. We had to move 3 or 4 people to try and cover that so we had a lot of people playing positions they don't work at a lot so that made it tough against a good football team. It makes it tough to survive."
Burt Torrence, "Every game is important because it's the next one. Obviously this does a lot for us as far as the number of points that we'll get and our positioning come playoff time. We've already clinched but you want to have a home game. You want our fans to have the opportunity to come here and celebrate with us."
Northside improved to 8 and 1 with the win and 5 and 0 at home as they head into a bye week. Byrd will have to host Alleghany next week.