In Roanoke County, Magna Vista hooked up with Northside on Friday night in a battle of one-loss teams that have been on fire in the postseason. The Warriors came in with 93 points in two playoff wins while Northside had put up 88 in the last two weeks combined
All the talk coming into this game was really the two offenses -- the 93 points in two playoff games for Magna Vista was something Northside would need to contend with.
But for the Vikings -- Dominic Dunnaville has been nothing but consistent all season. And to prevent a Warrior offensive output they'd need to control the football. Which seemed favorable for them considering Dunnaville has only thrown six interceptions all season.
But in round three of the playoffs anything can happen especially, on a cold November night.
Northside was looking to tame the Warriors as things kicked off with a strong defensive performance early.
The game was scoreless after one quarter, and Magna Vista didn't record a first down until with just over a minute to go in the first half.
“They do a great job covering receivers when they can rush four or make it a five man box,” Magna Vista coach Joe Favero said. “They make it tough to run it's tough for us to execute offensively.”
Northside coach Burt Torrence said: “We can credit Jim Hickam for that. There's been an establishment of defense here in North Roanoke. For his 30 years and for mine that I've been here eight.”
But with time winding down in the first half Sam Kirzner on 3rd and 4 keeps the drive going with the screen pass from Dom Dunnaville as Krizner makes it a 13 yard gain.
Then the drive is capped off 32 yards later-- Dunnaville to Tra' Jackson who beats the corner and finds the endzone for the touchdown as Northside took a 7-0 lead into halftime.
Magna Vista went to work after half. They picked up the pace on 4th-and-2 when Jacquez Hairston went up the middle and deep into Northside territory.
They capped off the drive with Shylon McGuire hitting George Ramey for the score that tied the game at 7.
“These kids respond,” Torrence said. “They've been through the ringer and it's not their first rodeo. A lot of these guys have played in big playoff games and have won playoff games.”
Northside answers with a Dunnaville to Ben Plunkett leaping catch for a huge 37-yard gain. Two plays later Krizner marched nine yards into the endzone for the score. The PAT was no good so it's 13-7 Northside.
In the fourth quarter McGuire was trying to make something happen on third down, but it was intercepted by Plunkett, who pulled his weight on defense too.
The drive was capped off on a 61-yardHarold Buckner 61 yards for the score all the way into the house that would make it 19-7, as Northside would run out the clock to that final. The Vikings are heading to the state semi-finals.
“We hate to lose and you hate for the game to end and our seniors really did a great job leading us this year. And I'm going to miss them,” Favero said.