By Phil Albert
Even an entrance by an Elvis impersonator in the first quarter couldn't help host Eagle's Landing in a 47-7 whipping by Northside-Warner Robins Friday night in a region 2-AAAAA contest.
Elvis and a Halloween crowd couldn't cast a spell on Northside's potent running attack as unbeaten Northside (8-0, 7-0 region) maintains the region lead and solidifies its third-place state ranking.
Northside amassed 406 yards offensively and scored five touchdowns in the first half on its first 22 plays from scrimmage.
Meanwhile, the host Golden Eagles combined for 123 total yards, 66 coming on its final possession of the game, leading to the team's only touchdown.
The visiting Eagles amassed 315 rushing yards, led by Rodrick Hayward's 144 yards and three first-half touchdowns, while reserve running back Mike Tye rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown.
Northside opened the scoring with 14 points in the first quarter on drives of 36 yards (4 plays) and 28 yards (7 plays). The team then opened the second quarter by capping a five-play drive with a touchdown and then added two more touchdowns on three-play drives.
Quarterback Ferlando Williams hit Spencer Hill with a 9-yard scoring pass to open the scoring before Hayward answered with touchdown runs of 2, 18 and 41 yards. Williams later scored on a 15-yard run as the Eagles built its 35-0 lead with 7:29 remaining in the first half.
Northside outgained Eagle's Landing, 259-23 in the first half with 13 of the Golden Eagles' yards coming on its final drive with seconds remaining.
Northside opened the second half with an 11-play drive using half of the third-quarter clock before Williams scored on a 1-yard run, but the extra point was blocked.
Eagle's Landing finally got on the scoreboard with 2:59 remaining in the game, capping a nine-play, 66-yard drive with a 1-yard run by Drew Glen.
Four plays later, Northside was on the scoreboard again. With just nine seconds remaining, Tye broke free for a 3-yard scoring run. He started the drive with a 44-yard effort.
Eagle's Landing (1-7 overall, 1-6 region) had no answers for the skilled Northside attack.
Offensively, quarterbacks Marcus Williams and Milton Spence were a combined 0-for-9 through the air.
Glen rushed for 68 yards and O'Neal added 35 yards.
"Coach (Bob Stinchcomb) just told us to have fun out there," O'Neal said after the loss. "We wanted to keep our heads up and keep going. We didn't want to quit out there."
In the Golden Eagle final drive, Williams' 28-yard run and a 20-yarder by Glen were key in the scoring effort.
Northside had 13 rushing plays of 10 yards or more, including two of over 40 yards and one more over 30 yards.
Eagle's Landing hits the road to battle Morrow at Tara Stadium next Friday before closing out the season by hosting Jonesboro on Nov. 14.