By Anthony Rhoads
Northside's Sean Mayo connected on an 18-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining to give the No. 4-ranked Eagles a 17-14 victory over the Mt. Zion Bulldogs Friday night at Tara Stadium.
Mt. Zion (5-2) shut down Northside's offense for much of the night but Northside (6-0) mounted a 12-play, 58-yard drive in the final six minutes to set up the winning field goal.
"I'm proud of my guys," Mt. Zion head coach Jackie Green said. "We probably gained more respect in the loss. I'm just as proud of the kids in defeat as I would have been if we had won. We're a good football team and I think we showed a lot of people that tonight. The key for us now is to come back from this."
Mt. Zion controlled the first half yet trailed 7-6. Mt. Zion ran 41 first-half plays for 173 yards while holding Northside to just 13 plays for 74 yards in the half.Much of Northside's first-half yardage came from a 62-yard gain by Brandon White which set up the first score of the game.
After White's 62-yard run, he ran two yards for a touchdown with 6:58 remaining in the half.
Mt. Zion answered at the 2:02 mark of the second quarter when Emory Clark connected with Maurice Leggett on a 9-yard pass. The 67-yard scoring drive was set up by Mt. Zion's Tray Robinson, who recovered a Northside fumble at the Mt. Zion 33.
Clark competed 10 of 15 passes for 180 yards and Leggett finished with seven catches for 131 yards. Leggett added 25 rushing yards and he helped out on defense as well by intercepting a pass.
Mt. Zion squandered several opportunities in the first half. On the final play of the first quarter, Mt. Zion faced a fourth-and-13 from the Northside 19. Clark appeared to have completed the touchdown pass to Leggett but it was ruled that Leggett didn't catch the ball in the end zone.
Mt. Zion also fumbled twice in the first half.
Northside took a 14-6 lead when Ferlando Williams completed a 27-yard touchdown pass to D'Anthony Harris with 10:42 remaining in the fourth quarter.
With 5:53 remaining in the game, Mt. Zion's Josh Chapman scored on a 3-yard run. Clark passed to Leggett for the 2-point conversion to tie the game at 14-all.
Chapman led all rushers with 70 yards on 22 carries. White led Northside with 69 yards on four carries and Rodrick Hayward added 66 yards.
Mt. Zion held Northside to 167 rushing yards. Going into the contest, the Eagles averaged more than 300 rushing yards per contest.
Scoring by quarters
N ? 0 7 0 10 17
M ? 0 6 0 8 14
N n Brandon White 2 run 6:58 (Mayo kick)
M n Emory Clark to Maurice Leggett 9 pass 2:02 (kick failed)
N - Ferlando Williams to D'Anthony Harris 27 pass 10:24 (Mayo kick)
M n Josh Chapman 3 run 5:53 (Clark to Leggett pass)
N n Sean Mayo 18 field goal :11