By Bob Jones
Special to the Daily
It was all there for the taking for the Union Grove Wolverines.
Open the season on an upbeat note with a win.
Gain some respect in the new Region 4-A standings by defeating the top-ranked team in the state.
And get a little pay back for last year's 21-10 loss in the second round of the Class 5-A playoffs (the opponent was these same Northside Warner Robins Eagles).
But it was not to be.
Add the Eagles smothering defense to their flawless execution of screen passes and throw in a punt return for a TD, and you get a 38-0 Wolverine defeat in the first game of the 2010 season.
Northside left no doubt that the victory over Union Grove less than a year ago was no fluke.
The defense hassled and hurried quarterback Ty Moore all of the first half.
Moore was sacked three times, and he threw two interceptions that set up the Northside offense in good position.
Union Grove ran 14 plays in the first half, gaining minus-five yards and earning no first downs.
Moore was injured early in the third quarter, along with several other Wolverines.
Meanwhile the Eagles scored on a 20-yard field goal by Dillon Mixon and on a 66-yard punt return by Steven Nelson for a 10-0 lead after one.
Two big screen passes from Briar Van Brunt to Shaquille O'Neill gained 54 yards and set up a 3-yard TD plunge by O'Neill, then a 39-yard interception return to the Wolverine 10 by Taz Thomas led to a 2-yard slant TD for O'Neill.
The halftime score was 24-0.
Word began to spread that a big storm was bearing down upon the stadium, but the third quarter started.
Union Grove got its first two, and only, first downs on runs by T.J. Moon.
Moon finished the game with 11 carries for 28 yards to lead the meager offense Union Grove could muster.
A fumble recovery by Northside and another round of well-executed screen passes gave backup RB Marte Polk chances for touchdown runs of four and six yards.
Then, with 1:55 on the third quarter clock, the officials waved the players off the field due to lightning.
After a twenty-minute delay and a meeting with officials and coaches and athletic directors, the game was called.
Rossie Cobb and Kris Franklin led the Wolverine defense with six tackles.