After dropping two games to Starr’s Mill and Douglas County, Northgate’s first-year head coach Kesley Dalrymple knew his club had nowhere else to go but up.
Dalrymple and his coaching staff talked all week about getting back to basics, especially when it came to running its normally explosive Wing-T offense.
Friday night on the road in a Region 5-AAAAAA contest against Creekside his team responded with a 35-16 victory.
“Our coaching staff did a great job getting our kids ready to play this game. I think sometimes our assistant coaches don’t get enough credit,” said Dalrymple.
With the win, Northgate improved its record to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in Region 5-AAAAAA.
It was almost a must-win situation for the Vikings. After losing to Douglas County to open league play, the last thing the Vikings needed was to drop another region game and fall to 0-2 in region play.
“Had we lost, we would have had to dig ourselves out of a tremendous hole in order to make the playoffs,”
Northgate built a 21-8 lead at the half getting several of its running backs into the offense. Nick Carter, Trandon Torres-Niles, Jay McKenzie, and Tanner Hughes touched the football and had big gains for the Vikings.
Quarterback Kyle McLaren helped keep a drive alive for the Vikings when he connected on a long pass to Connor Fortner.
The all figured big into the Vikings’ ability to move the football and grab the lead.
Northgate returns home next week to face 0-4 South Paulding in another Region 5-AAAAAA game.
The Vikings will be in search of their first win at home after dropping the Starr’s Mill and Douglas County games at Henry Seldon Field.
After the game with South Paulding, it won’t get any easier for the Vikings, who still have region games later this year with fourth-ranked Mays and eighth-ranked Langston Hughes.
Those contests are back-to-back home games and are the last two contests of the regular season.
Northgate plays Langston Hughes on Oct. 27 and Mays on Nov. 3.