BY DOUG GORMAN
DOUGLASVILLE—Friday night’s Region 5 6A opener between the visiting Northgate Vikings and the Douglas County Tigers had a little bit of everything.
A 40-minute lightning delay that pushed back the opening kickoff, a collection of momentum stealing penalties that took big runs away from both teams, a breakdown on special teams and three Douglas County touchdowns in a span of about five minutes in the fourth quarter highlighted the Tigers’ 32-7 victory.
With the loss, Northgate falls to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in region play, while Douglas County improves to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in region play.
It was that quick session of touchdowns that put an end to Northgate’s hopes for a second-straight dramatic comeback. Last week, they rallied to beat Starr’s Mill on the road in their final non-region game of the season.
Douglas County broke a 7-7 tie at the half when it scored the only touchdown of the third quarter, but a missed extra point only put the Vikings down by six points as the Tigers led 13-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
Northgate, however, was never able to establish any fourth-quarter momentum.
The Tigers’ put the game out of reach with the first of two interceptions in the fourth quarter deep in Northgate territory.
Michael Oldfield increased the lead to 19-7 on the first play of the drive when he scored from inside the Vikings’ 10.
Douglas County blocked the punt on Northgate’s next drive and quickly went back to work using just two plays this time to find the end zone.
A quarterback keeper from Marquise Collins increased the lead 25-7.
The Tigers threw the knockout punch with their final score of the night when cornerback Jaylen Harris intercepted a pass with under a minute to go and returned for a touchdown.
Douglas County blocked two punts against Northgate’s special teams.
core of the night when they forced the Vikings to punt the ball out of their own end zone.
Douglas County fell on the ball in the end zone for the first points of the night.
Northgate was unable to move the ball on their first three series of the game.
The Vikings didn’t pick up their first first down of the contest until the second quarter when they generate their best drive of the night.
Northgate converted two third downs during the series and after quarterback Isaac Corbitt connected with Cameron Cruver on a 17-yard screen pass to keep the chains moving, the Vikings found the end zone for their only score of the game.
Corbitt’s 32-yard scamper with 8:08 left in before the first half turned into the Vikings’ only touchdown of the game.
Despite the loss, Northgate kept the game close early by getting the pressure on the the Douglas County quarterback.
Emanuel Nolan and MacArthur Colton were in on one of the first-half sacks and Nichal Johnson also put the quarterback on the turf.
Defensive back Chandler Cao also broke up a couple of passes for the Vikings.
Tigers 32, Vikings 7
Northgate 0 7 0 0—7
Douglas County 7 0 6 19—33
D—Blocked kick recovered in end zone (Jairo Gonzalez kick), 5:28
N—Isaac Corbitt 32 run (Kade Loggins), 8:08
D—Marquis Collins 2 run (kick failed)
D—Michael Oldfield 6 run (run failed), 5:01
D—Collins 6 run (run failed), 1:01
D—Jaylen Harris 45 interception return (Gonzalez kick), .31