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Northside's size too much for Falcons in 28-6 loss

POSTED: August 31, 2013 12:11 a.m.

WARNER ROBINS — Chris Griffin knew his defensive line would need to play its best to hold its own against an offensive line that averages 290 pounds.

The Flowery Branch defense improved in the second half, but the damage was done.

No. 2 Northside rolled to 256 yards on the ground, 211 in the opening half, on the way to a 28-6 win over the ninth-ranked Falcons at a renovated McConnell-Talbert Stadium.

“They do a great job at what they do, and they’re huge up front,” Griffin said. “We knew we had to stop the run, and we didn’t do it tonight.”

The Eagles, who have won 10 games or more every season since 1998, showed few signs of growing pains despite breaking in a new group of skill position guys.

Willie Jordan rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown behind the beefy offensive line, and Glenn Smith added 103 yards and two scores on the ground.

“Defenses have to watch out for each position and who’s at what position at what time,” Smith said. “It’s an exciting offense.”

Northside gave the Flowery Branch defense problems on the ground throughout the first half.

The Falcons struggled to bring down Jordan, a 220-pound junior who was making his first varsity start at tailback. He had six carries of longer than nine yards. Smith, a converted quarterback who lined up at three different positions on Friday, added seven carries of longer than 10 yards.

The Eagles’ efficiency in the rushing attack was evident in the second quarter, when Smith followed Jordan’s 44-yard scamper with a 38-yard touchdown run to cap a three-play, 91-yard drive and give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.

The Eagles scored a touchdown in each quarter and led 28-0 before Flowery Branch scored its only points on a 1-yard touchdown run by Jackson McDonald with 5:30 to play in the game.

The Eagles pounded out 256 yards and averaged 6.5 yards per carry behind an offensive line that averages 290 pounds.

No matter how and dominant the line played, the shiftiness of Smith and the power of Jordan caused problems for the Falcons. Smith’s elusiveness was the key to a 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that stretched the lead to 21-0.

“I was pleased how we ran the ball,” Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler said. “We made some big plays, but we shot ourselves in the foot with penalties and mistakes. We have to correct those and do a better job.”

McDonald led the Flowery Branch offense for most of the night, but the Northside defense did a solid job keeping him out of a rhythm. He finished with 94 yards on the ground and 101 yards through the air.

“Our staff did a good job keeping him bottled up,” Kinsler said. “We didn’t let them get downfield for the most part.”

Flowery Branch held the Eagles at bay early, intercepting Smith in the end zone on the opening drive. The Falcons failed to convert on fourth down inside Northside territory, however, and the Eagles answered with a 12-play, 65-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown by Jordan.


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