NORTHSIDE PULLS AWAY IN SECOND HALF FOR 50-24 VICTORY OVER WEST BLOCTON
West Blocton – After a close and competitive first half, Northside’s stingy defense and prolific offense helped the Rams pull away for a 50-24 victory over West Blocton on the road Friday night.
West Blocton stormed out of the gates with an impressive 60-yard scoring drive to start the game. Each and every yard was fought for and picked up by freshman fullback Jaxon Lightsey, who finished off the first possession with a 28-yard touchdown scamper.
Both defenses were locked in during the first quarter, and it appeared that it was going to be a low scoring affair after the first 12 minutes, with West Blocton leading 8-0.
Northside’s offense, led by senior quarterback Jake Corkren, had other plans.
The Rams’ offense found its rhythm in the second quarter, scoring four straight touchdowns. The first came on a two-yard pass from Corkren to Landon Reynold. Northside scored again on its next drive, with running back John Hutchinson bullying his way into the end zone from three yards out. West Blocton answered immediately, scoring a 59-yard touchdown run on the first play of its next possession. The celebration was short lived, however, as Northside scored its third touchdown of the quarter on a 14-yard pass from Corkren to Ashton Pugh. With less than a minute until halftime, William Powell punched one in to give Northside a 28-16 lead.
In the second half, Northside’s defense adjusted to West Blocton’s triple-option running attack, which had kept the Rams off balance and racked up 130 yards in the first two quarters. The Rams limited the Tigers to just 60 yards on the ground in the second half, allowing only one touchdown which came on West Blocton’s first drive after the break.
“We changed some things around at the half,” Northside coach Chris Hilliker said. “We were able to limit what they were doing a little bit. Coach [Eric] Hiott does a great job at West Blocton and we knew it was going to be tough.”
Northside’s defense also forced two critical fumbles in West Blocton’s side of the fifty, setting the Rams’ offense up with great field position. Both times, Northside’s offense found the end zone.
While Northside managed to bottle up West Blocton’s offense, the Tigers defense couldn’t do the same against the Rams’ deadly passing attack. Corkren tossed two more touchdowns in the second half and Hutchinson ran another in. Corkren finished the game with five touchdown passes and over 250 passing yards.
Hilliker praised Corkren after the game, but also gave credit to the guys who gave him time to pick apart West Blocton’s defense.
“We’ve been throwing the ball around a good bit,” Hilliker said. “Jake does a good job, but our line has done a tremendous job giving him time to throw the ball. The guys up front are really what made it happen tonight by giving him time.”