North Gwinnett 29, Norcross 22

By Michael Alpert

For the AJC

Joseph Jones’ consecutive 2-yard touchdown runs keyed visiting North Gwinnett’s 22-point fourth-quarter and 29-22 comeback victory over Norcross in a Region 7-AAAAA game Friday night.

North’s fourth straight victory over Norcross ruined the Blue Devils’ 5-0 start for a second consecutive season. Last year, the Bulldogs defeated the Blue Devils 38-0 at North and went on to win a second straight region championship.

This time, the Bulldogs, ranked No. 6 in Class AAAAA, spotted the No. 10 Devils a 22-0 lead before coming back to win their fifth consecutive game since losing their season opener to McEachern.

North tied it 22-22 with 2:09 to play, when Jones capped an eight-play drive with his first short run, and a tipped two-point conversion pass wound up in Russell King’s hands in the back of the end zone.

And if North’s comeback didn’t create enough suspense, another big play of theirs and a mechanical malfunction would. Moments after Donnie Miles intercepted for the Bulldogs at the Norcross 37, the lights went out with 1:08 to play. That caused a 25-minute delay, during which both teams went to their locker rooms.

Jones scored the winning touchdown with 16 seconds left.

Norcross (5-1, 2-1) held the game’s biggest lead, 22-0, when Martavius Edwards returned a fumble 53 yards for a touchdown with 8:53 left in the third quarter. But that’s when North finally created some momentum.

Scott Hosch’s 1-yard run with 1:30 left in the third quarter slimmed Norcross’ lead to 22-7. And once Norcross stopped North on fourth-and-goal from the 8-yard line and gained possession, North’s Justin Thomas returned Alvin Kamara’s fumble 16 yards to bring the Bulldogs (5-1, 3-0) within 22-14 with 8:03 to play.

Norcross led 16-0 at halftime, thanks in large part to two big plays. Anthony Autry turned a 9-yard pass from Joseph Wilber into an 81-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the game for a 6-0 lead, and Chris Bingham made the the score 9-0 with a 21-yard field goal with 4:30 left in the quarter. Myles Autry returned a North punt 52-yards for a touchdown 4:44 before intermission.

North appeared to have scored on Hosch’s 24-yard pass over the middle to Donnie Miles 28 seconds before halftime, but the play was negated by penalty.

24 comments Add your comment

Jon

October 8th, 2011
12:00 am

One of the best comebacks I have ever seen in ANY football game!! Norcross completly dominated the Bulldogs in the first and second quarter. North Gwinnett came out a diffent team in the 2nd half. Then with 1:08 left in the game the two light towers went out on the Norcross (home)side only…HUMMM…(a tripped breaker.?.?
During the 25 minute delay the North fans, and Band drum line (who took to the field for a 10 minute show) reved up the crowd to a frenzy. When the team emerged from the locker room to finish the game, a wave of red and black came out and totally dominated the Blue Devils on both sides of the ball for the win!

the cross

October 8th, 2011
12:47 am

Tough loss for Norcross…some poor play, poor officiating and unlucky bounces in the second half.

I tip my hat to NG as those kids didn’t give up after being throughly dominated in the first half.

brookcy

October 8th, 2011
3:16 am

As usual someone says poor officiating. I guess the officials scored 28 points.

spider

October 8th, 2011
8:01 am

NG coach out coached NORCROSS coach big time in 2nd half…great come back by NG… NG has norcross number in football big time.

South Fl Transplant

October 8th, 2011
9:59 am

Norcross failed to finish the game, the play calling letup. They had their foot on NG throat and could not finish. The coach for Norcross looked to his defense to finish the game out. id not happen. NG kept plugging away, it was not pretty, but they wore the defense down of Norcross. NG out coached Norcross. Norcross is talented as is NG, but both have some work to do. Good win NG, poor finish Norcross. The officials don’t play the game.

GwinnettDad

October 8th, 2011
11:16 am

When the wind starts to go out of one’s sails, how hard to turn around that sinking feeling and play through it. Tough loss for Norcross, great coaching for NG, and HUGE good fortune that the fumble recovery for a TD by NG was called the way it was. Since the NG player clearly had his foot out of bounds upon gaining control of the ball, would the proper call have been Norcross’s ball? A player out of bounds cannot gain possession of the ball, can he? But, the refs do their best, and I have no doubt that the mistake was an honest one.

NGHS 09

October 8th, 2011
11:39 am

Thank you South Fl Transplant….Your right the refs do not play the game. ‘The Cross’ talked about bad officiating in their win over MC too. I think this guy just likes to complain. Win or Lose the GAME IS OVER. MOVE ON.

NGHS 09

October 8th, 2011
11:42 am

Does anyone remember 2008 when NG was down 19-0 to Norcross @ halftime? The result was 33 unanswered points by NG. That’s a result of great coaching and the players wanting to win more. This one is another comeback for the ages in NG football history.

NGHS 09

October 8th, 2011
11:44 am

All of you can say this and that, with luck and bad refs, blah blah blah. The fact of the matter is that Norcross’s offense was bottled up. They couldn’t respond to the pressure and buckled; just like i said they would. 6 points from Norcross’s offense won’t beat anyone, much less put a game away. NOW MAKE SOME NOISE IN THE PLAYOFFS NORCROSS!!!!

shabo

October 8th, 2011
11:58 am

NGHS 09………you called it,coaching cost us the game…….but FYI, it wasn’t Maloof. Offensive Cord needs to wake up and see all the talent and let Wlibur check at the line and change play accordingly…….I’m not a coach just a Fan of the Blue Devils and hate the fact that play calling costs us the game…..22-0 lead @ home and lost the game

NGHS 09

October 8th, 2011
12:08 pm

Has anyone looked at the replay of Hosch’s 24 yd TD pass? No one on the OL did anything illegal…now that’s a screwy call.

NGHS 09

October 8th, 2011
12:11 pm

Yes that’s a big part of why you lost, but NG wanted it more and played harder than Norcross in the second half. Norcross defense was out of gas and wanted no part of NG’s offense. Think otherwise? Watch the game again a notice how the NC defense body language changes from the 1st half to the second half.

Norcross is the best team in the region right up their with NG. Norcross will gallop through the playoffs if the coaching allows it.

the cross

October 8th, 2011
12:21 pm

The game is 4Q…we keep playing 2 or 3. Gotta finish.

But fumble for TD was clearly a blown call if you watch the film…two point conversion was luck or is Sphire so genius that he called the deflection?

NGHS 09

October 8th, 2011
12:44 pm

There’s no crying in football. They played the game and it is over; past tense. For some reason GPB fudged up another webcast for NG.

@the cross…where are you watching to replay of the game? GPB website messed up the game film.

Old Gold Panther

October 8th, 2011
1:12 pm

The new format that GPB is using to broadcast and archive games is horrible. Some games don’t play, some are split by half. Others, the audio goes in and out. Also, it’s hard to to FF or Rewind any of them. They need to go back to the old format.

On another note what happened to Nikki Noto, haven’t seen her on the sidleines for the TV or the Web Broadcast.

the cross

October 8th, 2011
3:40 pm

NGHS 09

October 8th, 2011
8:51 pm

it’s only like 9 or 10 plays

NGHS 09

October 9th, 2011
1:12 am

@ Gwinnett Dad…Justin Thomas (#43) did have his foot out of bounds, but the refs were just making up for the ghost personal foul call right before the half when Hosch connected with Donnie Miles for a 24 yd TD. There wasn’t even a hold on that play! Talk about not making the right call.

the cross

October 9th, 2011
12:00 pm

Not crying…we lost.

Had NG on life support and didn’t pull the plug.

It just might be the best thing for the Norcross Coaching staff and players.

I hope a lot of teams underestimate the speed and talent of this team. We are a state contender. I have seen every top ten team play and I have no doubt if the Cross plays 4 quarters we can beat anyone.

NHGS 09

October 9th, 2011
11:31 pm

@ the cross…I am in complete agreement about Norcross being a state contender….Do you not read my entire posts? ‘Life support’? If not for an NG fumble and a bad punt coverage Norcross only could muster ONE offensive TD. Norcross took advantage of NG’s mistakes on offense and the fact that NG’s offense kept stumbling with dropped passes. NG’s defense shut down Kamara and Croom. Those two combined for ZERO TD’s. It was a defensive battle that Norcross couldn’t finish. Don’t discredit NG for playing to the last whistle.

On a down note…Go to Hudl and look at the fumble play NG returned for a TD. I know his foot was out of bounds, but watch Jason Croom body slam #12 Bobby Young for NG in frustration after the play. No penalty was called and that is about as bad as it gets for un-sports-man-like. There are a couple more examples like this one throughout the game. I know Coach Maloof teaches his boys more class than that!

battleaxe kid

October 11th, 2011
7:34 pm

the cross Oh we at Lowndes aren’t the only ones with EXCUSES……..

battleaxe kid

October 11th, 2011
7:44 pm

NHGS 09 Boy sounding more like….. all I’ve heard out of all on blogs from south, same ol same ol….. bad calls,,,,, I see that it is not just Lowndes don’t you?????? It also sounds like ya’ll have got a good as rivalry as Lowndes and Valdosta… Boy I was getting worried I thought we were the only one/s…. all in fun… Playoffs coming………… all can prove their point(s). or prove they are #1 and not depend on pollsters….to rank if they are or not #???????? in state… Gota love the brackets, it puts all arguments to an end until next year…. or most of all arguments, excuses,etc……….

jp

October 17th, 2011
8:43 pm

Coach Choke Maloff, You’re a good coach, however, there is to much talent on this team for you to handle in serious situations,(Warner Robins),for example) that should had been our State Championship year, you choke under pressure. Norcross should look up Bobby Pate,a winner) or even offer Camden County Jeff Herion a job. Sorry coach, Basketball shouldn’t be our only State Champs (4)

sos

October 17th, 2011
8:45 pm

Norcross, Great Team,Players, Worst coaching since Red Simmons