Northgate 27, Whitewater 24

In rolling to wins in their first eight games, No. 8 Northgate had not trailed by more than a touchdown and had only one game as close as 14 points, but in the middle of the third quarter Friday against Whitewater, the Vikings found themselves in a huge hole with nothing working.

So they rolled out the passing game.

Senior quarterback Bret Misutka completed 7 of 9 passes for 166 yards for Northgate which overcame a 17-0 third-quarter deficit and won 27-24.

The win secures the top spot in Region 3-AAAA Division B for Northgate (9-0, 6-0), meaning an automatic state playoff berth and an appearance in the region championship game next week.

Even Misutka seemed bewildered at the comeback.

“We’re 9-0,” Misutka said. “I can’t believe it.”

Misutka connected on touchdown passes to Payton Usher (36 yards) and Brandon Facyson (32) in a span of eight scoreboard clock seconds to jump-start the comeback, and his 53-yard pass to Kyle Kovacs set up the go-ahead score, which came on Kovacs’ 7-yard run on an untimed down to end the third quarter.

Northgate scored 20 points in a span of six minutes and amassed 257 total yards in the final quarter and a half.

“We needed a game like this,” said Northgate coach Tommy Walburn. “We hadn’t had anything like this all year. I just told them I guess we’ll work on the passing game.”

Trey Wafford carried 23 times for 131 yards and a touchdown for Whitewater (7-2, 5-1), which will play in a 3-AAAA play-in game next week.

Whitewater opened the game with a 17-play drive that ate up 10:37 of the first-quarter clock and led to a 27-yard field goal by Austin Barnard.

Wafford’s 2-yard run at the 4:16 mark of the second period capped an eight-play drive and gave the Wildcats a 10-0 cushion.

Usher fumbled during the return of the second-half kickoff, and Whitewater converted it into points, getting a 4-yard run from Kendall Conley for a 17-0 lead. At that point, Whitewater had run 38 plays to 12 for Northgate, which had 31 total yards.

The Vikings moved 72 yards in five plays to get on the board, scoring on the 36-yard pass from Misutka to Usher at the 6:04 mark, cutting the lead to 17-7.

A personal foul penalty against White was assessed on the kickoff, and Northgate recovered an on-side kick at the Whitewater 32, setting up Misutka’s second touchdown pass, this one on the next play to Facyson.

After Kovacs’ touchdown, Northgate pushed its lead to 10 on a 2-yard run by Usher, who finished the night with 60 yards on 10 carries. Whitewater pulled within 27-24 on a 30-yard run by John Mark Rhodes, but with no timeouts left – the Wildcats used all three of their second-half timeouts in the first six minutes of the third period – their comeback stalled.

5 comments Add your comment

chip kelly

October 29th, 2011
12:05 am

one of the best high school football games ive seen. both teams played good ,tough , hard hitting football. i think whitewater must have went to flowery branch and got some atlanta falcons for their offensive line,they are the biggest ive ever seen in high school.northgate showed tremendous heart .what a great group of kids. great coaches.keep on keepin on northgate.

glw

October 29th, 2011
12:31 am

hey chip kelly. greg here. sounds like a great game, my daughter transferred to East Coweta, so havent been to any northgate games this year. I hate I missed it, the rain kept me away. will have to try to get there to see them win the region championship next week.

chip kelly

October 29th, 2011
2:36 am

whats up big greg? good to hear from you bro. miss all yall. yea give me a call and come on to the game with me. ill call lynn and tell her to give you my number in case you dont still have it, ive lost yours.i got a whole lot (too much actually) to tell ya about.but yea, northgate is really fun to watch this year ,there running game has been unstoppable (they got about 6 guys that can really run the ball)really same as last year, but this year their defense has been puttin that whoop on . i think they have 2 shutouts.whitewater was shutting their run down tonight so they just went to their passing game(which i knew they had they just havent really needed it )qb is really good , i been watching him play since he was a kid. they got some really good receivers too. heck greg i sound like a scout or something or like im trying to sale you on how good they are.note to anyone else reading and might need a scout for their football team , i am available.ha ha ! i will say this greg about northgate . i say they atleast play for the state championship this year. yes, i also can help anybody willing to pay$$$$$$ ,with my predictions (my pics) on football, from college to pro one call thats all from scoutin’ to predictions i know it all about football yall.too bad thats all……

glw

October 29th, 2011
9:43 am

still crazy I see Chip, lol. still got your number will call you sometime. Not sure about Northgate winning a state, You know I stay in Dekalb now and Tucker looks like the team to beat there. But probably 4 or 5 teams look good in AAAA

sportsnut

October 30th, 2011
12:16 pm

@glw&chip, don’t look past the round where you will be matched up with reg. 4AAAA. Northgate will get a decent game from the 4th. seed from that region. I hope your guys are ready. This region got swept last year in the first round bt reg. 2. All the teams do remember and are hopeful of better results this time around. Good luck on the second season.