Whitewater 33, Northgate 26

Kendall Conley rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns and Whitewater beat Northgate 33-26 Friday night for its fifth straight win.

Conley’s 1-yard run with 2:00 left gave Whitewater (5-1, 1-0 Region 4-AAAAA Division B) the final lead in a game that featured five lead changes.

“We started off kind of slow,” said Conley, who amassed 165 yards on 17 carries in the second half. “I just told the line to keep blocking and I’d get it in there.”

The game was a reversal of sorts from the 2011 matchup between the two schools, when Whitewater built a 17-0 lead only to lose 27-24.

“This was a hard-hitting football game,” said Whitewater coach Amos McCreary. “Our offensive line has really been blowing people off the ball, and our offensive coordinator [Wes Harden] really had them ready to play tonight.”

Conley, who missed much of the 2011 season with a shoulder injury, carried 28 times and had runs of 34 and 25 yards.

“This is what I’ve been working for,” said Conley. “We started off slow, but we had more heart.”

Michael Willis had two key runs and visiting Northgate (2-4, 0-1) capitalized on a pair of first-half turnovers to build a 23-13 halftime lead.

Willis’ 33-yard run set up a first-quarter touchdown by teammate Ben Washington, and he extended a second-quarter lead with an 18-yard run.

On Northgate’s opening possession, Andrew Brady punted to the Whitewater 1-yard line. Two snaps later Whitewater was penalized for holding in the end zone, resulting in a safety and a 2-0 lead for the Vikings. Following the free kick, Northgate drove 51 yards in five plays to go up 9-0, the key play Willis’ 33-yard run. Washington’s 7-yard run finished the drive.

Whitewater answered on a 39-yard pass from Jay Ashley to Trevor Morgan late in the first period and took the lead with a 10-play, 45-yard drive culminated by Conley’s 4-yard run.

An interception set up Northgate’s next score, which came when offensive lineman Dustin Foley recovered a fumble in the end zone or a touchdown.

Whitewater fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Northgate recovered. Willis bolted over the right side on fourth down and 2 from the 18 to give the Vikings a 23-13 lead.

The Wildcats dominated the third quarter, with two long drives ending in a 7-yard touchdown from Conley and a 10-yard run by Christian Wafford.

Zack Braun’s 26-yard field goal gave Northgate its last lead with 6:03 left, but Conley’s last touchdown capped a 73-yard drive for Whitewater.

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