Northside looking to close the deal

Here are some of the stories to watch this weekend in the Class AAAAA semifinals:

*Finish the drill: Northside-Warner Robins won back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007 but has not won one since, despite having a 59-6 record in the past five years. The playoff losses have been tough to swallow. The Eagles lost at Camden County 28-20 in the second round in the highest classification in 2008, then lost 31-3 to Camden in the final the next year. In 2010, the Eagles were 10-0 and ranked No. 1 all season but were stunned by Whitewater 28-21 in the first round. Then there was 2011, when Northside lost to Tucker 17-16 on a 100-yard fumble return with less than five minutes to play. This appears Northside’s best chance at reclaiming the championship since 2007, especially with playoff rival Tucker now out of the way.

*Offense vs. defense: The Northside-Ware County game likely will come down to whether Northside can put up points against one of the state’s top defenses. Ware County allows just 7.9 points per game, has held eight of 13 opponents to seven points or less and has not allowed more than 24 points in any game this season. Only AAAAAA Lovejoy (7.2) and AAA Buford (7.3) among remaining playoff teams give up fewer points. Northside averages 42.2 points per game and has scored at least 35 points in every game except for last week’s 23-20 victory over Tucker.

*First-time jitters: Whitewater is the new player on the big stage of the semifinals, appearing in the final four for the first time since the program began in 2004. The Wildcats will face a Gainesville program playing in the semifinals for the 19th time, which ranks fourth in state history. Gainesville is the only team in the state that has reached the semifinals at least 10 times but not won a GHSA championship. On the other side of the bracket, Northside will be playing in its eighth semifinal and Ware County in its sixth.

*Trying to stop Watson: Whitewater will have its hands full this week trying to contain Gainesville QB Deshaun Watson, perhaps the leading candidate for all-classification player of the year honors. Watson’s numbers have been staggering this season. He has passed for 3,480 yards and 46 touchdowns and rushed for 1,262 yards and 21 TDs. That’s 4,742 yards and 67 touchdowns overall. And he leads a Gainesville team is averaging 46.4 points for the season and 55 in the playoffs. For what it’s worth, Watson’s yardage numbers are almost identical to those of Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel (4,761), who could be on the verge of winning the Heisman Trophy.

31 comments Add your comment

Dum-Bass

December 6th, 2012
11:40 am

It’s a shame that NSWR is the ONLY team with an undefeated regular season having to travel to an opponent that has one loss. The coin toss is for the birds and should be abandoned. Regular season records should mean something!

Titletown USA

December 6th, 2012
12:03 pm

I agree….NSWR should have home field for this one.

Keno

December 6th, 2012
12:34 pm

Georgia should go to a power ranking system.

6AAAAAFan

December 6th, 2012
1:22 pm

Nothing wrong with a coin toss…I don’t hear the winning teams complaining

blu eagle

December 6th, 2012
2:36 pm

Does not really matter, NSWR will start the death roll for their 2 remaining opponents they are just too strong this year. Tucker was the only one standing between them and another trophy, the newer coach Kinsler has waited long enough 28-14 NSWR.

itsonlywrite

December 6th, 2012
4:30 pm

DESHAUN MANZIEL!!! lol

#LETSGOBIGRED

#ELEPHANTNATION

Max Sizemore

December 6th, 2012
5:22 pm

Records are a function of the opposition, which can vary substantially from region to region. A coin toss is the fairest way, if not always satisfying.

Larry Purdom

December 6th, 2012
5:40 pm

Oh the drama! NSWR came to The Swamp in Waycross in 2007 in the last year that state championships were held locally and not in the Dome. Ware fought hard with a team that was clearly a notch below NSWR in talent, but gave the visitors a really tough time before fading late. The 63-year old stadium in Waycross was recently remodeled ($3 million) a few years before this game and is still lookin’ good, a GREAT football venue. Ware was proud and will still be proud to welcome the Eagles back to Swamp Country. Revenge, sweet revenge, with Coach Jimmy Francis heading up the stellar defense and Head Coach Ed Dudley (late of Walton County) in the Gator Jaw.

Dum-Bass

December 6th, 2012
11:49 pm

****6AAAAAAFan***** bet you like soccer too don’t you? A coin toss is for wimps!

graphite

December 7th, 2012
6:29 am

Hope all the Tucker folks made it home o.k. Just kick back and relax for you don’t have a game to attend tonght. Next week you can sit with us at the Dome but please wear Blue and White !!!

ALL TUCKERRED UP

December 7th, 2012
9:55 am

@Larry great post!!! @ graphite Oh I’m sure I will wear blue & white.By the way you won the game do you still have to hate?

eaglenationrising

December 7th, 2012
3:40 pm

@ ALL TUCKERRED UP: Don’t be so sensitive. You were supposed to be reporting that Tucker vs. North Atlanta HS girl’s basketball score to us. I told you all week what time it was. :-) Real talk: I love the Tucker program (view posts throughout the years). It is a shame that the county forced you to lose one of the top coaches anywhere in America to Lamar County. I’m sure that we will cross horn next season or soon after.

eaglenationrising

December 7th, 2012
3:47 pm

It is “get hit” week in Waycross, Georgia. While the AJC works to create hype between the Northside vs. Ware County game, I do not see it as even close. Northside finished the regular season as the 2nd rated offense in AAAAA and the top rated defense in AAAAA. Now, all of a sudden Ware County (who lost to lowly Coffee HS) is a defensive scare. With all due respect to the program that I view to have the best stadium in Georgia (Ware County Gator), Northside is going to place our foot on their throats.

I remember a hard fought game quarterfinal against Peachtree Ridge in 2009 that we won (and did not deserve…much like the Tucker quarterfinal game). After a done performance, our Eagles came out with top focus and execution and crushed a great Newnan team at Newnan. I expect a similar story line in a tough environment (Newnan has a great homefield advantage too) in Waycross.

Northside (Warner Robins) 24, Ware County 7

If you can not beat Coffee, you are going to get hogtied by the Big Blue. It’s great to be a Northside Eagle! I hope that Ware County fans got the memo, because Northside fans will sell out your facilitiy. You heard it from me.

Josh

December 7th, 2012
4:58 pm

@ eaglenationrising……..really? You think this is the same Gator team from the FIRST GAME OF THE YEAR? Hahahahahahahaha

uwillbtuckedaway

December 7th, 2012
10:02 pm

madmoney

December 7th, 2012
10:18 pm

Northside Warner Robins , played an bunch of wee team in their quest for the perfct season.In my opinon the need to move up in the 6 AAAAAA divison an see how they fare with some of the best in that region. since they always say that they have an hard time find teams to play them each year.. Walking around boasting that they can’t be beaten. If that is so, the why don’t you screaming eagles make the move up, and play with the big boys of Friday nite Lights

Plowboy - Viking

December 7th, 2012
10:25 pm

EagleNationRising …..tsk,tsk,tsk…..u do know that a region 1 team that did not make the playoffs beat ware…..hope u choke on your past words about ware county!!!! Sliced through your eaglets like a hot knife through butter

GFJacket

December 7th, 2012
10:42 pm

Well well well…..once again ENR apparently got a little too condescending about South Georgia teams. They may not have been “Tucker”ed out last week, but this week they a South Georgia team was able to “Ware” out the Eagles…..

hutch

December 7th, 2012
10:42 pm

eaglenationrising….is there ANYTHING you would like to change in your comments regarding Ware and Northside?…life goes on….

Larry Youmans

December 7th, 2012
10:48 pm

Ware 24 Northside 17 OT Final

Titletown USA

December 7th, 2012
11:04 pm

This is becoming a year end tradition…coming to the blog and watch ENR melt away again…and at the hands of a South GA team.

Elephant Man

December 7th, 2012
11:07 pm

Some of these posts above are humorous. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. There is no doubt that teams like Tucker and Northside are loaded with talent, well coached, and have some of the most passionate fan bases in the state, however the games are played on the field by 16-18 year olds, anything can happen. Congrats on a great season boys, hope to see you at the dome next weekend. We would love to have you there wearing Red and White.

WCGatorFan

December 7th, 2012
11:10 pm

EagleNationRising ?????????? I’m sorry but I don’t think you got the memo!!!!!!!!!! Please don’t sleep on the Ware County Gators from South Georgia!!!!!!! In case you missed it above, let me give it to you again…… Ware County has held eight of 13 opponents to seven points or less and has not allowed more than 24 points in any game this season. We will see you in the Ga Dome!!!!! Please don’t forget to wear your Green and Gold……in it to win it!!!!!!!!!!!!

ware co alum

December 7th, 2012
11:27 pm

ENR – we didn’t get your memo. To a Gator, your eagles taste like chicken.

jvillebil

December 7th, 2012
11:50 pm

@eaglenationrising = We don’t talk a lot of smack in the swamp, we just play ball.

1986Gator

December 8th, 2012
12:34 am

Way to go Gators! Never been prouder of a “team” than I am of you guys! Witnessed the 07 championship loss at the hands of those NWR Eagles……sweet revenge was yours tonight! Don’t be satisfied yet. One more game like yall played tonight and bring that trophy home to The Swamp!

Joe Dirte

December 8th, 2012
2:01 am

Glad to see my Gators beat Northside

GFJacket

December 8th, 2012
6:39 am

The winter solstice has come early to Warner Robins. Eagle Nation is no longer rising. Eagle Nation has set.

Jurrell Howell

December 8th, 2012
6:50 am

Great win Ware county!! Bring home the Trophy to south georgia!!! Them teams up north allways think they better than the teams down here in south georgia……..Good luck WARE

Titletown USA

December 8th, 2012
9:11 am

Girls’ basketball has officially kicked off at Northside WR. Could not win it at the highest and I’ll be damned if they can’t win it at the next level…..might be time to take another A off and see what happens

Kmilton

December 9th, 2012
12:33 pm

Way to go gators, we played on the field not in the blogs. Mission not complete