Northside Rams Grind Down Gordo Greenwave In Class 4A Region 5 Matchup
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The Northside Rams (3-1, 2-0) ground down the Gordo Greenwave (3-1, 1-1) at home to move to the top of Class 4A Region 5. The Rams ran the football over 40 times in game controlling the clock and putting pressure on the Gordo offense to maximize each possession.
Northside took advantage of good field position, steady running and strong defense to pull off the 14-12 upset of the state's No. 1 ranked team in Class 4A. The Ram's win tonight is just the second in school history over the Greenwave.
"Our kids work hard and we talked about being able to do this for a long time and to finally get it done, it's amazing," said Northside head coach Chris Hilliker.
Northside opened up the scoring on a 14-yard pass from junior quarterback Braden Green to sophomore Logan Sullivan after capitalizing on a short field. The Rams were set up on the 16-yard line after junior Justin Montgomery intercepted Gordo quarterback and Oregon-commit Tanner Bailey.
Gordo wasted no time as they responded by scoring a touchdown on the subsequent drive. Bailey led the Greenwave on an 8-play, 65-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Jace Hathcock.
The sides would take a 6-6 stalemate into halftime after time ran out on the Rams in the redzone.
"I thought we had a second left. We told the quarterback that if he don't see it immediately then throw it away and he did that. I thought we had time but they said we didn't," said Hilliker.
The Rams put Gordo behind the 8-ball in the second half by taking an 8-point lead late in the third quarter by way of a Braden Green 4-yard touchdown run on 4th&Goal. Northside was set up on the drive by a 60-yard scamper by senior running back and linebacker Jace McNutt. McNutt scored the 2-point conversion for the Rams to give them the 8-point cushion.
Green completed 2-for-6 passes for 20 yards and a touchdown while rushing 23 times for 116 yards and a touchdown. McNutt took eight carries and turned them into 100 yards for the Rams while junior Luke Jones took 10 carries for 35 yards.
"Offensive line did a great job of giving us some creases and we worked hard on it all week. We thought we could do that a little bit against them and we had some success," said Hilliker.
The Greenwave wouldn't go away despite trailing by 8-points in the fourth quarter. Bailey drove his offense down into the redzone down to the 16-yard line with a shot to tie the game with 11 minutes left but unfortunately for Gordo he was unable to connect with senior Ben Capps on a 4th&14 that would have resulted in a touchdown.
Bailey, the No. 1 quarterback in the Alabama 2022 class, got one more shot with the football, taking over from his own 10-yard line with 4:30 to play in the game. Bailey led an impressive 90-yard drive in less than 90 seconds, utilizing Kohl Summerville and Lawson Neel in the passing game.
The drive was capped off with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Summerville, bringing the Greenwave just two points away from evening the game. The Northside Rams brought heavy pressure on the 2-point conversion try and Bailey was unable to find a target amid the immense heat from the defense.
"There's a lot of things we could have done better. You got to go back and watch the tape and correct what we have to correct. We know we're not dead. We've got to go back to work and get better. I think you have to give a lot of credit to coach Hilliker and his football team for playing a great football game. They're a very good football team, they're strong, they're physicals and they did a good job and did what it took to win the game, so you've got to take your hats off to them,"
Bailey completed 15-of-26 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He found Summerville four time for 102 yards and a touchdown. Capps contributed five receptions for 127 yards. Neel hauled in five passes for 98 yards.
The Northside Rams stay in region play next week by hitting the road and taking on the Hamilton Aggies (4-0, 2-0).
The Gordo Greenwave will return home next week for a region matchup with the Haleyville Lions (1-3, 0-1).