Veterans can’t get going in season opener against Northgate

Article and photos courtesy of the Macon Telegraph –> Original Article Here

The Northgate Vikings scored two touchdowns in the second half to break open a close game and beat Veterans 21-3 on Friday at Freedom Field.

Northgate was held to 93 total yards in the first half but exploded for 193 yards in the second half. Meanwhile the Northgate defense held Veterans to only 184 yards of offense in the game. It was the second straight season Northgate beat Veterans in the season opener.

Three who mattered

Nick Carter: The senior running back for Northgate scored two touchdowns and rushed for 171 yards on 19 carries. He gave his team the lead midway through the second quarter with 28-yard scoring run, and Northgate never looked back.

Jay McKenzie: The junior running back for Northgate rushed for 92 yards and put the game away in the fourth quarter with a 16-yard scoring run.

Cyrus Zuell: The junior running back was a bright spot for the Warhawks as he ran for 62 yards on 15 carries.

Turning Point

Veterans recovered a Northgate fumble early in the third quarter and showed life on offense, moving the ball 52 yards on six plays and had two cracks from the 1. The Northgate defense stiffened, and Zuell could not get into the end zone on the two tries. Northgate took over on the 1, and on the first play Carter broke out on a simple hand-off in the middle and went 99 yards for a game-breaking score.

Observation

Offensive struggles: Veterans has some senior playmakers back in the fold from last year, but seniors Leyton Pinckney and Jeremy Horton both were off. Pinckney completed only 5-of-20 passes for 47 yards while turning the ball over twice. Horton managed three catches for 30 yards.

They said it

Veterans head coach David Bruce on the failure to score from the 1 in the third quarter: “We have got to get 1 yard, especially when we have two cracks to get in. Our line has got to be able to knock someone back, and it was very disappointing that we could not do it. Then we give up a 99-yard run on the next play.”

Bruce on the second half: “We came out and Northgate brought the fight to us, and we didn’t respond. I think that’s the most disappointing things because we are a team that always fights for 48 minutes, and I do not feel like we did that in this football game.”

Bruce on the improvement needed: “It’s my job to get these guys to where they need to be, and that will start Monday at practice. That is my job and my coaches job, and we will find a way to get it done.”

What’s next?

Veterans hosts Dublin on Thursday

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