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Dom Dunnaville connects with Harold Buckner and Northside's defense holds off the Spartans.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Northside’s Jelani Carter and a horde of Vikings fans, including senior Joey Loving (center), celebrate Northside’s 17-10 victory over Salem on Friday night at Northside High School.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Northside quarterback Dom Dunnaville (8) evades Salem defender Isaiah Parker (4) at Northside High School on Friday, Sept. 20.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer stopped by Northside High School on Friday night.
He probably left with one thought.
Northside's football team is a dangerous crowd.
Northside overcame a pair of deficits and held Salem scoreless in the second half as Timesland's top-ranked team remained undefeated with a 17-10 victory over the Spartans.
The Vikings (4-0) took their only lead on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Dom Dunnaville to Harold Buckner with 1:39 left in the third quarter and the defense choked off two ensuing Salem drives to preserve Northside's second win over the Spartans in the last three years.
"It's amazing. It's the best feeling ever," said Northside defensive back Eric Johnson, who had a critical fourth-quarter interception. "Words can't even explain it right now. It's Salem. It's not another game."
For the second straight week, Northside needed to rally to overcome a River Ridge District team following last Friday's 27-17 escape at Hidden Valley.
This time, Northside and Salem were deadlocked before Buckner outjumped Salem defensive back Isaiah Parker for the 17-yard TD pass from Dunnaville for a 17-10 lead.
"It was a high ball. I knew I had good position on it," Buckner said. "I just jumped up and got it. No DB can get up with me."
Parker appeared to have the play blanketed.
"I had position," the Salem junior said. "He is a good receiver. He has good hands and he's a tall, lanky receiver, but I'm there and I've got to make a play on it."
It was Buckner's second big play of the game.
After Salem (2-2) took a 10-7 lead on a 19-yard field goal by Kyle Reighard with 27.6 seconds left before halftime, Buckner hauled in a 47-yard pass from Dunnaville at the Salem 6 to set up a 23-yard field goal by Zach Large, his sixth of the season.
Although Northside did not have the lead, the Vikings had some momentum.
"That's huge," said Salem head coach Stephen Magenbauer, who for a second straight week was denied his 100th victory with the Spartans. "Thirty seconds before half, obviously that's a big swinging point, but the game's not over at that point. I thought we played well in the second half."
Northside had more manpower in the final two quarters than it did to begin the game.
Two-way senior lineman DeAnthony Muse was benched in the first half for disciplinary reasons. With the University of Richmond recruit watching from the sidelines, Salem ran off 40 plays to just 16 for the Vikings in the first two quarters.
"I was uncomfortable because we didn't have DeAnthony," Northside coach Burt Torrence said. "We didn't have our horse. We had some other guys that played well. But they have two have superior offensive linemen and a tight end that is as physical as they come. It puts you defensively in a bind."
Salem drove 74 yards in 10 plays for a 7-0 lead on a 10-yard run by Coleman Fox.
However, Northside set the tone by needing just one play to score on a second-quarter possession when freshman Tra' Jackson broke loose for a 71-yard TD reception.
"We just gave up too many big plays and we didn't make enough on offense," Magenbauer said. "We won the physical battle, but athletically they made more big plays."
Salem's first drive of the second half was thwarted when Johnson stopped Salem's Devante Payne a yard short after a fourth-and-6 pass reception from quarterback Austin Coulling at the Vikings' 36.
After Buckner's go-ahead TD catch minutes later, Johnson made an even bigger play.
A false start penalty on Salem gave the Spartans 1st-and-15 from the Northside 21 early in the fourth quarter. Coulling, who completed 13 of 20 passes for 144 yards, threw toward the left flat, but Johnson made the interception.
"Good football teams make plays sometimes," Magenbauer said. "That's what they did right there. They gave us a little mixed up coverage there, and that's hard for a quarterback to recognize. They made a big play."
Northside iced the game by burning the final 5:23 off the clock with 12 running plays as 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior Sam Krizner finished with 96 yards on 13 carries.
"That's what we said was really important, that four-minute drive at the end of the football game," Torrence said. "That really shows you the growth of our offensive line. It showed you the promise and the ability of Sam Krizner. When he's dialed in and healthy, he's tough to handle."
While Northside takes a full head of steam into next week's home game against Staunton River, Salem will host Cave Spring on the heels of the first back-to-back regular-season losses of Magenbauer's 10-year coaching tenure with the Spartans.
"We'll be just fine," Parker said. "We worked hard in the offseason and it's going to pay off for us. We're young. We're going to hit our stride, and when we do we're going to be dangerous."
Salem 7 3 0 0-10
Northside 0 10 7 0-17
Sal - Fox 10 run (Reighard kick)
Nor - Jackson 71 pass from Dunnaville (Large kick)
Sal - FG Reighard 19
Nor - FG Large 23
Nor - Buckner 17 pass from Dunnaville (Large kick)
RUSHING - Salem, Payne 20-109, Fox 21-73, Coulling 1-14, Womack 2-3. Northside, Krizner 13-96, Dunnaville 10-74, Roberts 1-4, Team 2-(-5)
PASSING - Salem, Coulling 13-20-1-144. Northside, Dunnaville, 8-16-1-194, Team 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING - Salem, Parker 4-62, Payne 4-26, Gladden 2-35, Close 2-13, Fox 1-8. Northside, Buckner 3-68, Jackson 2-104, Krizner 2-15, Arnold 1-7.
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