Vikings’ furious comeback falls short
Northern Vance entered Friday’s game at Chapel Hill with one of the longest losing streaks in the state, but the youthful Vikings didn’t give up, scoring the game’s final 24 points in the last 3:22 of a 28-24 loss.
Tamaj Bullock scored from 28 yards out and quarterback Kris Haywood kept it to convert the two points as Northern pulled within four with 54 seconds to play.
Chapel Hill recovered Brooks Falkner’s onside kick to hold on for the win.
“What I saw tonight was what I see all week in practice,” said Northern head coach Eric Watkins. “It was amazing. They just started believing in things we do all week.”
Northern’s 17-game spell without a win is now the state’s third-longest. The Vikings dropped to 0-7 overall and 0-3 in the 3-A Big Eight Conference while Chapel Hill improved to 3-4, 2-1.
Northern scored each of its 24 points in the fourth quarter, aided by two well-placed and subsequently recovered onside kicks from Falkner, a freshman, and member of the Vikings’ soccer team.
“I’ve been bragging on Brooks all year,” said Watkins. “Brooks comes to work every day. He’s going to be a sensational player by the time he leaves Northern Vance High School. He puts in the work. That’s the difference.”
Michael Spinner put Northern on the board with 3:22 to play, catching a 43-yard pass from Kyland Bullock before Haywood found Anthony Davis for two.
The next score was Devin Anderson from 1 yard out before a Haywood run on the conversion to make it 28-16.
“We didn’t give up,” said Watkins. “Even down 28-0, we kept fighting, kept grinding.”
Northern hosts Cardinal Gibbons (5-2, 2-1) this week.
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