HENDERSON – It did not go as smoothly as he wanted it, but North Side head coach Tab Vowell and his North Side Indians defeated Chester County 35-20, and in doing so won the Region 7-4A championship.
“This district has a lot of good teams,” Vowell said. “We have gotten better every week and though we are a long way from perfect, we are really proud of these guys.”
The first quarter started off a bit rocky for the Indians, as a punt snap went over the head of the punter and Chester County’s Harrison Taylor picked it up before the punter was able to fall on it, scoring to make it 7-0 Eagles.
North Side was able to respond on its next possession with Kylan Woods taking the handoff on a fourth down play and getting around the defense, racing 34 yards with 7:35 left in the first quarter to tie the game.
“We had some adverse things we had to overcome,” Vowell said. “But we were able to stay the course and get a little bit more control of the game in the second quarter.”
Both teams were unable to get much offense going in the second quarter until Chester County connected on a big play after being pinned deep on its own side of the field. Bo Morris connected with Malcolm Tipler for a 96-yard pass, with Tipler getting taken down just short of the end zone. The Eagles punched in on the next play to take the 14-7 lead with 10:27 left in the second quarter.
Darius Brown scored on a 40-yard touchdown run with 6:37 left and scored again two minutes later, this time on a 15-yard run as North Side scored two touchdowns before the end of the quarter to take the 21-14 lead on Chester County at halftime.
After halftime, Chester County controlled the clock for almost eight minutes, driving the length of the field only to turn the ball over on downs when North Side stopped the Eagles on a fourth-and-short.
North Side used that momentum to drive down the field and score on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Tyalen Shaw to Randall Boyington, giving the Indians the 28-14 lead with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
With 6:58 left in the fourth quarter, Darius Brown intercepted the pass, taking it down the Chester County 12-yard line, leading to his own touchdown run, his third of the night, from 12 yards out to make it 35-14
Chester County scored on the final play of the game on a long touchdown run from Kelynn Gant to make the final score 35-20.
North Side finishes the regular season with a record of 8-2 and is the top seed and will host the first round of the playoffs next week. Chester County finishes the season 5-5.