Cloudland unable to complete rally in opener

Cloudland looked to ruin a couple of debuts on Friday night. However, Northview Academy wouldn’t be denied.

The ‘Landers were unable to rally late as they fell 47-36 to Northview at Orr Field on Friday night. It was Northview’s first varsity game in program history.

The Cougars wasted no time as Justin Howard hit Haiden McGee for a 57-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game. Cloudland, however, marched back down the field to answer as Austin Whitehead capped off a six-play drive with a 23-yard touchdown run, and then ran in the two-point conversion to give CHS an 8-6 lead.
Northview regained the lead after converting a fourth down at midfield as Cade Barnes ended the drive with an eight-yard scamper.

The Cougars scored on their next two possessions, including on a fake punt, to extend the lead to 26-8 midway through the second quarter. Whitehead answered as he wrapped up a Cloudland drive by diving across the goal line from two-yards out as CHS pulled within 10 point.

However, the Cougars answered with another touchdown, but Josh Blair put Cloudland back on the board to end the first half as he dived on the ball in the endzone. Cloudland trailed 33-22 at the half.

The ‘Landers wasted no time to capitalize on the momentum in the third quarter as Colby Birchfield raced 36-yards for a touchdown in a Wildcat package. Birchfield’s two-point conversion closed the gap to 33-30 just two minutes into the second half. Northview extended the lead on their next drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

Cloudland marched into Cougar territory on the ensuing drive, but an interception ended the drive. The ‘Landers defense rose to the occasion, however, as James Arrowood and Cameron Stevens recorded a sack on fourth down to end the Northview drive.

Cloudland was unable to take advantage of the field position as the team traded possessions to start the final period.

After Howard added a 30-yard touchdown to push the Northview lead to 47-30, Whitehead hit Blair for a 18-yard touchdown with just over a minute to play. The onside kick went Northview’s way as the Cougars secured their first varsity win.

That might be the best coached team that we have played since I’ve been at Cloudland,” Cloudland Head Coach Brock Pittman said. “I am really proud of our kids. They are tough, and their head coach just told me that we are the toughest bunch of kids he has ever seen. That is a compliment and I agree with him. The early season stuff really got us because we were playing a team that was so much bigger.”

Whitehead finished the game with 186 yards on 25 carries and 5-of-13 passing for 40 yards with three total touchdowns. Birchfield tallied 13 carries for 95 yards.

Blair finished with a fumble recovery and a touchdown reception.

Barnes paced Northview with 107 yards on 21 carries.

Cloudland returns to action on Friday night with a trip to Happy Valley.

 

 

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