Home / Starr's Mill drops fifth straight, 7-3 to Northgate
Starr's Mill drops fifth straight, 7-3 to Northgate
Mistakes cost the struggling Starr’s Mill Panthers yet another potential victory Friday.
The Northgate Vikings played one of their worst offensive games of the year, but their defense did just enough to enable them to hold on for a 7-3 victory over the host Panthers in the teams’ Region 5A-AAAA opener in Fayetteville.
Starr’s Mill (0-5, 0-1 region) drove the ball around Northgate’s 10-yard line five times, but its only points were scored on a 38-yard field goal by Chris Ward in the first quarter.
Neither team scored again until early in the fourth quarter, when Northgate quarterback Jake Copeland threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Cody Gatewood.
Northgate’s touchdown was set up by a blocked punt by Payton Usher, and Gatewood recovered the ball at the Starr’s Mill 2.
An illegal motion play backed the ball up to the 7.
The Panthers drove back downfield on their ensuing possession, needing only four plays, plus a personal foul penalty, to reach Northgate’s 12.
But Northgate’s defense forced a crucial turnover, an interception by Usher in the end zone on a ball tipped by Andrew Schexnayder.
Dropped balls also were an issue for Starr’s Mill. It dropped five potential interceptions that hit right off players’ hands in the first half alone.
Making matters worse for the Panthers was the loss of starting wide receiver Dan Ellis to a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
“Mistakes and penalties hurt us again,” Starr’s Mill coach Mike Earwood. “We are just playing undisciplined football. That’s the best way to sum it up.”
Starr's Mill had an early chance to score against Northgate (3-2, 0-1 region), recovering a Vikings fumble at the Northgate 39 on the opening series of the game. But the Panthers turned the ball over on downs at the Northgate 22.
One positive for the Panthers was the play of their defense. Starr’s Mill’s defense held Northgate’s offense to 118 total yards.
Middle linebacker Stephen Roberts (13 total tackles, one for loss, two quarterback pressures, one blocked punt), defensive end Ufomba Kamalu (seven total tackles, two for loss, one quarterback pressure, one forced fumble), outside linebacker Jeff Stock (six total tackles, one for loss, one pass defensed) and safety Jake Marchman (six total tackles) stood out on defense for Starr’s Mill.
The Panthers had a big edge in total yards of offense, compiling 266.
Isiah Carthern led Starr’s Mill rushing attack with 71 yards on 16 carries. Quarterback Myles Jaye completed 12 of 21 passes for 114 yards, with one interception.
Lontrell Anderson caught six passes for 60 yards for Starr’s Mill.