CUMMING, Ga. – The Northview Titans turned in one of the strongest defensive performances in team history, forcing seven turnovers in a 16-12 victory at Lambert last Friday night.
The Titans (1-1) came up with their sixth fumble recovery with about two minutes to play, trailing 12-10. D.J. Pearson, who completed 25 of 39 passes for 256 yards, connected with Connor Segraves for 24 yards to the Lambert 1, and Devan Johnson scored with 35 seconds on the clock for the winning points.
Northview coach Chad Davenport said the Longhorns had some problems holding onto the football, “But I think we helped with that a little bit. We’ve played two games back to back like that, and that’s as good as we’ve played on defense.”
Davenport credits new defensive coordinator Dan Owens with playing a major role in the team’s defensive improvement, but noted, “We have nine starters back and experience makes a big difference.”
The Titans have played well defensively despite the loss of standout linebacker Austin Antwine to a concussion in the season opener, with ends Connor Owens and Max Ovrick leading the defensive effort in Antwine’s absence.
The Longhorns (1-2) jumped out a 9-0 lead, scoring on a long run by Tucker Maxwell, the son of Lambert’s head coach, and a safety on a bad snap to Pearson.
Pearson hit Matt Bionditch for 63 yards and a touchdown in the second quarter, and the Titans took a 10-9 halftime lead on a 31-yard field goal by Eoin Green in the closing seconds of the period. Bionditch had 10 receptions for 141 yards and Segraves caught six passes for 68 yards.
A 57-yard reception by Maxwell led to a field goal by Lambert that put the Longhorns ahead late in the third quarter. The Titans had a chance to take a 13-12 lead, but Green missed a short field goal in the final period after a long Northview drive.
“We did not play great on offense, but we were good when we needed to be,” Davenport said.
Davenport also thought his team showed some resilience after suffering a disheartening 21-17 loss to South Forsyth in the Titans’ season opener.
The Titans play a region cross-over game Friday at Pope, with the Greyhounds 0-3 and struggling defensively against a tough early-season schedule.