Northview falls to Pope 31, 28 in region playoff contest

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MARIETTA, Ga. – Northview battled back from a 24-7 deficit in a Region 7-AAAAA playoff game last Friday at Pope, but fell short against the Greyhounds in the end 31-28.

The Greyhounds (7-3) were second in the West sub-region, with Northview (3-7), third in the East sub-region. The top two teams in each sub-region won their crossover games to qualify for the Class AAAAA state playoffs.

The Titans, who averaged 39 points a game coming into last week’s contest, managed just one touchdown in the first half and trailed 17-7. Northview scored first on a 46-yard run by Terrence Upshaw, who rushed for three touchdowns, giving him 30 total TDs this season.

A Pope interception led to the Greyhounds’ go-ahead score, and their lead reached 24-7 before Upshaw rushed for two more touchdowns and passed to Joseph Macrina for a 2-point conversion to cut Pope’s lead to 24-21. The score was set up by a Northview interception.

On the first play after Upshaw’s third touchdown, the Greyhounds broke a long run, but the Northview defense stripped the ball from the Pope ball carrier. The officials did not rule the play a fumble and the Greyhounds went on to score a clinching touchdown.

Northview again closed to within 3 points on a touchdown by sophomore quarterback D.J. Pearson, but they were unable to recover the onside kick and Pope was able to run out the clock.

“We played hard the whole game, but we struggled offensively in the first half,” Northview coach Chad Davenport said.

The Northview coach said both teams could have put more points on the scoreboard, with each having a touchdown called back and the Titans missing a field goal.

The Titans return all but a handful of starters, but will have a big hole to fill replacing Upshaw, who rushed for 109 yards in his final game for Northview.