As the 2020 high school football season ushers in a new decade on the gridiron, the Jackson County Sentinel begins a six-part series ranking the Top 10 games of the 2010-19 decade for each program in Jackson County.
The series began June 13 with Woodville, followed by Section on June 20 and Pisgah on June 27. Today it continues with a look at 2010-19 decade for North Sand Mountain:
1. NSM 35, Westbrook Christian 13 (Nov. 15, 2019)
NSM’s final win of the decade was a major milestone for the program, as the Bison defeated visiting Westbrook Christian in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs to earn the program’s first state quarterfinal appearance. NSM ran for 388 yards, including a career-high 213 yards from Damon Gentle. The senior ran for three touchdowns, and quarterback Landon Green rushed and passed for a touchdown as the Bison advanced. The win gave head coach Keith Kirby his 31st win in four seasons as head coach at his alma mater, making him the second winningest coach in program history.
2. NSM 26, Dade County (Ga.) 21 (Aug. 31, 2012)
The rivalry between the state-line neighbors resumed after a 15-year hiatus. Head coach Adam Gilbert's Bison led Dade County 20-14 at halftime but trailed 21-20 after three quarters before regaining the lead with 10:26 remaining on Dexx Walsh’s 1-yard touchdown run that was set up two plays earlier on Tyler Vann’s 41-yard pass to Andrew Duncan to the Dade County 2-yard line. Dade County drove to the NSM 3-yard line with less than 20 seconds remaining, but a bad snap on third down led to Dade County quarterback Luke Riddle being sacked by NSM’s Zeb Reece and Kyle Nash for a loss of yardage back to the 12-yard line. With no timeouts left and time running out, Riddle spiked the ball on fourth down with 0.7 seconds left, turning the ball over to the Bison, who took a knee to seal the victory.
3. NSM 17, Reeltown 7 (Nov. 8, 2013)
NSM recorded its second all-time playoff victory and its first home playoff win by defeating Reeltown in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs. The Bison trailed 7-3 early in the first half, but a 16-yard touchdown run by Dexx Walsh gave NSM a 10-7 halftime lead. NSM then put the game away with Cody McBryar’s 6-yard touchdown run with 3:11 remaining.
4. NSM 28, Dade County 27 (Aug. 25, 2017)
The Bison rallied from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to stun visiting Dade County. The Bison pulled within a 27-20 on Landon Green’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hill with 5:39 remaining. On NSM’s next possession, Green completed passes of 20, 13 and 15 yards to Cody Shrader to set up Jake Marlborough’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:16 left. Green then passed to Shrader for the go-ahead two-point conversion. Stone Yates then sealed the win for NSM with an interception on Dade County’s next possession. The victory started the Bison’s current three-game winning streak against Dade County.
5. NSM 9, Plainview 0 (Sept. 4, 2015)
Winless in 16 previous games against Plainview, NSM finally broke through against the Bears with a stellar defensive effort that included the game’s lone touchdown, an Eric George 50-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter. George’s 21-yard field goal with 3:23 left in the game sealed the win for the visiting Bison, who held the Bears to only 120 total yards and forced four Plainview turnovers.
6. NSM 20, Addison 13 (Nov. 8, 2019)
NSM went on the road and upset Class 2A No. 9-ranked Addison in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs, a win that started the program’s run to its first ever state quarterfinal appearance. NSM built a 14-0 lead in the first half and led 20-13 after three quarters. NSM’s defense held an Addison offense that was averaging 31.3 points per game to only two touchdowns. Landon Green ran for a 80 yards and three touchdowns while also passing for 167 yards. The win was NSM’s second-ever road playoff victory and first since 1998.
7. NSM 27, Susan Moore 13 (Nov. 5, 2015)
Coach Jeff Monroe's NSM team continued its turnaround from a 1-9 season in 2014 by defeating visiting Susan Moore in Round 1 of the Class 3A playoffs. The game was tied 13-all early in the fourth quarter after a Susan Moore touchdown — Pierce Porter blocked the Bulldogs’ go-ahead PAT attempt — before NSM regained the lead on Eric George’s 16-yard touchdown run that followed a 50-yard reception by Jordan Harmon — Harmon, Bo Spears and a Susan Moore defender ran together, the ball popped into the air and Harmon tipped it to himself for the catch — that converted a third-and-12. On Susan Moore’s ensuing possession, George forced a fumble that his brother, Garrett George, returned 27 yards to the Susan Moore 15-yard line. Four plays later, Harmon scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 3:56 remaining to clinch the victory.
8. NSM 19, Dade County (Ga.) 13 (Aug. 30, 2013)
In its first trip to Trenton, Georgia to play their out-of-state rival Dade County since 1996, NSM posted its second straight road win in the series. The Bison built a 13-0 lead in the first half on Cody McBryar’s 6-yard touchdown run and two field goals and an extra point from Derek Alonzo. Dade County tied the game at 13-all with 7:46 remaining, but McBryar started NSM’s ensuing possession with a 54-yard run, and two plays later, escaped a sack and found Austin Cummins behind the defense for what proved to be the game-winning 26-yard touchdown pass.
9. NSM 15, Fairview 14 (Aug. 19, 2016)
Keith Kirby’s debut as head coach at his alma mater ended with a thrilling last-second win. After trailing for most of the game, NSM pulled within 14-13 on Zac Williams’ 6-yard touchdown run with 32 seconds remaining one play after Hunter Hill completed a 57-yard pass to Pierce Porter. Williams then ran for the two-point conversion to give NSM, and Kirby, the victory.
10. NSM 31, Ider 21 (Sept. 15, 2011)
In the win that unofficially kicked off the best decade in NSM football history, the Bison took down a previously undefeated Ider team that was coming off of a state quarterfinal berth the prior season. Leading 14-7 in the second quarter, NSM faked a punt — Andrew Duncan threw to Patrick Porter for a 7-yard gain on fourth-and-6 — to keep alive a drive that ultimately ended in Max Kirby’s 8-yard touchdown run. Leading 24-14 in the fourth quarter, the Bison put the game away with Zak Walsh’s 18-yard touchdown reception from Tyler Vann, who finished 12-of-14 passing for 165 yards and three touchdowns as NSM defeated Ider for the first time since 2007.