The North Sand Mountain football team controls its own playoff destiny.
NSM’s 39-6 Class 2A Region 7 win over Whitesburg Christian Friday night at Madison County Middle School in Gurley coupled with Ider’s 14-0 win kept the Bison in the playoff hunt heading into the final week of region play.
NSM (3-5, 2-3), which is 3-0 in road games this season, travels to Falkville (4-4, 2-3) next week for a game in which the winner claims the region’s fourth and final playoff spot.
“It’ll be a big one for us,” said NSM head coach Keith Kirby. “Our guys could’ve packed it in a few weeks ago, but they didn’t. Now they’ve got a chance to get in. Hopefully we go over there next week and make it happen.”
NSM took care of business quickly against Whitesburg Christian (2-6, 0-5).
Blake Blevins returned the opening kickoff 64-yard for a touchdown to give the Bison an immediate 6-0 lead, and Blake Hill’s 27-yard touchdown catch from Landon Keller and Mason Smith’s 16-yard touchdown pass from Keller had NSM in front 20-0 after one quarter.
Derek Bearden then caught a 62-yard touchdown pass from Keller before returning an interception 42 yards for an NSM touchdown. Keller then threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Kaleb Helton to send NSM into halftime with a 39-0 lead before its reserves played the second half.
Keller, a freshman had a career-best 197 yards and four touchdowns while completing 7 of 8 passes. Bearden caught three passes for 89 yards while Mason Smith had two receptions for 43 yards.
Hank Farmer ran for 50 yards on four carries while Smith had 33 yards on five carries and Josue Luna had 18 yards on four carries.
“We came out and took care of business from the opening kickoff to halftime,” Kirby said. “The second half, we got to play a lot of people. That was good.”