ADDISON — The North Sand Mountain football team ended its first-round playoff struggles Friday night.
And it came at the expense of a ranked team.
The Bison went on the road and defeated No. 9-ranked Addison 20-13 in the first round of the Class 2A Playoffs.
NSM (8-3) will come home to Higdon next week to host Westbrook Christian (8-3), a 25-22 winner over No. 10 Aliceville, in a second-round game. A win would send NSM to the state quarterfinals for the first time in school history.
“It’s a real big win for our boys and now they’ve got a chance to make some history next week,” said NSM head coach Keith Kirby. “We’ve haven’t been a good road team this year, but we got it going last week against Pisgah and it carried over. Guys played really good, made plays when we had chances to. I think it just came down to these seniors weren’t going to let this one be there last (game).”
The win was NSM’s first road playoff game victory since 1998 and just the second in school history. NSM had lost in the first round in each of the prior three seasons.
Senior quarterback Landon Green led the offensive effort for NSM, rushing for 80 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries while completing 10-of-22 passes for 167 yards. Damon Gentle added 54 rushing yards and Fernando Luna had 25 yards while Lake Bell had five catches for 57 yards and Gentle had four catches for 38 yards.
In all, NSM outgained Addison (8-3) in total yards 330 to 257.
The Bison drove deep into Addison territory before turning it over on downs on their first possession. The Bulldogs fumbled on their first snap, however, and NSM recovered, which ultimately led to Green’s 2-yard touchdown run and the first of Tyler Scott’s two extra point to take a 7-0 lead.
NSM’s lead grew to 14-0 on Green’s 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Addison cut NSM advantage to 14-7 by halftime, but Green’s 46-yard touchdown run gave the Bison a 20-7 lead in the third quarter. Addison got within 20-13 after three quarters, but the NSM defense kept the Bulldogs at bay the rest of the game.
“Our defense played good,” Kirby said. “We talked all we about we had to set the tempo and not let (Addison), and we did that.”