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Northside’s Travis outduels Lewis in a thriller

Northside running back A.J. Travis put on a show Friday night, rushing for 344 yards and seven touchdowns. The Rams needed every one of them in a shootout. (Photo by Jason Harless)


NORTHPORT | The Northside Rams were able to outlast the Sipsey Valley Bears 50-46 in an offensive showcase Friday night.

Sophomore running back A.J. Travis led the way for the Rams with 24 attempts for 344 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. Travis accounted for the Ram’s first seven scores. He scored on the Rams’ first offensive play, a 58-yard run to put them up 7-3.

Still, the Bears didn’t back down. Every time one team scored, the other responded. When Travis scored on a 45-yard run, Bears senior running back Carson Windle pounded it in from 3 yards out to put the score at 13-12 in favor of the Rams.

When Sipsey Valley junior quarterback Garret Lewis threw a 35-yard pass to senior wide receiver Braylan Smith, Travis responded with a 24-yard run to tie the game at 19. The teams traded scores again, with Sipsey Valley entering halftime with a slim 26-25 lead.

Windle opened up the scoring for the Bears in the second half, this time with a 15-yard run. After a turnover by the Rams, Sipsey Valley lengthened its lead to 14 with another Lewis-to-Smith touchdown pass.

Again, Travis was able to keep his team close with a 36-yard touchdown run to cut the Bears’ lead to 39-31.

And again, the Bears pulled away with a 62-yard touchdown pass from Lewis to sophomore Isaiah Blackmon. After another touchdown run from Travis, this time from 24 yards, Northside entered the fourth quarter trailing 46-37.

Travis scored another touchdown, this time from 22 yards to cut into the Bears’ lead at 46-43.

After a Sipsey Valley punt, the Rams took over with a little less than three minutes left in the game, drove down the field and punched it in with a 1-yard quarterback sneak from junior Justin Beck.

The Bears took over at their own 32 and drove it all the way down to the Rams’ 32 but threw an interception in the end zone on the last play to seal the win for Northside.

Lewis finished with 400 yards of total offense and four touchdowns for the Bears.

Travis said he had no idea he’d have the kind of performance he did heading into the game, but was quick to divert any attention to himself, instead giving the whole team credit for the win.

“My performance, it has to go to the team,” Travis said. “My whole line did a good job of blocking. Just huge tonight.”

Northside (4-2, 2-1) will play next Friday at Gordo, while Sipsey Valley (2-4, 1-3) travels to Greene County.