Kyle Moseley completed seven passes for 157 yards and a score in the loss.
(Photo by Michael Clifton / www.komba
Starr's Mill fell to 2-6 for the season on Friday, losing 27-10 to the Northgate Vikings. While Northgate piled up nearly twice as many yards as Starr's Mill (380 to 195), this game was within reach for the Panthers had it not been for three lost fumbles that sapped their momentum.
Northgate, always a run heavy team, rolled up 334 yards on 55 runs, throwing it only seven times all game. The Vikings have a stable of backs that rotate in and out, but the star on this night was big, strong back Ben Washington, who ran all over the Panthers' defense, racking up 203 yards on 19 carries to go with two touchdowns. As with any run-heavy attack, Northgate was able to wear down the Panthers as the game progressed. Three and five yard runs in the first half turned into ten and 15 yarders in the second as the Vikings continued to pound the rock.
The start of the game was promising for Starr's Mill, as they took an early 3-0 lead then forced a Viking fumble deep in their own territory on an Evan Krug sack recovered by Kery Ostrowski. Unfortunately, the ensuing drive stalled quickly and a short punt gave the Vikings the ball just across midfield. That's when Ben Washington announced his presence, busting a run off left guard down to the Panthers' one yard line, then easily punching it in on the next play. That put the Panthers down 7-3, and they would not lead again.
The running game wasn't great for the Panthers, with only 38 yards total, but the real problem was the fumbles. On the following possession, a mishandled pitch led to a fumble and Northgate recovery that gave the Vikings another short field, which they took advantage of, stretching the lead to 14-3.
Again, the next Panther possession was ended by a fumble. Michael Giunta had made a big 30 yard catch down to Northgate's 33 yard line, but a fumble on the next play ended the Panthers' chance of narrowing the gap.
Were it not for those fumbles, the first half could have played out differently, setting up a more competitive game down the stretch. The Viking run game continued to gain steam in the second half, though, as Washington tacked on a 17 yard touchdown to make it 20-3 following a blocked extra point by Joshua Roberts.
On the bright side, Starr's Mill receiver Timothy Roberts had a nice night, including a 77 yard touchdown reception from Kyle Moseley on a play where the Viking defense totally lost track of Roberts, allowing him to get behind everyone and trot in for the score. Roberts finished with 103 receiving yards and a touchdown, while Moseley went 7 of 17 for 157 yards and a touchdown.