By Alicia Couch Payne
The North Gwinnett Bulldogs were finally able to prove themselves for the first time at Mercedes Benz stadium in Marietta Saturday night against Brookwood. North was denied the chance to play at Mercedes Benz stadium last December when bad weather forced officials to reschedule their AAAAAAA state championship game which was later held at North Gwinnett High School. After losing to Walton in the 2017 Corky Kell Classic, the Bulldogs had something to prove.
Even though North Gwinnett beat Brookwood 37 – 2, the coaching staff at North were not entirely satisfied with the team’s performance. Mistakes offensively, especially in the second half did not sit well with the high expectations the coaching staff has of their talented offensive line reflected NGHS wide receiver coach Gerald “Boo” Mitchell.
North’s running backs of Tyler Goodson (senior) and Devin Crosby (junior) led the scoring for the Bulldog’s offense. They rushed for a combined 196 yards and had 4 touchdowns. Goodson who is an Iowa commit scored on the second drive after Javonni Cunningham set North up inside the 5-yard line. Crosby scored next after a 12-yard run. Goodson scored the last two touchdowns. His total for the night rushing was 147 yards.
The quarterbacks for North Gwinnett, J.R. Martin and Will Goldring had 7 completions on 14 attempts for 88 yards between the two. North lost their two starting quarterbacks that led them to the state championship last year. “Our QB J.R. Martin is a new starter but he is catching on quick and doing a great job. Will Goldring also played really well so we feel really good about our QB lineup,” stated Bulldogs running back Tyler Goodson.
The Bulldog defense held the Broncos to less than three yards per carry. Brookwood had to earn every inch they got mustering only two points on the board which came after a blocked punt on North’s 2-yard line. Will Hunter led North Gwinnett with five tackles and two sacks. Jared Ivey had four tackles and a sack while teammate D.J. Hart also managed to get four tackles on Brookwood.
If North Gwinnett managed to have this much success on a game that their coaches describe as having one too many mistakes and feel their offense is capable of so much more, that leaves one excited about what they can accomplish if they make fewer mistakes and execute each play the way they are capable of doing. Next up for the North Gwinnett Bulldogs is a non-conference game against Wekiva from Apopka, FL at home on Friday, August 31st at 8 p.m.