ST. PETERSBURG – Northside Christian didn’t let undefeated Cambridge Christian get in its comfort zone at all on Friday night.
Senior quarterback Griffin Alstott combined for six touchdowns as the Mustangs beat visiting Cambridge Christian 41-11 in a 2A region final. With the victory, Northside Christian will travel to Hialeah Champagnat Catholic (11-1) in the state semifinal next week.
Alstott had five touchdowns at the half and added another one on a 20-yard strike to Derrick Wright with 7:51 left in the game. The 6’2″, 195-pound Purdue commit was slinging it all night long.
He finished with 243 yards (169 passing yards and 74 rushing yards), five passing touchdowns and a rushing score.
From the opening whistle, Alstott played poised and took everything his dad/head coach Mike Alstott told him. Alstott made adjustments at the line of scrimmage on each drive with ease.
Northside Christian (10-2) earned fine efforts from key offensive pieces. Junior running back Marcus Hooks had 78 yards on the ground while Wright had 80 receiving yards and three scores and senior wide receiver Demetrius Jackson pitched in with 31 yards.
The Mustangs hauled in two interceptions as Kamen Wilmington and Jaylen Bowden had one apiece in the fourth quarter as Cambridge went to a pass happy attack. Seniors S.J. Gross and Tah’Shim Knight each had a sack for Northside Christian.
Knight flew around all night and played an instrumental part in slowing down Cambridge Christian junior back Andrew Cunningham.
Cunningham had 63 total yards in this one which included an impressive one-handed 38-yard grab right before the end of the first half. He fought through the stacked box the whole game.
Sophomore wideout Caleb Faris caught the lone touchdown for the Lancers (9-1) in the first quarter. Junior quarterback Jaylin Jackson delivered a perfect pass in the back of the end zone to give Cambridge an 8-0 lead early.
Cambridge Christian opened up the second half with a surprise onside kick. Six plays later, Jacob Enns hit a 26-yard field goal.
The Mustangs didn’t allow much room to the Lancers in the second half.
Penalties were an issue for both sides with a combined 37 between the two teams.
The entire Cambridge Christian side was vividly upset and emotional after the game. Northside Christian celebrated in a big way after redeeming themselves after losing to the Lancers 19-14 in last year’s region semifinal.
Northside will continue to be successful as long as Alstott gets ample time and runs the offense like he did on Friday night. He is a legitimate dual-threat quarterback who knows how to command an offense.
Next week’s state semifinal down in Hialeah won’t be easy for Northside, but they have a deep roster, a balanced offensive attack and a sound defense.
Cambridge walks away disappointed, but the Lancers are going to be contenders once again with Jackson and Cunningham running the show.
The season goes moves forward next week with the third round of the playoffs.
Alstott finds Wright for a 34-yard touchdown to put Northside up 34-8 with 4:01 left in the second quarter.
— Jake Perper (@JakePerper) November 19, 2016
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
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