SUWANEE — North Gwinnett’s Devin Crosby rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a 37-21 victory over Mountain View on Friday for homecoming.
“He continues to grind it out and I think he’s one of the best backs in the state,” North Gwinnett head coach Bill Stewart said. “He continues to do great things, run with passion, and runs the ball hard.”
The No. 7-ranked Bulldogs improved to 10-0 all-time against Mountain View. Since opening the season with a loss to Colquitt County, North Gwinnett has won five games in a row.
“They kids are doing well, they are playing hard,” Stewart said. “We were really good tonight, but we have to clean up some penalties.”
North (5-1, 2-0) travels to Hoschton next Friday to take on Mill Creek, which it defeated 50-25 last season. Mountain View (3-3, 1-1) hosts Discovery next week.
North jumped out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead after Andrew Lim’s 36-yard field goal and quarterback J.R. Martin’s 15-yard touchdown run.
After Martin threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Ezzard for a 17-0 lead, Mountain View had a big kickoff return to the 50-yard line. The Bears reached the North 27 and a 35-yard field goal attempt by Rafa Fernandez was no good.
Mountain View’s Jeremy Tuider had a strip sack, and the Bears’ Jason Allen recovered it at the sideline to give them the ball at the North 23. But on first down, Nathan Payne threw an interception to Taylor Goodson in front of the goal line.
“He had a huge pick, a great play,” Stewart said.
Mountain View never threatened to score again in the half, and North put together a four and a half minute, 12-play scoring drive. Crosby had a 20-yard run to set up his two-yard touchdown and give the Bulldogs a 24-0 halftime lead.
North’s Martin was 14 of 21 for 169 yards and a touchdown. His main receiver was Josh Downs, a North Carolina commit, with five catches for 68 yards.
The Bears’ Payne threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Mossiah Carter to start the third quarter and make it a 24-7 game.
But North responded with four plays, including a 37-yard run by Crosby, and then a five-yard touchdown run by the senior for a 31-7 lead.
The Bulldogs added to the lead later in the quarter on a 12-yard touchdown run by Bobby Joseph. After the PAT was blocked, the Bulldogs held a 37-7 lead and forced a fourth quarter mercy rule running clock.
Mountain View’s Carter and Rahnell Jackson caught touchdowns in the final three minutes to make the game look closer on the scoreboard.