Darnell Stokes rushed for two touchdowns and Sean Berry rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown to lead No. 17 Northern to a 28-6 victory over visiting Southern (Baltimore) in a Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference game yesterday.
Northern (4-1, 4-1) scored 20 second-quarter points to take a 28-0 halftime lead. The Vikings defense limited the Bulldogs (4-3, 2-3) to minus-4 yards total offense in the first half.
The victory keeps Northern a half-game behind Edmondson (5-1, 5-1), which defeated Dunbar, 34-12, yesterday.
Northern started early, taking the opening kickoff 83 yards on 15 plays for a score. Stokes capped the drive with a 4-yard run.
The Vikings defense, which has allowed just six points in each of the past four games, accounted for the next score and set up the last two.
Northern defensive back Berry Holmes intercepted a pass and took it back 25 yards for a score to make it 14-0 with 11 minutes, 6 seconds to play.
Free safety George Wilkerson picked off another pass and returned it 25 yards to the Southern 35. Berry, who did not play in last week's win over Edmondson because of an ankle injury, burst through the middle and broke three tackles for a 32-yard touchdown run. Stokes ran for the conversion to make it 22-0.
Defensive back Steve Alston (nine tackles, one sack) blocked a Southern punt at the 6-yard line to set up Stokes' second touchdown. Stokes scored from 2 yards out to make it 28-0.
Despite Northern's solid performance, coach Ike Hemphill was not in much of a celebrating mood. Hemphill is still unhappy about the MSA's decision to give Northern and Patterson each a loss for the game the two teams did not play this season because of a fight after last season's game between Northern and Patterson. The decision was not revealed until this week.
"I don't understand how I can have a loss when I didn't lose to anybody," said Hemphill. "I don't understand what procedure they took in making this decision. Nobody was called, nobody knew anything. I look at this as double jeopardy."