The Rivalry

wr-nsWhen I arrived to Warner Robins, Georgia in 1984 I had heard everyone talk about the annual Warner Robins-Northside game and how big it was.  Some called it the biggest rivalry in the state.  I had my doubts.  I had missed the 1984 game by a couple of weeks but heard it was a classic.  When the 1985 season arrived, I started attending football games and on November 8, 1985 my first experience of the big game had arrived.  At the advice of others, I bought my ticket in advance and arrived early.  I was amazed at the crowd that was already there when I had arrived.  At kickoff I looked around in awe at the enormous crowd.  At that time it was easily the biggest crowd I had seen at high school football game.  The game was also the first one in the series that needed overtime to be settled.  Warner Robins prevailed that night 21-14 and went on to lose in the state championship game to Clarke Central.

There have been many classic games played between the two teams over the years I was living in Warner Robins and attended the game.  Another memorable one was in 1989.  Warner Robins entered the game as the #1 team in the nation according to USA Today.  Northside wasn’t given much a chance but when the Demons missed an extra point late in the game, the Eagles pulled out a shocking 7-6 upset.  People still talk about that game.  No one really cares that Warner Robins won the rematch two weeks later in the region championship 20-6.

I attended my last game in 2009 in a game where Warner Robins trailed 20-0 going into the fourth quarter. Jonathan Jackson caught a 47-yard touchdown heave from quarterback Maurice Dudley on fourth down, and Kyle Floyd kicked a 35-yard extra point as Warner Robins rallied for a stunning 21-20 win.

The Demons scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat Northside for the first time since 2004.

Warner Robins leads the all-time series with 36 wins and 25 losses but Northside has won 16 of the last 23 games.

How good are these two teams?  The both played in the state championship game in their classifications last season.  They also have seven state titles between the two schools.  Warner Robins has four (1976, 1981, 1988 and 2004) and Northside has three (2006, 2007, 2014)

They used to call the game the “city championship” until Houston County opened in 1991.

For most of the years I attended, the games were scheduled as the final regular season game.  As the schools changed in size and moved to different classifications, the game was moved as a non-region game played earlier in the schedule.

Since moving from Warner Robins I have always kept an eye on the scoreboard or listened to the game online but it’s never the same as attending the game in person.  I’m sure there are biggest rivalries but this one has been special over the years.

 

 

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