ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Alpharetta used five turnovers and four touchdown passes from quarterback Matthew Downing to improve to 2-0 in region play with a 42-17 victory over Northview Friday night.
The Raiders defense gathered in two fumble recoveries and forced three interceptions to hold Northview’s spread offense at bay.
“They played incredible,” head coach Jacob Nichols said. “We keep putting them in tough situations from our offense or special teams play, and they’ve given up a few points, but that hasn’t been indicative of their play.”
In the same week he was named an Under Armour All-American, senior cornerback Jaycee Horn had two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and had an offensive touchdown reception.
Safety Dane Motley also had a pick-six for the Raiders who held Northview to 230 yards of total offense.
Nichols said his defensive line pressured Northview all night, with defensive end Nick Markus leading the Raiders with 9.5 total tackles and two sacks.
Alpharetta’s offense needed just 38 plays to score four touchdowns, all passes from Downing who racked up 261 yards passing.
Downing connected with eight receivers in the win and had two touchdowns over 80 yards.
“Our offense struggled with consistency, but we were able to take care of some advantages in matchups in coverage,” Nichols said.
The Raiders took an early lead with Downing connecting with Spencer Gaddis for an 82-yard touchdown. That lead was extended three minutes later when Horn intercepted Northview’s Colton McDaniel for a pick-six.
Alpharetta was on the board again just over a minute later with Downing finding Michael Marbaugh from 10 yards out to put the Raiders up 21-0.
Northview cut into the lead with a McDaniel rushing touchdown and field goal from Michael Owen, but a 97-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Hill gave the Raiders a 28-10 halftime lead.
The Raiders earned their final two scored with Motley’s interception score and Horn’s 24-yard touchdown reception.
With the win, Alpharetta sits atop the Region 7-AAAAAA standings with Chattahoochee as the sole 2-0 teams in region play. If history is any indication, that’s good news for Alpharetta who has won its region title the last three times they have gone 2-0 to open its region schedule.
The Raiders have a bye this week before taking on North Atlanta (3-1, 1-1) and will focus on getting healthy.
“We have some key guys who have been out, so hopefully we can get back to full strength,” Nichols said. “We just have to keep doing what we’re doing. Moving the chains, using the clock and keeping the other team’s offense off the field.”