But with a heavy heart for one of their own
By LEXXI BAGGETT
News Sports Writer
With a 40-14 victory, the Northview Chiefs dominated Graceville Friday night on the Chiefs’ home field in the first round of the playoffs. Stands were full, and spirits were high as the Chiefs made it their fifth-game winning streak. The victory is bittersweet, however, when one of their own is now suffering from a major medical situation.
During the first quarter, junior Trent Peebles found an opening and earned the Chiefs 6 points. Extra point was no good, but a quick recovery of a Lance McLaughlin blocked punt, and Northview’s Johnny Windham added another touchdown. Conversion was good. Score 14 to 0. Graceville was not going down easily in the first quarter. Before the end of it, they had scored and had a successful conversion as well. Score: 14 to 8.
Second quarter showed fancy footwork by sophomore Jaheem Durant and junior Jaquan Barton as both found the goal line for the Chiefs. Extra points were not successful, but going into the half, the Chiefs led 26 to 8.
As the band thrilled the audience and the cheerleaders tried to keep warm, half-time brought on some interesting comments with the spectators. Most of the chatter seemed to center around the true possibility that the Chiefs could indeed pull out a win.
“They have had a back-and-forth season,” former Chiefs State Champion football player Roderick Woods said. “They have the talent. They can do this. It’s a matter of putting it all together.”
Indeed the Chiefs were able to do just that when sophomore Jayden Jackson, who had over 100 yards rushing for the night, pelted another touchdown in the third quarter, and Peebles again followed up with a successful 2-point conversion.
“The two-point conversions worked well for the Chiefs this week,” Woods said. “It is great to see a team capitalize on something that seems to be working.”
Graceville answered with a touchdown of their own during the third, but Northview finished it up with a final touchdown during the fourth.
Defensively, junior Dariontae Richardson was a standout, and it is this student who suffered a devastating shock the following morning after the game.
Erica Richardson, Dariontae’s mother, said that Dariontae had a great game Friday night.
“There was nothing out of the ordinary for him that night,” she said while sitting with her son at a Mobile hospital. “Dariontae played hard as he has done for so many games over the years.”
According to Ms. Richardson, however, on Saturday morning, Dariontae was up around 7:45 and started complaining to his younger sister about chest pains and how he did not feel too well.
“His sister was smart enough to get me. I had walked into my bedroom,” Ms. Richardson said. “By the time I ran into Dariontae’s bedroom, he was face down. I immediately started CPR and kept the compressions going until the ambulance arrived.”
According to Ms. Richardson, the medical experts have declared that Dariontae has suffered a child-heart attack.
“He has a long road of recovery ahead of him,” she said, “but you would not believe the support we have had here. He is not completely responding, but I know he can hear me sing to him, pray with him. I know he knows when his football player buddies and coaches and teachers visit. His friends and family, administration from Northview. All of them. I know that he is aware of all of these people rooting for him and praying for him.”
The Northview Chiefs are one big family. It is this family that is behind one of their own all the way.
Dariontae Richardson, our #10: You have our prayers and support. We are behind you and will help you in your full recovery!
Here’s to our next game against Baker Gators Friday night at 7:30 on the Baker Field. Let’s give it all we have – for Dariontae.