By STEVE LOWE
Coming off two straight losses, NorthWood was looking for some answers Friday night in Elkhart.
Luke Edwards provided a big one for the Panthers.
Moments after Memorial took an 8-7 lead in the second quarter, Edwards blasted his way through the middle of the field and then rumbled up the far sideline for a 66-yard touchdown.
That score gave the Panthers the lead for good as they held on through a lightning delay to snap their losing streak with a 30-15 Northern Lakes Conference win.
“That was huge,” NorthWood coach Scott Hoover said of Edwards run. “We just haven’t had any big plays this season. I think our biggest play up to (that) point was a 31-yard play. We just haven’t been able to have those easy drives.
None were easier than that one, but NorthWood (4-3, 2-3 NLC) managed three other TD drives, all of which ended with 3-yard runs.
Edwards finished with 111 yards rushing and Tanner Cleveland added 89 yards on the ground and two of those scores.
“The last couple weeks, we’ve been out-physicalled, and tonight was wanted to control the line of scrimmage and play more physical,” Hoover said. “We were able to do that.”
Trailing 7-0, Memorial (2-4, 1-4) took a one-point lead early in the second quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from backup QB Nathan Troutman to Chris Kale, and a 2-point conversion scramble by David Doyle after a muffed snap on the kick try.
But the Panthers answered right back on the next play from scrimmage with Edwards’ burst.
“We had a flicker of hope there, and we didn’t defend well,” said Memorial coach Bill Roggeman. “That took a lot of wind out of our sails.”
When the time the teams returned to the field to begin the fourth quarter after a 30-minute lightning delay, the Panthers finished off their final drive of the game to go up 30-8.
Memorial’s Jaylin Rhodes, who rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns last week, finished with 72 yards, and Troutman ran for 52 yards and a score, but also threw three interceptions.