A STAFF REPORT
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The Northridge Raiders have started the season 3-0 for the first time since 1992 and next Friday they have the chance to go 4-0 for the first time since 1991. That season Northridge defeated Rochester 31-0, Wawasee 51-6, Plymouth 24-14 and Warsaw 3-0. The streak ended with a 40-17 loss at the hands of the NorthWood Panthers.
Northridge snapped a 14-game losing streak in the NLC with Friday night’s 31-14 win over Wawasee.
Prior to the Wawasee win the Raiders last NLC victory was on Oct. 15, 2010 by a 28-27 score in triple overtime over Memorial.
The Raiders received 16 votes in the first Associated Press Class 4A poll recently – just after the Northridge’s season-opening victory over South Bend Adams.
The Raiders did not receive any votes in the poll last week after defeating South Bend Riley to go to 2-0, but Northridge coach Tom Wogomon said respect will come to the Raiders as they keep winning games.
Wogomon said he and his staff did not put much stock in the early poll, and hadn’t speny much time thinking about how the votes came about.
“We haven’t accomplished anything yet,” Wogomon said.
Kicking game on
Northridge’s kicking game was a big part of the Raiders’ efforts Friday night with punts of 49 and 57 yards to pin the Warriors deep in their own territory; and kicker Hunter Hardin booted a 34-yard field goal just before halftime.
Warrior passing game hums
Wawasee got its passing game in gear early on Friday night against Northridge, with 137 passing yards in the first half of that … 80 of that going to junior receiver Clayton Cook, who had a 26-yard TD catch in the second quarter.
Wawasee had 218 passing yards on the night.
NorthWood at Concord
New back shines
Senior Nick DeFreese made the most of his chances at running back for the Concord Minutemen in a 31-7 win over the NorthWood Panthers.
He only carried the ball twice, but the second one was for 17 yards and a touchdown with :07 left to play in the third period that gave his team a 31-0 lead.
“It’s the first time I’ve played running back,” he said.
DeFreese and senior Chris Martin were pressed into service with fellow seniors Jackson Marlow and Larry Smith out of action due to injuries.
Martin had seven carries for 90 yards and two pass receptions for 22.
Fifty-seven of his rushing yards came on one carry to the NW-12 that setup Concord’s first score at 6:53 of the opening period.
“We knew we have skill kids,” Concord coach Tim Dawson said.
“That is one area where we have some depth. Martin did a great job filling in and DeFresse stepped things up.”
Minutemen good up front
Like a lot of football games the Concord-NorthWood contest was decided in the trenches where the Minutemen offensive line controlled things for most of the night.
Starters were 6-1 (190) senior Ethan Beabout at center, 6-2 (223) senior Michael McQueen at right tackle, 6-1 (231) junior Tyler Kelly at right guard, 6-1 (249) junior Wesley Lee at left guard and 6-4 (242) senior Eriq Jordan at left tackle.
“It was the guys up front controlling the trenches that won us this game,” Dawson said. “We used our size and strength to wear down NorthWood in the second half. Our numbers are better and NorthWood has more players going both ways.”
The quality play of the line was not lost on the skill players.
“It definitely helps having experience in the line,” Concord quarterback Trevor Wilmore said.
Scant touches for Cleveland
Normally a workhorse back NorthWood’s Tanner Cleveland touched the ball just 11 times on offense in Friday night’s game with Concord. He rushed the ball eight times for 22 yards and caught three passes for 34. Four of his touches were in the first half.
“We had trouble getting Tanner the ball early on,” NorthWood coach Scott Hoover said. “Concord is so big up front we knew we would have to try and get him the ball on the edge rather than have him try and gut it out up the middle.”
Fairfield at Fremont
Kitson helps Falcons rebound
Senior Cameron Kitson had a big night for the Fairfield Falcons in a 42-7 win at Fremont. He carried the ball 14 times for 180 yards (12.9 average) and scored four touchdowns. His first TD of 11 yards came at 1:34 of the second period, the second of 3 yards at 7:49 of the third, the third of 6 yards at 2:31 of the third and the fourth of 70 yards with 4:52 left.
At full Mast
Fairfield’s senior quarterback Kyle Mast had a productive night completing 9 of 13 passes for 86 yards and two TDs. He tossed a 7-yard scoring pass to senior Garrett Cole at 8:10 of the first period and an 8-yarder to classmate Caleb Armbruster at 9:28 of the fourth.
Garrett at West Noble
Picks doom Chargers
West Noble was able to move the ball effectively at times Friday night at home against Garrett — but the Chargers’ hopes of defeating the once-and-future NECC foe Railroaders were dashed by five interceptions.
West Noble also showed good offensive balance, with 175 yards on the ground and another 100 through the air.
On a bright note, the Chargers did not lose a fumble.
Payton Schrock had 10 carries for 79 yards and also caught a TD pass from quarterback Landon Stover. Levi Nelson added 17 rushes for 69 yards.