Northridge Snaps Losing Streak Against Fledgling T-County
While the weather conditions tried their hardest to slow down both rival offenses, the Northridge Jaguars dominated the Tuscaloosa County Wildcats on the ground and snapped its three-game losing streak with a 37-6 win on the road.
"We had to get back to running the ball offensively," said Northridge head coach Mike Vickery.
"We were able to change some things up scheme-wise defensively and we went back to re-tool some things offensively to try and make a run in this year's playoffs."
The game started slow on the offensive side for both teams as they were dealing with persistent rain and one of the colder nights of the season so far. But once the Jaguars got the ball moving on the ground, the Wildcats weren't able to recover.
Coach Vickery's vision to improve the Northridge running game was certainly present in its first few drives as the Jaguars attempted only two passes but ran the ball 14 times leading to two consecutive touchdowns from senior wide receiver Christopher Jack.
However, the Wildcats showed fight in the second quarter and held a surging Northridge offense to only a field goal, going into the locker room at halftime 16-0.
The Wildcats bought some serious momentum for its final half of play for the season and responded by forcing a punt – the first and only of the night – and tacking on a 12-yard touchdown from junior quarterback Brax Garrison to senior wide receiver Charles Mcgee.
After a faked punt from Tuscaloosa County, the Jaguars took advantage of the short field position in the form of a four-play touchdown drive from senior quarterback Whitt Winfield to the junior quarterback and offensive swiss army knife Kollyn Shelnutt.
Junior running back Toryion Spears let his voice be heard in the second half as he put the game out of reach in the third quarter with a two-yard rushing score, bringing the Panther lead to 30-6. Spears lead the team in rushing with 17 carries, with 105 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.
Shelnutt, while only having two passing attempts, managed to connect on one of them for 44 yards to junior wide receiver Ben Willoughby and completed two of his own receptions for 40 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Garrison closed the night 8-for-18 with 46 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception as the Wildcats look forward to regrouping in the offseason. For Northridge's Winfield, he finished 4-for-13 with 81 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.
The Northridge Jaguars (7-3), despite now losing three out of its last four games, move on to a road playoff game with the Opelika Bulldogs (7-3) on November 5.
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