FOOTBALL

Seaforth can’t capitalize on hot start; Northwood steamrolls Cedar Ridge

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The Seaforth football team couldn’t string together its second win in a row this past Friday, falling at home to Graham High, 20-12.

The Hawks (1-5, 1-1 Conf.) actually controlled the start of the game, scoring a short touchdown on their first offensive possession and adding another on a long end-around by sophomore Noah Lewis to go up 12-0 within the game’s first 10 minutes.

But that was the last time Seaforth would reach the end zone.

Graham (2-4, 1-1 Conf.) scored on its next possession to cut the game to 12-6 before halftime. On Seaforth’s first drive of the third quarter, the Hawks made it deep into Red Devil territory before the drive stalled out at the Graham 22-yard line, where they turned the ball over on downs.

After taking over possession, Graham put together a long drive that ended in a touchdown pass that tied the game at 12-12 entering the final quarter of play. After the two teams exchanged punts, the Red Devils marched down the field and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 2:12 to play. The Hawks ended up fumbling on the first play of their next drive, ending the would-be comeback attempt.

“It’s very encouraging, simply because we’ve been close in some games that people didn’t expect us to be close in,” said Seaforth head coach Terrance Gary. “Things are growing each week. They know we’re probably not making it to the state championship this year. We’re just trying to build the opportunity for future teams to be able to do that.”

Seaforth should have a good opportunity to get back in the win column in Week 7, as it travels to face Chatham Central away from home. The Bears are currently 1-4 and are averaging 6.0 points per game through their first five games this season.

Northwood 63,
Cedar Ridge 7

Playing on the road for the first time in three weeks Friday night, the Northwood football team dominated Cedar Ridge, 63-6, to improve to 3-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference play.

The Chargers opened their conference schedule last week with a 57-7 loss to Williams, but they looked sharper this time around. On top of its usual strong rushing attack, Northwood also had success passing the ball and made big plays on the defensive end to force turnovers.

“Any time you get a win, it’s something to celebrate,” said head coach Chris Kenan. “Regardless of the opponent, it means you came out and executed more than the other team.”

The Chargers overwhelmed the Fighting Red Wolves (1-4, 0-2 Conf.) from the start, as an interception by Will Smith on Cedar Ridge’s first drive set Northwood up with 1st-and-goal at the 2-yard line. The very next play, junior fullback Ryan Brinker ran the ball in for the team’s first score of the game.

Northwood extended its lead on its next drive thanks to a 38-yard touchdown run from receiver Antoine Brewington, and after one quarter, the Chargers held a 14-0 lead. The second quarter saw head coach Chris Kenan’s team hit another gear, though.

After starting the quarter with another short touchdown by Brinker and a 3-yard score by junior Ashton Elliott, Northwood gave up its first touchdown of the game on a 50-yard kick return. The Chargers answered back immediately, however, as senior Jackson Shaner received the ensuing Cedar Ridge kickoff and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown to put Northwood up 28-6.

Northwood added 21 more points over the next nine minutes and entered halftime with a 49-6 advantage. Starting the third quarter with a running clock, the Chargers maintained their dominance and scored two more touchdowns to put the score at 63-6 at the final whistle.

Northwood will try to get above .500 this Friday as it hosts Person High. The Rockets are 3-2 and had a bye in Week 6. In Week 5, Person defeated Cedar Ridge, 76-8. The Chargers defeated the Rockets, 21-7, last season. In that game, Northwood senior running backs Dashaun Vines-McSwain and Jalen Paige combined to run for 301 yards and two touchdowns.

“For us, it’s simple. I just want to see the guys block and tackle,” Kenan said of his team’s upcoming game. “If you do that, your chances of winning the game are a lot higher, regardless of the opponent. You have to block, tackle and execute.”

Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at jeremy@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.

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