The Chargers’ offense never clicked and Northwood came out flat as it lost a defensive dominated game 14-7 Friday night at Orange High School.
Northwood found itself down 14-0 five minutes into the game and was twice stopped in the red zone, including on a Kadarus Rone run that was stopped at the one-yard line right before the end of the first half.
“Five minutes, five minutes, we didn’t come out strong on the first five minutes and gave up two scores on defense,” head coach Bill Hall said. “Give their defense credit; they bent but didn’t break. This is a hard pill to swallow, but we will learn from this and improve.”
Orange forced a three and out to start the game, including two sacks in the first three plays. Orange running back Michael Bolden quickly broke off two big runs and moved Orange down to the Charger 16. From there Eryk Brandon-Dean took the ball 16 yards for an Orange score.
On the next possession, the Chargers continued to be dominated up front and Northwood was forced to punt again. Orange marched the ball down the field thanks to two big runs by Brandon-Dean. Orange quarterback Garrett Cloer then scored on a one-yard sneak.
“At the beginning they outworked us,” senior Elijah Washington said. “We didn’t come out strong, we didn’t come out ready to play. We thought it would be a walk through the park. We have to play every game like it’s our last from this point forward.”
The Chargers would strike back as quarterback Ti Pinnix connected with Jared Worley on a 26-yard pass to make the score 14-7 Orange. The game would end with that score.
Northwood would have the ball twice inside the 10 and failed to come away with any points. Notably, right before halftime on 4th and goal, senior Rone was stopped on the 1-yard line. Later, Pinnix would throw an incomplete pass on 4th and 3 from the 10-yard line with 5:13 left in the fourth quarter.
“It was a hard fought game; we have to execute in the redzone,” Pinnix said.
Throughout the game, the Chargers struggled on the line of scrimmage, and Pinnix was forced to scramble and take sacks in key situations. Penalties also plagued the Chargers, as there were three false starts in a row to halt one Charger drive.
“We have to learn from our mistakes and get better for the rest of the season,” said Worley.
The Chargers look to rebound next week after starting out 0-1 in conference. The Chargers take on Cedar Ridge at home Friday.
– By Jacob Sipe