Oh, how improved they were. The Northfield football team had won their last four games, including a first round sectional win over LaVille last week and clinched their first winning season since 1980. Northfield was playing at North Miami in the second round of the sectional Friday night. Earlier in the season on September 2nd the Warriors had defeated the Norse 46-19.
The much improved Norse were not making the trip to North Miami to just show the Warriors they had improved, they were there to beat them. Four more yards on a fourth down play and that could have become a reality.
The Norse knew they had to put together the perfect game to top the potent Warrior offense and that just about happened, falling to North Miami 13-7.
The Norse took the first possession of the game and two plays later turned the ball over on a fumble. The defense however would answer the call, forcing the Warriors to a four and out. With both defenses dominating the first score didn’t come until 3:16 to go in the quarter when North Miami quarterback Austin Barker connected with Austin See on a 27yd scoring strike to make it 7-0. The first quarter would end at 7-0.
Starting the second quarter the Norse defense held again, forcing North Miami to punt. The Northfield offense would then go to work. After a couple Andy Roser runs had taken the ball to the 47, it was 4th and 1 and the Norse decided to go for it. A pitch to Hunter Wells went to the Warrior 32 and the Norse were in business. On the next play North Miami forced a Norse fumble and killed the drive.Each team would have one more possession in the quarter, with neither being able to move the ball and the half ended with North Miami leading 7-0.
North Miami had the ball to start the second half, moving the ball down the field. The Norse defense bent, but did not break and forced a Warrior punt. The punt got a very good roll to the Northfield 4. After one Northfield first down it was 4th and a foot to go on the Norse 29. With the running game working decent all night the Norse decided to go for it. North Miami stuffed the line, stopping any penetration and took over on downs on the Norse 29. The quarter ended with the score still tied at 7, but the Warriors were knocking on the door.
Two plays in to the fourth quarter the Warriors scored their second touchdown on a run by Austin Barker to make it 13-0. Northfield blocked the extra point and trailed 13-0. The Norse offense went nowhere on the next posssion, but Dustin Echard nailed a beautiful punt to the Warrior 18. On North Miami’s next possession the break the Norse had been waiting for came. Hunter Wells recovered a Warrior fumble on the 20 to give the offense new life. After an Echard run made it 1st and goal from the 9, Wells took it in with 7:32 to go and after the Andy Roser extra point kick it was 13-7. With the momentum on their side the Norse defense forced a four and out. After a deep North Miami punt the Norse started on their own 15 with 5:12 to go. Feeding Roser up the middle and Wells and Joe Frieden off the tackles the Norse were moving. After an Austin Curless run took the ball to the North Miami 46 with 2:22 to go, Wells and Roser would take it to the 34. After two plays went nowhere, Wells moved the ball to the 30, making it 4th and 5 with 54.4 to go. Curless gained 2 yds on the next play which was 2yds short of sustaining the drive and North Miami had stopped the drive with 47 seconds left and won the game.
Hunter Wells led the Norse in rushing with 55yds. Andy Roser had 45yds. The Norse did not complete a pass.