It was a good old fashion shoot out at Northfield Friday between MSD rivals Southwood and Northfield. In a game that wasn’t decided until the final buzzer, the Southwood Knights pulled off a 40-34 win to go 2-0 in county games and now control their own destiny for a county title.
After Southwood went four and out to start the game, the Norse would put the pedal to the medal on their first possession. Starting on their own 22 the Norse would go on a 15 play drive that was aided by two Southwood offsides with Carter Frieden taking it in from 6yds out with 4:05 remaining to give Northfield a 6-0 lead. The Knights would answer the call, riding the back of Nathan Hollars, who had two big runs to march down the field. With the ball on the 18, Robbie Cole would find Jacob Lloyd to the 8. Two plays later Cole would find the end zone on a 3yd run and with a Zach Hobson kick led 7-6 with 1:07 to play. After the kick off, Shane Vigar would brake loose for the Norse for a 69yd TD, only to have it called back on a holding call. Not letting the call get them down the Norse went back to work. On the second play after the hold, Alec Wells would race 45yds to the Southwood five when time expired in the quarter with the Knights leading 7-6.
On the first play of the second quarter, Josh Bickel found a hole and scored from 5yds out to give Northfield a 13-7 lead. Starting on the 46 the Knights would throw a counter punch. After a short pass to Jackson Blair and a short run, Hollars would bust loose for a 40yd rushing TD and just a minute and a half in to the second quarter Southwood led 14-13. Southwood would kick off and the Norse had the ball on the 35. On the first play from scrimmage, Alec Wells would score from 65yds out. The Norse would then fake the extra point kick with Carter Frieden hiding the ball behind his back and finding Shane Vigar in the end zone for the conversion and the Norse were back up 21-14. The Norse would then kick an onside kick out of bounds with the Knights electing to make them kick again. To the surprise of every person there, the Norse went for a second onside kick and recovered it. The Norse would run 11 plays, taking the ball to the Knight 3, with the Southwood defense forcing an incomplete pass on fourth down to take over. With the ball on their own 10, Hollars would get them down the field on a 31yd run and with a Northfield penalty Southwood was on the Norse 41. Robbie Cole would then find Danny Goff to the 7 with Hollars taking the next play to pay dirt and the Norse led 21-20. After each defense held, the Norse had the ball on the Southwood 29 on a Shane Vigar punt return with 34.9 left on the clock. Freiden would find Marcus Kroh to the 15, then Wells at the 4 with 5.6 left. Freiden would then score with 1.5 remaining and Northfield led 28-20 at the half.
The Norse had the ball first in the second half, going nowhere on four plays and forced to punt. With the ball on the 45, Hollars would break loose twice to get the ball to the Norse 20. Three plays later Robbie Cole found Danny Goff from 18yds out. The two point conversion failed as Northfield held on to their lead 28-26. Each team would have the ball two more times without any major threats. On Northfield’s third possession they started to mount a drive when the quarter ended, leading 28-26.
On the back of Josh Bickel and Alec Wells the Norse would march to the Knight 11. The Southwood defense found a second wind and after a Northfield holding call forced three incomplete passes to take the ball over on their own 27. One play later Wells picked off Robbie Cole, taking the ball to the 6. Josh Bickel would score from 5yds out and Northfield led 34-26 with 8:06 left in the game. Not panicking the Knights would mount a charge. Southwood moved the ball to the Northield 38 when Cole hit Danny Goff in stride for a TD with 6:54 left. The two point conversion failed and Northfield led 34-32. The Knight defense would hold again, forcing a punt with Southwood getting the ball on the 44. Cole would find Goff to the Norse 34. Two plays later Nathan Hollars broke loose for a 14yd rushing TD and the Knights led 38-34. Cole would then find Goff for the two point conversion and the Knights led 40-34 with 3:50 to play. The Knights would pooch a kick and Northfield had the ball on the 30. After completions to Kroh and Bickel the Norse had moved to the 43. Moving the ball to the Southwood 48 it was going to the wire. The Norse would then fumble on their next play with Noah Kirk recovering with 1:48 remaining. With Northfield out of time outs, the Knights moved the ball until they could take a knee and preserve a 40-34 win.
For Southwood, Robbie Cole was 8 of 16 for 139yds, 2 TD. Nathan Hollars rushed for 203yds on 27 carries. Jon Berlie rushed for 60yds. Danny Goff caught 5 passes for 117yds. Jacob Lloyd had 1 catch for 12yds.
The Knights had 61 tackles, led by Kale Weiss with 13, Ryan Barton 12, Tristyn Howell 10, Nick McCown 9.
For Northfield Carter Frieden was 9 of 19 for 86yds. Alec Wells had 7 carries for 122yds, Josh Bickel 14 for 72yds. Carter Frieden and Jarred Short had 26yds each.
Shane Vigar had 4 catches for 39yds, Alec Wells 2 for 22, Josh Bickel 1 for 13 and Marcus Kroh 2 for 12yds.
Alec Wells led Northfield with 16 tackles,