UTICA — The ground-and-pound offense of the Northridge football team proved to be too much Friday night.
The Vikings, behind a big offensive line, rushed for 385 yards en route to a 46-27 victory over host Utica in Licking County League action.
“We have a young offensive line that continues to get better,” said Northridge coach Jay Campbell. “And give credit to our backs. They made the cuts when they needed. The big thing was we stayed ahead of the chains.”
The Vikings (3-6 overall, 2-1 LCL) averaged 7 yards a carry, picking up double-digits on 10 of their 57 carries. It proved to be too much for the Redskins (1-8, 0-3).
“They did not do anything fancy. They just fired off the ball and chunked us,” said Utica coach Charlie Rowley.
The game was an offensive explosion right from the start as both teams used big plays to score on their opening drives.
Utica landed the first blow with a 52-yard touchdown pass from Mack Marston to Garrett Meyers, but the Vikings responded with a five-play scoring drive, capped off by a 28yard run by Cole Fox.
A mental mistake by the Redskins set up Northridge for another score and it was 13-7 with just seven minutes elapsed from the game clock.
Meyers then had his second big play of the night, scoring on a 30-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.
Northridge scored on its next two possessions to take control. A 1-yard run by Jake Reese was the first score, then quarterback Brenden Workman connected with Ashton Dick on a play-action pass play for 60 yards. A good run fake totally broke down the Redskins defense on the play.
“That was definitely a big help, a big momentum changer,” Campbell said.
A 33-yard run by Meyers, his third touchdown of the game, closed the gap to 2621 at halftime.
The teams traded scores in the third, but the fourth quarter proved to be all Northridge.
The Vikings scored twice in the period, on 2-yard runs by Parmer and Fox. And, the defense shut down Utica to pull away for the victory.
“Hats off to our defense. We started getting guys in the right position and make them work for their yards,” Campbell said. “That’s the philosophy of our defense — make them work to beat us.” “Overall, I’m pleased with the offense. We moved the ball a little better,” Rowley said. “But, we stalled on a couple of drives late that hurt us.”
Fox finished the night with 230 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns. Parmar added 128 yards on 20 carries, while Dick and Workman connected for 60 yards on the only passing completion.
Utica was led by Meyers, who had 120 yards rushing on 17 carries and 54 yards receiving on two catches. Marston added 38 yards rushing and caught three passes for 36 yards. He also connected on 2 of 4 passes for 65 yards. Collin McCullough was 5 of 10 passing for 42 yards.
The Redskins will finish up their season next Friday, traveling to Lakewood.