The Northwood Chargers earned their first Big 8 football conference victory of the season Thursday, defeating the Cedar Ridge Red Wolves by a final score of 20-13.
At the half, Northwood (3-4, 1-1) trailed Cedar Ridge 7-6, with neither team able to get much going offensively. The only highlights were a 12-yard rushing touchdown from London Sanders for Cedar Ridge with 1:12 left in the first half, and a 43-yard punt return from Northwood’s Cameron Goins.
The Northwood offense came alive in the second half when the Charger’s Treyvonne Barnes caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Alex Parker to put Northwood up 12-7.
Trent Gill, the kicker for Cedar Ridge (4-3, 1-1), kept his Red Wolves in the game. Showing off a powerful leg, Gill nailed a field goal to cut Northwood’s lead to two points at 12-10.
Northwood turned back to Barnes to respond and take a commanding lead. Alex Parker threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Barnes with 7:33 left in the fourth quarter, and, after a successful two-point conversion, the Chargers were up 20-10.
Another great kick from Gill kept the Red Wolves close, but they needed a defensive stop. They got it, forcing a punt that dribbled deep into Cedar Ridge territory.
Facing a long field and a dwindling clock, Cedar Ridge was forced to throw up a last-second prayer of a pass that was intercepted, ending any hopes of a comeback. The Chargers, playing in front of a packed homecoming crowd, sent their fans home happy.
Northwood came out of the half firing, picking up large chunks of yardage and scoring by the 10:54 mark in the third quarter. The biggest play of the drive came on a 40-yard pass from Parker to Barnes that set the tone of the second half.
THREE TO KNOW
Alex Parker, Northwood: Parker wasn’t perfect, but he led his Chargers to their first conference victory of the season by being smart with the football and knowing who to target. He finished 13 of 23 passing for 224 yards and two crucial touchdowns.
London Saunders, Cedar Ridge: Saunders had 56 rushing yards on 15 carries for the Red Wolves. He combined with Shemar Miles (38 yards, 13 carries) to form a nice one-two punch at running back for Cedar Ridge.
Cameron Council, Northwood: Playing cornerback, the Northwood junior made an impact Thursday evening. He made a couple big hits, was excellent in pass coverage and picked off Cedar Ridge’s final pass to secure the victory.
Northwood sophomore Cameron Goins’ 43-yard punt return energized the home crowd and gave the Chargers their first points of the night. On the return, Goins had a lot of space, but was patient in waiting for his blockers to open up a lane. Once he found it, Goins was off to the races for six.