ELKHART — Northridge’s defensive front four of seniors Sam Stahley and Lucas Wickey and juniors Michael Fickert and Isaac Zickafoose led the way Friday, Oct. 18, as the Raiders stymied Elkhart Memorial at every turn.
The Raiders (7-2, 5-2) held their Northern Lakes Conference foes to 50 total yards, threw them for losses eight times and had two takeaways in posting a 27-0 victory — the third shutout of 2013 and the first three-shutout campaign for Northridge since 1986.
With 5-foot-11, 180-pound Stahley, 6-1, 215-pound Wickey, 6-5, 240-pound Fickert and 6-1, 200-pound Zickafoose applying pressure, the Raiders made it very difficult for the Crimson Chargers (2-7, 1-6) to get much of anything going on offense.
“They’re just quick kids,” said Northridge coach Tom Wogomon of his D-line. “They’re not overly huge. Through their quickness and athleticism cause a little bit of chaos.”
It was Fickert’s fumble recovery at the Memorial 10-yard line that helped lead to the Raiders’ fourth touchdown.
While the Raiders held the Chargers to 34 rushing yards, the visitors also kept Memorial to 2-fo-14 passing for 16 yards and an interception (by junior linebacker Cam Ridenour).
“We had pressure most of the night on their throws and that always helps our secondary,” said Wogomon. “The defense just played really well. That was a testimony to coach (Mike) Logan and the defensive staff having the kids ready to go.”
Northridge scored on the game’s opening drive and went on to get touchdowns in the first possessions of the second and third quarters, too.
Junior running back Travis Schlabach ran for 1- and 5-yard touchdowns in the first and third quarters, respectively, and wound up with 102 yards on 15 carries.
Cam Ridenour’s 11-yard TD run in the second quarter and junior Derek Woolsey’s 23-yard scoring aerial from senior Tanner Love plus two extra points from senior Jerry Burciaga and one from junior Hunter Hardin accounted for the rest of the Raider scoring.
Northridge was coming off a 35-7 loss to Concord in what was then a clash of two of the NLC’s three leaders.
Wogomon said it was important for his team to end the regular season on a high note heading into the Class 4A sectional home game Friday, Oct. 25, against Fort Wayne Dwenger.
“We had a go-to-work mentality at practice this week and it showed out here tonight,” said Wogomon. “We knew we had to come out and not give much momentum to Memorial.”
Chargers coach Bill Roggeman watched the Raiders get rolling early while his team struggled.
“We didn’t play very well,” said Roggeman. “Northridge was ready to play and took it to us. Give them a lot of credit.”
Memorial’s defense was able to sack Love two times and had two other tackles for loss. The Chargers did not give up too many big-yard plays with the exception of two 23-yard pass plays to Woolsey and runs of 19 and 16 yards by Schlabach.
The next Memorial game is a Class 5A sectional game Friday, Nov. 1 at Concord.
NORTHRIDGE 27, MEMORIAL 0
Scoring by Quarters
Northridge 7 14 6 0 — 27
Memorial 0 0 0 0 — 0
School — Scoring Play
N — Travis Schlabach 1 run; Hunter Hardin kick, 6:39.
N — Cam Ridenour 11 run; Jerry Burciaga kick, 11:12.
N — Derek Woolsey 23 pass from Tanner Love; Burciaga kick, :44.1.
N — Schlabach 5 run; kick failed, 7:52.
Team Statistics Nr Me
Net yards rushing 131 34
Net yards passing 82 16
Total Yards 213 50
First Downs 16 7
Fumbles-Lost 3-0 2-1
Penalties 6-45 7-80
Northridge: Rushing — Travis Schlabach 15-102, Cam Ridenour 10-40. Passing — Tanner Love 7-13-82 (0 int.). Receiving — Derek Woolsey 2-46, Payton Carson 3-23. Fumble recovery — Michael Fickert. Interception — C. Ridenour.
Memorial: Rushing — Jaylin Rhodes 9-30. Passing — Nathan Troutman 0-8-0 (1 int.), Trevor Trowbridge 2-6-16 (0 int.). Receiving — Troutman 1-11, Kaleb Summers 1-5.