JIMTOWN — Some of that old Black Crunch magic, two blackouts and one bear of a Bear at quarterback blended to make NorthWood a high school football winner in head coach and native son Nate Andrews’ first game back with the Panthers on Friday, Aug. 22.
Travis Bear scored two second-half touchdowns, added a two-point conversion and finished with 152 yards on 19 keepers as NorthWood rallied to defeat host Jimtown 14-6 at sweaty Knepp Field in a contest that lasted 3 hours, 23 minutes in real time.
“I told the kids that crazy things happen in opening games, to just expect the unexpected, and we sure had that tonight,” Andrews said, alluding primarily to the blackouts, as well as to the swing of momentum that the Panthers unleashed on the Jimmies in the second half.
Jimtown led 6-0 at halftime and had outgained NorthWood 243-82 in total yards — only a pair of turnovers deep in Panther territory preventing the Jims’ lead from being bigger — but then the visitors surged back to outgain the hosts 228-108 and add another takeaway in the second half on their way to the win.
The field lights went out twice, once in each half, for a combined 38 minutes, due to what school representatives described as power surges and overheating.
For the first time ever in the series that stretches the last 18 opening nights, the Panthers topped Jimtown for a second straight year, winning 21-20 last August.
NORTHWOOD 14, JIMTOWN 6
Scoring by Quarters
NorthWood 0 0 6 8 — 14
Jimtown 0 6 0 0 — 6
School — Scoring Play
J — Tyler Lundy 2 run; kick failed, 11:30
N — Travis Bear 9 run; kick failed, 5:43.
N — Bear 1 run; Bear run, 10:24.
Officials: Dave Slupczynski, St. John; Jeff Nordyke, McCordsville; Jeff Kolwitz, Whiting; Mitch Orsburn, Valparaiso; Gio Mameniak, Hobart.
Team Statistics NW Jim
Net yards rushing 264 281
Net yards passing 46 70
Total Yards 310 351
First Downs 19 14
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 5-3
Penalties 8-82 9-103
NorthWood: Rushing — Travis Bear 19-152, Tanner Cleveland 13-72, Dominic Miranda 9-40. Passing — Bear 5-10-48 (0 int.), Trey Bilinski 1-3-(-)2 (1 int.) Receiving — Bailey Gessinger 3-27, Trent Sellers 2-11, Zach Schwartz 1-8.
Jimtown: Rushing — Marquis Schieber 12-122, Kenny Kerrn 13-93, Mason Castro 8-33, Max Magyar 6-29. Passing — Dylan Guldager 1-1-37 (0 int.), Schieber 4-6-23 (0 int.), Sam Pawlak 1-1-10 (0 int.). Receiving — Pawlak 1-37, Adam Gill 1-13, Jake Grove 1-10.
Interceptions: Jimtown — Guldager.
Fumble recoveries: NorthWood — Marshall Shafer 2, Cleveland.