Masked Shorthand Warriors at Northridge

MIDDLEBURY – Wawasee knew he would face a strong Northridge side on Friday in the Northern Lakes Conference opener for both teams at the Interra Field at the Jane Allen Sports Complex.

The Raiders ranked No.8 in Class 4A by Associated Press and had won the first two games of 2021.

The Warriors arrived in town 0-2, 0-0 and shorthanded due to injuries and COVID-19 issues.

“We came here with 28 children,” said Wawasee coach Jon Reutebuch. “We had six or seven starters. We had six or seven sophomores in the field. We were mainly playing (junior university). We knew that when we arrived. We weren’t going to use that as an excuse.

There were long delays when Lucas Ringler and Chance Flannery fell for the Warriors.

Northridge led 35-0 at halftime en route to a 42-0 victory. There was a stopwatch in the second half.

“We don’t know what tomorrow will bring,” said Reutebuch. “We could have games canceled on the road. I would hate for us to take this game away and not play it.

Due to small numbers, the scheduled junior varsity game against Northridge on Saturday will not be played.

“We just don’t have enough kids right now because of injury, illness and quarantine,” Reutebuch said. “We knew it would be difficult, but we weren’t going to deprive ourselves of it.

“Every experience makes you better. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, doesn’t it? We will continue to move forward and improve each day.

The Warriors used Jaxon Brown at quarterback on Friday. He completed 7 of 18 passes for 57 yards with three catches by Nathan Larson for 40 yards leading the receiving body.

Cameron Zimmerman ran for 28 of his team’s 29 net rushing yards.

Wawasee finished with four first downs – two running and two passing. The Warriors saw two of their seven kicks blocked.

Northridge beat the Warriors for the fifth consecutive time – the first with Wawasee graduate Chad Eppley as the Raiders head coach.

“They are shorthanded,” said Eppley of the Warriors. “It happens, especially these days with COVID and things like that. It is difficult to understand.

“But like I said every week, our defense is the backbone of our team. We put a lot of pressure on (the defensive unit) and we expect a lot from them. They did their job thinking it was good.

On offense, Northidge had 123 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Tagg Gott, 77 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Kain Holderread and a brother act to quarterback Micah Hochstetler and receiver Jethro Hochstetler connected on a scoring pass.

Upcoming NLC games on Friday September 10 for Wawasee (at home against Concord) and Northridge (in Plymouth).

W – 0 0 0 0 – 0

N – 21 14 7 0 – 42

N – Tagg Gott Run 6 (Dylan Ritchie Kick) Q1 – 6:08

N – Peyton Shook 1 run (Ritchie kick) Q1 – 3:41

N – Gott Race 7 (Ritchie Kick) Q1 -: 30.9

N – Kain Holderread 8 run (Ritchie kick) Q2 – 9:38

N – Jethro Hochstetler 33 assist from Micah Hochstetler (kick from Ritchie) Q2 – 4:45

N – Holderread 6 run (Ritchie kick) Q3 – 3:16

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