FORT WAYNE – This wasn’t one of those football games in which the outcome was never in doubt.
But it was darned close.
The North Side Redskins had a couple opportunities for early touchdowns that failed, but the Redskins recovered from those gaffes for a 27-13 victory over the Snider Panthers at Spuller Stadium on Friday night.
Junior quarterback Mike Lovett led the way for North Side (3-3, 3-1 SAC) by completing 19 of 32 passes for 299 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed 19 times for 66 yards.
As a defensive coordinator, it would give me fits (to face Lovett), Redskins coach Ryan Hall said. He does a great job. He’s young still. There are some plays that he needs to make that he doesn’t. But he’s a competitor. There’s not really one guy that’s going to bring him down play after play. He’ll keep making plays and has tremendous heart.
And I’ll tell you this right now: Everyone is going to talk about Lovett, but our offensive line did a phenomenal job tonight. That was the question coming in: Would our offensive line be able to protect?’ They did a phenomenal job.
North Side junior Nick Cook had one catch for 22 yards and a touchdown, while rushing 20 times for 49 yards and a touchdown. Senior Tabor Jordan had eight catches for 147 yards and a touchdown before leaving with a leg injury in the third quarter. And senior Zach McKinstry had seven catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
It was tied at six before Lovett’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Cook, who caught it just past the line of scrimmage and then bolted up the middle of the field with 7:30 remaining in the second quarter.
Snider answered with a 59-yard touchdown pass from junior Colton Painter to senior Isaiah Newton, who got behind double coverage to make the play. Newton and totaled six catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
North Side started to put the game out of reach with 25 seconds remaining in the second quarter thanks to Cook’s 3-yard touchdown run for a 20-13 lead. It came on a speed option play to the right and Lovett delivered the key block after pitching the ball to Cook.
The only score of the second half came on a 15-yard pass from Lovett, who scrambled to break free of several defenders before finding Jordan in the left side of the end zone.
After that, the Redskins defense took over. Senior Latavion Guy had an interception and a blocked extra point. Junior Shawn Hill had an interception and a sack.
The key for us was to not give up and to finish out the game, Lewis said.
Snider (4-2, 4-1) got 45 rushing yards from junior Neandre Billingsley.
Painter completed 17 of 41 passes for 185 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, but he was held to incompletions on 10 of 11 passes through a key stretch in the second half.
Snider is a great opponent and we wanted to match up with them, said Hall, whose team is tied for the fewest losses in the SAC with Snider and Bishop Dwenger.
We hadn’t played four quarters this season, but we came pretty close to doing it tonight. Give a lot of credit to Snider, though. They are a heck of a football team. But give a lot of credit to our kids, too.