Northridge Closes Out Regular Season with Rout of Alma Bryant
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The Northridge Jaguars defended home field in style on senior night, defeating the Alma Bryant Hurricanes 41-14.
6A Northridge was facing game action against a 7A opponent, but that didn’t stop the Jaguars (7-3) from striking first and striking often. The Hurricanes (3-7) closed the season with five straight losses following this result.
“We didn’t play super football tonight,” said Alma Bryant head coach Bart Sessions. “We’re getting there, we’re taking steps. It’ll be a different thing next year… We didn’t handle the day as well as I’d like for us to.”
Toryion Spears, the Jaguars’ senior tailback, scored first on a run approximately three and a half minutes in. The point-after was blocked, and the Hurricanes held strong for the remainder of the quarter, keeping Northridge at bay for the remaining 8:23. Spears scored one play after Caleb Moore intercepted a tipped pass from Alma Bryant’s Christian Mose.
The second quarter was when things started opening up in Northridge’s favor. Rowdy Christensen hit Patten Curington for a red zone touchdown with 9:02 to go in the frame, and then found him again roughly five minutes later and let Curington’s athleticism do the rest.
Evidently, Spears was not keen on missing out on the second-quarter fun. Spears took in his second rushing touchdown of the game from five yards out with 1:38 to play in the first half.
The ensuing 27-0 score was the margin at the break.
In quarter number three, another Jaguars playmaker joined the team’s party. Senior wideout Kollyn Shelnutt was quiet in the first half, save for a nifty move here and there, but he scored two straight touchdowns in the third frame. The second was on a running play that looked like it was going to come to a stop at the line of scrimmage, only for Shelnutt to break the tackles, reverse his field and score.
That would wrap up the scoreboard festivities for Northridge on senior night.
On the final play of the third quarter, Alma Bryant broke the shutout in the form of an Isaiah Dixon rushing touchdown. This ensured that although the Hurricanes’ season was over, the team would not be blanked in its final outing.
The Hurricanes scored again on a two-yard quarterback sneak from Mose, with 5:52 to go in the game. Sessions said his quarterback’s play was one of the main positives of the night.
“Our quarterback played hard,” said Sessions. Mose had several runs throughout the night and would occasionally break one for a long gain. No matter what, he kept attacking a Northridge defensive line that gave him trouble throughout the game.
Northridge head coach Ryan Lolley was complimentary of his team’s performance heading into the playoffs.
“I’m proud of our guys’ resiliency, and they fought hard," said Lolley. "I thought they played more of a full game, and [we] had the opportunity to play some young guys, and that was important for us too.”
Lolley continued to emphasize discipline as a vital area for his team to be successful in postseason play.
“I think being consistent in what we do in each phase of the game is important, and that comes back to discipline and hard work,” he said.
“At this point in the year, your guys are either ready to pack it in, or they’re wanting to get better and just see how good they can get. Fortunately for us, our guys are wanting to climb to the next level, so we’re ready to work and get after it.”
While Alma Bryant’s season is over, Northridge will now set its sights on central Alabama’s Pelham Panthers for the first round of the playoffs next Friday.
“We know they’ll be ready," Lolley said. "Nothing more exciting than getting ready to play a great football team and being in high school playoffs.”
The Jaguars will travel to Pelham for the huge matchup.