Northridge Outlasts Gordo 17-13
Friday night, the Northridge Jaguars (6-0, 3-0) took down the undefeated Gordo Green Wave (5-1, 3-0) 17-13. While these teams have deep football roots in Tuscaloosa county, this is the first time that both teams have played.
Junior Northridge running back LiEric Street led the Jaguar offense by rushing for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. In addition to Street, sophomore running back PJ Hall showed that he was a force to be reckoned with. Hall rushed for 42 yards on eight carries, averaging over five yards a carry. In total, the Jaguars gained 269 yards.
In addition to Street's two touchdowns, kicker Aileen Charles hit a fourth-quarter field goal. Her 25-yard score forced Gordo's hand and caused them to start getting aggressive with their play calling.
Jaguars’ head coach Mike Vickery had high praise for his defense, “I think, defensively, we played really well. We were able to get them off the field. Other than the big play [in the third quarter] and the big special teams play, the defense played lights out.”
While the Jaguars’ defense had a slow start in the first quarter, they quickly made adjustments after halftime. A third-quarter interception picked off by senior defensive back David Livingston, a clutch fourth-quarter interception by senior defensive back Zach Bates, and a game-sealing fumble, recovered by senior defensive lineman Jordan Roberts secured an outstanding defensive performance.
Though they came up short, the Gordo Green Wave still managed to flex their offensive muscle. Led by Alabama recruit, junior quarterback Tanner Bailey, the Green Wave gained 279 total yards. Bailey passed for 219 yards and a touchdown; he went 16-for-30 and threw an interception and lost the game-ending fumble.
Along with Bailey’s 70-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Hunter Oglen, the Green Wave also scored on a 65-yard punt return by safety and junior wide receiver Lawson Neel.
Despite the loss, Gordo head coach Ryan Lolley praised his team’s resilience. He acknowledged their efforts throughout the whole game, “Our guys came back and fought hard in the second half. I think we can really build off this experience.”
Gordo made risky decisions in the third quarter to kick an onside kick after each score.
“We had an opportunity to get the ball back, and it was getting later in the game. It's like anything else you do- you practice it, and everything isn’t going to work,” Lolley said.
Gordo has a bye week next week, but in two weeks, the Green Wave will look to bounce back against Hamilton High School. The region matchup will be played at Pickens County High School again.
Northridge’s unblemished record will be put to the test next week with a home matchup against cross-town rival Hillcrest, who recently got their first loss in Hueytown to the Golden Gophers.