Northridge Sneaks By Gordo From Its Own 29 Yard Line
The Gordo Green Wave had just taken a 21-16 lead after senior quarterback Tanner Bailey completed his eighth consecutive pass to start the second half. Senior wide receiver/linebacker Ben Capps hauled in two clutch receptions in succession, one juggling on the sideline to secure a first down, the next in spite of pass interference in the endzone.
The Northridge Jaguars rushed twice with Kollyn Shelnutt at quarterback for a total of nine yards. Starting quarterback Whitt Winfield took the snap under center at his own 29-yard line for a quarterback sneak, but when he opened his eyes after a few steps, he realized the choppy grass before him was open for the next 70 yards.
"My eyes were closed, I can't take credit for that," Winfield said after the game. "That's all my offensive line."
"When we call a quarterback sneak from the 50, or the 40 or whatever it is, I mean we're expecting to score," head coach Mike Vickery said after the game. "That doesn't happen much. That's a freak play."
Northridge took a 24-21 lead with just over two and a half minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
Bailey, who rectified a 3-of-9 for 36 yards start with an interception in the first half with a nearly perfect second half, took the field at his own 20 and proceeded to march the field yet again. He found Capps behind the Jaguars' defense on a critical 4th & 5 that Capps took 43 yards into Jaguar territory.
Three plays later, Gordo faced a 3rd & 8 at the Jaguar 35. Bailey looked right and tossed in the direction of Rayshawn Williams, but Bailey's lone incompletion of the second half was disrupted by sophomore defensive back Travaris Banks. On 4th down, Bailey found Williams on a swing pass, but the senior running back was only able to grab five yards.
"You know that they're gonna make plays with him at quarterback," Vickery said. "We were able to get just enough stops, the one stop that we needed."
Bailey finished the night 16-23 for 186 yards with two touchdowns and an interception and a rushing score.
"At the end of the day, it came down to making plays and they made them at the end when it counted," Gordo head coach Ryan Lolley said after the game. "We've got an opportunity to go back and work on us and get ourselves better for the rest of the way."
The Green Wave will head into its BYE week 4-2 before traveling to Hamilton, Alabama, to take on the Aggies.
The Jaguars has played its last regular-season home game standing at 6-0. Northridge will begin a tough road schedule with inter-city rival Hillcrest Patriots which are on BYE after starting the season 3-2.
The Jaguars hold the best record in Tuscaloosa and, in turn, a great deal of confidence.
"We have a grit mentality," Winfield said. "There's that this team can not overcome. We're the toughest team in this city and I'll stand by that through anyone. We've had the same mentality each week, each game. But we know who's next week and we'll be ready."