Jordan Wiedemann was sharp, and so was the Northwest defense.
And that was all the Grizzlies needed for a 35-12 win over North on Friday to improve to 2-0 in Class 6A-District 7.
“I thought our defense, other than one big play, was really excellent tonight,” Northwest coach Weston Schartz said. “I wanted to do a little more on offense, as far as throwing, but our running backs did a horrible job of holding onto the ball.”
After Northwest went up 7-0 on a TJ Thurman 9-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, Grizzlies linebacker Bennett Moore intercepted a Danny Jones pass and got almost the entire Northwest defense in front of him on the way to a 73-yard touchdown return and a 14-0 lead.
“I was trying to make my read and (Jones) threw it right to me,” Moore said. “Right after I picked it I wasn’t thinking touchdown, but then I saw all those blockers in front of me. I was kind of surprised that I scored.”
Wiedemann, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior, completed 7 of 13 passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns. He found Zac Franklin for his first score, from seven yards, to give the Grizzlies a 21-0 lead at halftime.
“Our offensive line was good on pass protection tonight, and when that’s happening we can throw a little more,” Wiedemann said. “A lot of our mistakes come from us having young players.”
Northwest opened the second half with a big mistake, when North’s Chaz Mack scooped up a Jaron Thompson fumble and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown and cut the Grizzlies’ lead to 21-6.
“I picked it up right as it was getting ready to go out of bounds and just took off,” Mack said. “I felt like we had a chance to get back in the game, but bad communication got us. We just couldn’t finish at all tonight.”
Thurman fumbled the ball away on Northwest’s next possession, but North couldn’t capitalize and Wiedemann found Barbour for a 13-yard touchdown pass and a 28-6 lead with just over two minutes left in the third quarter.
Thompson led Northwest with 96 rushing yards. Danny Jones led North (0-8, 0-2) with 129 passing yards and a touchdown.
Northwest can clinch the District 7 title with a win over South next Friday.
“We’ve worked hard to get to this point, and getting to the (state) playoffs would be a big payday,” Moore said. “It would mean a lot.”
North (0-8, 0-2) 0 0 12 0 — 12
Northwest (4-4, 2-0) 7 14 7 7 — 35
NW—T. Thurman 9 run (Mills kick)
NW—Moore 73 interception return (Mills kick)
NW—Franklin 7 pass from Wiedemann (Rawlings kick)
N—Mack 75 fumble return (kick failed)
NW—Barbour 13 pass from Wiedemann (Mills kick)
N—Ray 68 pass from Jones (pass failed)
NW—Thompson 16 run (Mills kick)
Rushing—North, Rollins 2-1, Pratt 17-64, Jones 2(-15), Daniels 1-(-6). Northwest, Franklin 1-11, Moore 3-18, Widemann 5-(-18), Thompson 16-96, Hughes 2-15, A. Thurman 7-30, T. Thurman 7-33, Cuda 3-8, Terrell 2-8.
Passing—North, Jones 9-30-129-1. Northwest, Wiedemann 7-13-81-0.
Receiving—North, Daniels 3-14, Ray 2-73, Hinojos 2-19, Hayes 1-12, Schueller 1-10. Northwest, Cornado 2-19, Moore 1-10, Franklin 2-21, Rotunno 1-16, Hughes 1-18, Barbour 1-13.