More than a football game is yet to be decided when Northwest and West restart their game this morning at 10:30 a.m. at Carpenter Stadium.
For one thing, West's homecoming royalty have to wait the remainder of the first half to be announced. The leveling of a record at 2-2 also hangs in the balance.
The game was suspended Friday night with 10:43 left in the second quarter. The Grizzlies had just increased their lead to 9-0 when four defenders tackled West quarterback Dorian Flournoy in the end zone for a safety.
Northwest struck quickly for an early lead, with Andrew Etheridge bolting through the Pioneers defense for a 71-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage. He took the handoff from quarterback Jordan Wiedemann, hit the hole quickly and was gone. He led Northwest in rushing with 76 yards on five carries.
"If we could just stop giving up a big play, I'd really love our defense," West coach Heath Henderson said. "We have yet to give up a touchdown this season under 30 yards."
West took the ensuing kickoff and drove to its 46 before the drive stalled. But West stayed alive by recovering the fumbled punt return at the Northwest 30.
"That fumbled punt hurt us, took a little momentum away from us," Northwest coach Weston Schartz said.
The Pioneers drove inside the Grizzlies' 5 before turning the ball over on downs at the Northwest 1.
"Offensively, we get ourselves inside the 10, and we're not finishing," Henderson said.
Northwest drove downfield, powered by six runs from senior Demarcus Robinson. Robinson then was tackled for a 5-yard loss to the West 25. The Pioneers declined the penalty, and a fourth-down pass from Wiedemann to Donivan Moore got most of the yardage back, but West took over on downs at its 1. Robinson has 58 yards on seven carries.
After an incompletion on first down, Flournoy was sacked for the safety.
Henderson said there's reason for hope in the postponement.
"We like to throw the ball, and it's going to be dry (today) and not a slick ball, so hopefully that works in our favor," said Henderson, who put his thumb and index finger an inch apart and said, "We are this close from being a pretty solid team."
Flournoy passed six times before the suspension, completing five for 26 yards.
Schartz said: "It was a weird night. We're going to have to refocus, get back at 10:30 and play. We've got to tackle better. Shoot, they're picking up some yardage on us, and we've got to play better pass defense. But, we're moving the ball."