A new offense sparked an opening-night victory for the Northridge High School football team.
On Aug. 30, the host Vikings ran a hurry-up offense that kept Millersport off-balance throughout a 42-0 win.
"We put in a whole new offense and we know it better than (the offense from) last year," said junior quarterback Bryant Garee, who was 9-for-16 passing for 87 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. "It's a lot more simplified and we have a lot of repetition. We're not changing things up as much as we did last year."
With fewer plays to sort through, the Vikings kept Millersport out of sync and winded.
"It helped to slow down their corners and helped me get open on routes," said junior wide receiver Chase Hess, who caught two passes for 60 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown from Garee. "It also wears down the defensive linemen, so they don't get as much pressure (on the quarterback)."
Garee said the pace of the offense made a difference, helping to tire out the Lakers' defense.
"It doesn't allow them to make substitutions," he said. "It keeps them on the field."
Eric Dills caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Garee. The senior running back also rushed for 40 yards, including a 5-yard score, on six carries as the Vikings totaled 430 yards, 343 rushing.
"It felt good to get the first win," Dills said. "We came out and played as a team and that's something we need to continue to do. Now we have to keep our heads up and keep working hard in practice."
Coming off foot surgery in January, senior running back Jacob Burke rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries.
Burke also had five tackles and a sack as a linebacker. Senior lineman A.J. Mooney led the defense with eight tackles, while junior linebacker Brennan Angus and Dills both had four tackles.
Senior linebacker Tanner Williamson had two tackles and two interceptions.
"We didn't have mental mistakes to break our concentration. We didn't have any turnovers and only a couple of penalties," offensive coordinator Joe Rucker said. "We know it gets more difficult with each week, but we're focusing on getter better one game at a time. We focus on what we can do to get better and not on the other team."
The Vikings played Sept. 6 against Fairfield Christian before playing Friday, Sept. 13, at Harvest Prep.
"Harvest Prep is one of those teams that you always know will have good athletes," coach Darby Riley said. "They have different lineups from year to year, but they are always athletic.
"They play on turf, so they will speed things up. We have to make sure we're fundamentally sound against a fast team like that."
Volleyball team out to slow start
The girls volleyball team was 1-5 overall and in the LCL before playing Watkins Memorial on Sept. 7.
Northridge lost to Newark Catholic 25-11, 25-16, 25-16 on Sept. 5.
The Vikings lost to Heath 25-13, 25-21, 25-20 on Sept. 3 despite seven kills by junior setter Faith Miller. Senior hitter Sara Pribonic and sophomore hitter Savannah Legg both had four kills, and senior hitter Addison Anderson added three kills.
Pribonic had six kills in a 25-19, 25-19, 25-16 loss to Lakewood on Aug. 31. Junior hitter Megan Hatfield added four kills.
On Aug. 29, Northridge lost to Granville 25-15, 25-9, 25-18 as Pribonic had four kills and three aces. Miller had six kills, Hatfield had four kills and junior setter Hunter Adkins had two aces.
Soccer team looking for win
The boys soccer team was 1-3-1 overall and 1-2 in the LCL after defeating Licking Heights 4-2 on Sept. 5.
Senior defender Michael Travis had one goal with one assist and junior midfielder Jesse Nussbaum, junior midfielder Jack Roudebush and sophomore midfielder Noah Anderson all scored one goal. Junior defender Regan Turner also had an assist and sophomore goalkeeper had 10 saves.
The Vikings lost to Liberty Union 2-1 in a non-league game Sept. 3. Senior midfielder Connor Johnson scored for Northridge and sophomore midfielder Robi Patrick had one assist. Pritts had 11 saves.
Golf team faces Newark Catholic
The boys golf team was 6-9 in the LCL after losing to Newark Catholic 170-187 on Sept. 5 at Moundbuilders.
The Vikings defeated Heath 162-180 in league play Sept. 3 at Clover Valley. Junior Matt Simmons led with a 37. Junior Ethan Doon and junior Nick McConnell were next with 41s and senior Austin Bilderback carded a 43.
On Aug. 29, Simmons shot a 40 but Northridge lost to Lakewood 157-176 at Harbor Hills. Bilderback was next with a 43, followed by freshman Chris George (46) and Doon (47).