Shawn Hinkle is becoming familiar with the unknown.

Shawn Hinkle is becoming familiar with the unknown.

The coach has prepared his Northridge High School football team for five first-time opponents in the last two seasons.

The fifth and final first-timer, Minford, visits Friday, Oct. 7.

Despite winning the previous four meetings against new opponents, Hinkle said it's never easy to get a gauge on the competition in this situation.

"It's kind of difficult to scout (new teams) because there are a lot of questions that film does not answer," said Hinkle, whose team is 2-4 after losing 58-6 in opening LCL-Cardinal Division play Sept. 30 against Johnstown-Monroe. "You can't always tell how big or how good they are because you don't really know the caliber of the teams they are playing. Sometimes you have to see them on the field to figure things out like that."

In those matchups last season, Northridge defeated Washington Court House (14-7), Bradford (31-8) and Hicksville (43-0). This season, it beat Fisher Catholic 40-0 on Sept. 10.

Minford is 5-1 after defeating Portsmouth West 19-16 on Sept. 30.

In a 49-28 win over Williamsburg on Sept. 23, Tyler McCormick led the Falcons by rushing for 177 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Landon Caudill added 84 yards on four carries and caught five passes for 103 yards and two scores. Tyler Compton was 8-for-17 passing for 157 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Northridge dominated Bradford 48-0 on Sept. 23 as Logan Garee rushed for 107 yards and three scores on 11 carries. Daniel Hatfield was 12-for-17 passing for 137 yards with two touchdowns and ran for 64 yards and a touchdown in 10 attempts.

"We played a good ballgame (against Bradford) without question," Hinkle said. "We played better in every phase of the game. It's nice to see it when things start coming into shape."

Through five games, Garee had rushed for 666 yards and 12 touchdowns on 84 carries.

Defensive back Gage Linkous, who had 25 tackles, said the Vikings were playing better but still had work to do.

"We have been pushing fundamentals every day in practice," Linkous said. "It's something we need to work on. We have lost some close games this season and that should help make the difference."

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