The Northern Guilford Nighthawks dominated the first half of Friday night’s game with Ragsdale at Johnny Roscoe Stadium, but in the second half, the Nighthawks let the Tigers back in the game with penalties and weak offense.
In the first quarter, the Ragsdale offense failed to get momentum. Northern’s punt defense was tackling the Ragsdale punter Bradley Tullar before he could get the kick off in what appeared to be a rugby-style kick instead of a punt. This set up Northern’s first scoring drive of the game. The Nighthawks started on the Tigers’ 49-yard line and drove down field with steady completions to Michael Frogge from quarterback Will Lenard. Lenard connected with Frogge from 25 yards out for the first touchdown of the night after a seven-play drive. Lenard found Frogge in the far corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion. The score was 8-0.
The Nighthawks were also successful on their first drive of the second quarter when Lenard connected with Frogge once again for a Nighthawks touchdown. This time, the pass was a mere 5-yards, and Northern led 14-0 after the kick failed.
Frogge complimented his teammates and play-calling in the touchdowns.
“I ran the fade-route after checking with the quarterback, and he couldn’t have thrown a better ball,” Frogge said of his first score. “The second one was a great offensive call by Coach Westberg. He noticed that Ragdale’s Devan Boykin was following me around. He put me in the box and out on a flat route, and I was wide open.”
On Northern’s next two drives, the Nighthawks put points on the board, each time following a mishap on Ragdale’s punting team.
Slater Ward booted a 37-yard field goal with just under two minutes to go until halftime. After the field goal, Northern’s Will Lenard scampered 10-yards for the touchdown, making the score 24-0. The score remained the same going to halftime, but the teams came out looking completely different after halftime.
A small change – inserting Devan Boykin at quarterback for the Tigers – seemed to do the trick.
It was if the energy and mistakes had switched sides of the field, especially in the fourth quarter when Ragsdale began to put points on the board.
Northern’s defense spent a lot of time on the field in the second half, leading to penalties that moved the chains on Ragsdale drives.
Neither team scored in the third quarter.
Ragsdale finally scored its first touchdown of the night midway through the final quarter when Tyrell Carmichael broke free and ran 32 yards for the score. The Tigers attempt at a two-point conversion failed, and the score was 24-6.
The next Tigers’ score was 3:21 later, when Alston Hooker connected with Devan Boykin for a 41-yard touchdown pass. Carmichael ran the ball in on the two-point conversion and the score was 14-24.That left the Tigers three minutes and nine seconds to score twice.
On-side kicks were attempted, but none were successful. The Tigers ran out of options when Northern got the ball back with 1:15 to play on a Hooker interception.
Northern Guilford head coach Erik Westberg saw both good and bad things from his team during the game.
“I thought we played a good first half,” he said. “In the second half we couldn’t get anything mustered offensively at all, which led to having our defense on the field way too much and way too many penalties. The penalties are something that we’re trying to correct, hats off to our defense, they played a pretty darn good game for us.”
Westberg said he was happy with the effort from his team.
“Our kids play hard. I’m really happy about that. The effort has been there these first three weeks. We just have some things to clean up, that’s all.”
Northern Guilford improves to (2-1) on the season with the victory and will play at home next Friday when they host their rivals, Northwest Guilford.
Ragsdale drops to (1-2) overall in 2019 with the loss. They travel to Southwest Guilford for their rivalry game next Friday.
(NG)Michael Frogge 25 pass from Will Lenard (Frogge pass from Lenard)
(NG)Frogge 5 pass from Lenard (Kick failed)
(NG) Slater Ward 37 Field Goal
(NG) Lenard 10 run (Ward kick)
(R) Tyrell Carmichael 32 run (Pass failed)
(R) Devan Boykin 41 pass from Alston Hooker (Carmichael run)