Football: Northfield, weather shut down Red Wing
If there is ever a good time for a weather delay during a football game, halftime is about as good as it gets.
That was the scenario that played out Friday night, as Northfield and Red Wing sat in the locker room for an extra 20 minutes as the storm that hovered over Red Wing High School was allowed to pass. Or, at least, the lightning that caused the delay to pass.
After the light show carried into Wisconsin, the Raiders and Wingers resumed play. The game continued on much like it had in the first half as Northfield rode a solid ground game to a 38-0 win on Red Wing’s homecoming.
The rain and lightning seemed to be just another obstacle in the way of the Wingers, who endured quite the homecoming week.
“There was so much stuff going on. There was way too much going on,” said senior Tyler Rea. “We have to focus on certain things. (Our) head wasn’t in the game today.”
The Raiders weren’t in the game immediately, either. Northfield fumbled the ball away on its first two possessions, but Red Wing was unable to capitalize, netting negative-28 yards due to three penalties and a sack.
After the Wingers punted, the Raiders were finally able to strike first with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Tommy McDonald to Bret McNamara. A first-play Tait Kelly interception gave Northfield another chance right away, and Josiah Bardwell cashed in from 13-yards out.
The Wingers then held defensively on the Raiders’ next drive, but the offense started at its own four-yard line, and took a safety when Kelly was sacked on a third-down pass attempt.
Northfield would score on its ensuing possession to take a 23-0 halftime lead.
Despite the score, the Wingers showed promise defensively with Rea creating havoc and the line doing a decent job of bottling up the Raiders’ triple option attack.
“Defensively we came in with a new plan, some stuff we haven’t run this year. We tried to get after them,” Schultz said.
Added Rea, “We have a completely different defense now. It’s really odd. We have to get used to it right away. (If we) get used to it, it will show in the future of how we do.”
If the Red Wing offense can come around – the group had less than 100 total yards – the team can surprise its final two opponents. But first, Schultz said, it must stop making mistakes, both on the field and in the film room.
“When it’s third-and-26, there (are not a) not a lot of options in the playbook … so (defenses) can pin their ears back. Shoot, we tried to run a screen and the nose guard is standing on the line of scrimmage and just grabbed Isaac (Toivonen)’s ankle,” Schultz said. “I thought I had a good pass blocking system in place today, but I didn’t. And that’s all on me.”
And that pass block will open things up for Kelly as well as the rest of the offense.
“If we’re going to run the ball, we have to pass the ball,” Schultz said. “If we’re going to do that, then I have to do a better job. That’s my fault.”
Red Wing (0-6 overall, 0-5 Missota Conference) will travel to New Prague (0-6, 0-5) next week before closing out the Missota Conference for good by hosting Chanhassen (4-2, 4-1) on Wednesday, Oct. 16.