The Northwood Academy football team endured a winless campaign last year.
It didn’t take the Chargers long to ensure they wouldn’t go 0-for-the-season again. They rolled up more than 270 yards on the ground in a 34-0 victory over Academic Magnet at home on Friday.
“They enjoyed it,” Northwood coach Ryan Leaver said. “I told them as a staff we really wanted it for them. For them to reap the rewards of their hard work was awesome to see.”
Leaver said the Chargers put in the time in the offseason to give themselves a better chance at success this fall. They had a good vibe on game day but the anticipation made the hours pass slowly.
“Just getting to the kickoff seemed to take forever,” Leaver said.
Once the ball was booted to start the game, the Chargers went to work on securing their first victory celebration since blanking Hilton Head Prep 39-0 late in the 2017 season.
Senior running backs Tyler Gadsden and Clayton Stancil combined for over 200 yards, going for 102 and 104 respectively. Gadsden scored twice and Stancil once. Junior Sheldon Watkins contributed 57 rushing yards.
Sophomore quarterback Gabe Johnson tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Thomas Cook.
Junior Dez Dwight scored on a punt return.
On defense, Stancil had four solo tackles and six assists while senior linebacker Jacob Vicars had four solo stops and four assists. Senior Will Mullins made four solo tackles and assisted on three more. Gadsden had two solo stops and four assists.
Leaver’s team makes a two-plus hour bus ride to Dillon Christian on Friday to go for their second win in a row. Dillon Christian defeated Northwood 33-6 last season.
“They’re tough kids and their coach has been there for a while,” Leaver said. “We played them tight last year for a half and it got away from us.”
Dillon Christian didn’t play in Week 0.