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October 26, 2013

Big quarter keys Tigers' road win

NW smacks Blackford with 28-point explosion in second quarter.

HARTFORD CITY ­— It took Northwestern nearly an hour and a half to make the trek to Blackford on Friday night, but the Tigers’ D needed only a couple minutes to put the Bruins out of reach.

In its first-ever game against Blackford, Northwestern overcame a slow start in its Class 3A Sectional 28 first round game at Bruin Field to run away with a 42-17 win.

In a sectional bracket loaded with ranked contenders, the Tigers (7-3) will host No. 4-ranked Yorktown (9-1), a 21-20 winner over Eastbrook on Friday, in next week’s semifinal round.

“Coming in, there were a lot of good teams in this sectional and the good thing is, half of them are done now,” Northwestern coach John Hendryx said. “We get to play another week and we’re glad to have that opportunity.”

Nursing a 7-0 lead one quarter in, the Tigers’ defense took advantage of several Bruins mistakes over the next 12 minutes as Northwestern exploded for 28 points to go up 35-0 at the half and essentially put the game on ice.

Blackford fumbled on its first possession of the second quarter but the Tigers gave the ball right back, coughing it up three plays into its ensuing drive.

The Bruins couldn’t capitalize and were forced to punt on a quick three-and-out. Keagan Downey busted through the line to block the punt and Billy Parslow scooped up the ball and raced 38 yards for six points to set off the second quarter scoring frenzy with 7:30 to play in the half.

“We were a little flat out of the gate,” Hendryx said. “Not having school [Friday] and being on that bus for an hour and 20 minutes, I was kind of afraid that might happen. Then Keagan blocked that punt and kind of got us our momentum back. From that point on it just raised us emotionally and we put it away in a hurry.”

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