PERRIS – The first quarter was a clear example of Murphy’s Law: almost anything that could go wrong went wrong for the North football team.
Penalties, bad snaps, the inability to move the football … and that put the Huskies into an early 10-point hole.
North shook off the rust and went on to score 20 unanswered points to beat Orange Vista 20-10 in a Sunbelt League opener on Friday night.
“We need to improve these kinds of games as a team,” said Ahson Elliott, who scored two touchdowns. “We never got discouraged or lost hope of falling 10-0. We kept fighting and ultimately achieved the result that we achieved. ”
Orange Vista (3: 3) got off to a sensational start when their defense forced the game’s early possession into a turnover.
The offense stepped on the field and went 63 yards in six games. Elijah Robinson rolled to his right and found Sonage Johnson for the 23-yard scoring strike.
North’s sluggish start continued throughout the opening quarter. A couple of bad snapshots, one on special teams and one on offense, resulted in collateral and a 10-0 lead for Orange Vista.
“We said goodbye and faced very strong opponents so I’m not surprised that we started slowly,” said Northern coach Opalani Vaipulu.
North (6-0) turned things around in the second quarter. Defense made a crucial stop on the fourth loss and the offense final managed to get some big plays.
Jaidyn Gamble linked up with Elliot for a pair of 23 yard wins, the second a screen pass which Elliott turned into a touchdown.
“Football is a game of dynamism and we only needed that first big play to get him on our side,” said Elliott.
North later used a tight field to take the lead in the second quarter. Venasio Mikaele carried six 42 yards on this drive, including a 6-yard run, to put the Huskies 14-10 ahead at halftime.
Both teams were plagued by penalty shootouts in the first half. North saw a touchdown return and two more long returns brought back for flags, and Orange Vista also had a touchdown for a penalty. The teams combined 17 penalties for 138 yards at halftime.
North’s defense also shone in the second half and put a lot of pressure on Robinson.
“We focused on our tasks and our keys,” said linebacker Leo Tupou. “All of these things are important in a game like this.”
Elliott scored a 6 yard run in the fourth quarter to seal the win for North.
“I think our youth showed today,” said Orange Vista coach Greg Zomalt. “The goal is to get better, and believe me, we will get better.”
Mikaele finished with 112 yards on 18 carries. Robinson passes for 181 yards for Orange Vista.