Northwest defeated 34-41 in last regular home game

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Northwest defeated 34-41 in last regular home game

The Vikings line up for a play on their final drive of the game against Ragsdale. Northwest suffered a 34-41 loss against the Ragsdale Tigers.

The Vikings line up for a play on their final drive of the game against Ragsdale. Northwest suffered a 34-41 loss against the Ragsdale Tigers.

Jared Morgan

The Vikings line up for a play on their final drive of the game against Ragsdale. Northwest suffered a 34-41 loss against the Ragsdale Tigers.

Jared Morgan

Jared Morgan

The Vikings line up for a play on their final drive of the game against Ragsdale. Northwest suffered a 34-41 loss against the Ragsdale Tigers.

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Northwest suffered a 34-41 loss Friday to Ragsdale in what will likely be the last home football game of the 2018 season.

The night began with a moment of silence in memory of Ragsdale assistant principal Jean Ransom, who died in a car accident earlier in the week.

The Vikings got off to an early start in the game. Senior Cam Cloud ran for a touchdown on the first drive, after the team went for it on a fourth down, giving Northwest a 7-0 lead.

The lead was not to last.

Ragsdale soon scored a touchdown of their own after a similar decision to go for it on fourth, but muffed the extra point, making the score Northwest 7-6. The relief in the stands was palpable, but it too would not last.

Northwest struggled for the remainder of the first quarter, as an interception thrown by quarterback Johnny Pagano gave Ragsdale a second touchdown, making the score Northwest 7-13.

Another brief moment of glory for the Vikings occurred early in the second quarter. A pass and subsequent rush by Pagano gave Northwest two back-to-back first downs, and another successful pass put the team in position for their second touchdown. Junior David Phillips kicked the extra point, giving Northwest the lead once more, with a score of 14-13.

Ragsdale scored again on their subsequent possession, making the score 14-20, which would give them the lead that they would maintain for the rest of the game.

The two teams scored one touchdown after another, but Northwest was unable to regain the lead. Three touchdowns by Northwest (one with a missed extra point) and four by Ragsdale made the score 34-41 with 2:51 left in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings rallied on their final drive, steadily advancing up the field to the 40-yard line, with seconds on the clock. Pagano threw two incomplete passes before attempting a final, 40-yard Hail Mary pass that initially appeared to be complete. The student section erupted in cheers as the Vikings tasted victory once more, but soon it was ripped away: the pass was deemed incomplete, and the clock was allowed to run out, with Northwest losing 34-41.

Friday’s loss, which puts Northwest’s record at 4-6, was especially bittersweet for senior players, for whom the game would be the last one played at Northwest.

“It was obviously a tough loss,” said senior Will Sigmon. “But it was great how we came out in the second half. It really showed how much we care for each other.”

Senior Jacob Scheponik echoed Sigmon’s thoughts.

“Really tough game,” said Scheponik. “It came down to some big plays, but I’m proud of the team’s effort towards the end.”

Northwest plays one more regular season game at Grimsley on Nov. 2.

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