Facing the defending Class 5A state champions, Northwestern came ready to play Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium.
Senior running back Darius Tice scored two first-half touchdowns as the Bulls never looked back in a 24-6 victory over Norland.
Northwestern (2-0) worked with a short field in the first quarter, needing just 26 yards on six plays following a fumble on the snap by Norland senior quarterback Greg Brown.
Tice, who also reached the end zone in the third quarter on a 5-yard run, finished with 34 yards on nine carries. The next scoring drive in the second started at the Bulls’ own 45. Four consecutive double-digit runs cumulated in Tice’s 13-yard dash.
Senior quarterback Randy Jones, Jr. went 10 for 20 with 147 yards and an interception.
Norland (1-1), meanwhile, punted four times through the first 24 minutes and didn’t reach its opponent’s territory until its second-to-last possession. The Vikings fumbled six times, turning the ball over on three occasions.
Twice errant snaps on punts created safeties that gave the Bulls four additional points in the second half.
Sophomore backup quarterback Joey Diaz-Martinez found junior wide receiver Kendrick Edwards for a 21-yard strike to avoid the shutout with 2:39 left in the game.
After recovering an onside kick, Norland moved down the field before Edwards fumbled on a completion.
The Vikings beat the Bulls 27-15 last year on the way to their Class 5A title.
•Jackson 34, Braddock 8:
Junior quarterback Quinton Flowers threw for two touchdowns and ran for a pair of scores to lead the Generals (2-0) over host Braddock (0-2).
Flowers’ most spectacular play was a 62-yard TD run in which he broke about seven tackles, most of them in the backfield when it appeared he would be trapped for a sack.
“That looked like what [Cam Newton] did against LSU,” Flowers said.
On the ensuing extra-point try, Flowers, the holder, got the ball on two hops and decided to run for it, crossing the goal-line by carrying a defender on his back. That made the score 22-8, and it virtually iced the game.
The muddy field at Braddock hurt the Bulldogs early. Braddock fumbled the opening kickoff and turned the ball over on downs on its second possession after a bad snap on a punt try. Both plays ended in a giant puddle between the 25 and 30 yard-lines and led to short-field TDs for Jackson.
The Hi-Tide offense was led by quarterback José Fernández, who threw for 159 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the team on the ground with 53 yards on five carries. Alonzo Foster ran for 46 yards and a touchdown, and Joshua Forcer also contributed with 34 yards on the ground.
North Miami (0-2) was led by quarterback James Volcy, who threw for 118 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 53 yards. Romane Charles led all rushers with 72 yards off 13 carries.
•North Miami Beach 12, Key West 7:
Visiting North Miami Beach shut down Key West’s running attack and defeated the Conchs at Tommy Roberts Memorial Stadium.
Trailing 7-6, the Chargers, who improved to 1-1, scored what proved to be the winning touchdown on a 28-yard pass from Cedric Wiggins to Immel Rai with 8:10 left in the third quarter.
Key West, which dropped to 1-1, had a first-and-goal from the Chargers 2-yard line early in the fourth but couldn’t score, losing 18 yards in four plays. Two successive unsportsmanlike penalties thwarted a later Conch opportunity in Chargers territory.
NMB was especially tough up the middle, holding fullback Elliott Valdez to 21 yards on 11 carries.
In the second quarter, Donald Roberts gave the Conchs a 7-0 lead with a 2-yard run before NMB cut it to 7-6 on a 1-yard run by Duane Jones.
The Lions rushed for more than 250 yards of offense.
Leading a stable of dynamic running backs was sophomore Emmanuel Readon, who ran for 70 yards and three touchdowns.
“The line did a good job blocking,” Readon said. “I work hard, take no days off and come and grind every day.”
Lions running back Montrell Thomas chipped in for 97 yards to help seal the victory.
•Monsignor Pace 36, Champagnat 28:
Pace flew out to a 22-0 lead midway through the third quarter, but thanks to some shoddy kickoff coverage, the Lions (0-1) made things close at the end.
Champagnat’s Charles Williams took a kickoff back 91 yards for a score to make it 22-6 and had two other returns of 80 and 75 yards, which also set up Lion scores.
Leading 22-12 with 7:48 left, Pace turned in a kickoff return of its own when Henderson Gray went 75 yards for a touchdown to make it 29-12.
After cutting the lead to 29-20, quarterback Ben Voke took the Spartans 80 yards in six plays, hitting Malcom Anderson for a 17-yard touchdown with 2:58 to make it 36-20 and put the game away.
Pace (1-1) was led by running back Garrett Jones, who finished with 107 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.