LAYTON — In a game that boasted game-changing special teams play, stifling defense and creative offense, Northridge outlasted Davis 21-20 in double overtime Friday.
Both teams were held scoreless in the first half, but then things really heated up. Northridge drew first blood with a 43-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Braden Mitchell to receiver Blake Hansen late in the third quarter, putting the Knights up 6-0.
Davis' came right back on the ensuing possession to tie the game. On a third and seven, quarterback Conner Van Brocklin rolled to his left and then reversed field back to the right, with the entire Northridge defense sucking left, receiver Nick Grunniger was open deep in the end zone. The extra point put Davis up 7-6.
Late in the fourth quarter, Davis punt returner Zac Borden fumbled, which Northridge recovered on the 39-yard line. Northridge turned to its bruising running back, Peni Maka'afi, who had several big gains, including an eight-yard touchdown run. Needing to go for two to push the lead to seven, Northridge broke out the statue of liberty play, Mitchell held the ball until the last possible second and before getting tackled handed it behind his back to Maka'afi who rumbled 10 yards to the end zone.
On the ensuing kickoff, Davis' Zac Borden completely redeemed himself for the earlier punt by returning the ball to the Northridge 46. Van Brocklin then took turns carving up the Northridge secondary, eventually setting up a first and goal at the five-yard line. But after two stuffed runs and a quarterback sneak the Darts found themselves facing a fourth and goal at the two with only 38 seconds remaining. Fortunately for Davis, Van Brocklin was able to find fullback Kyle Burk for the touchdown, and the extra point tied the game at 14.
In the first overtime, Northridge held Davis to a field-goal attempt that was blocked by Alex Froelich. Northridge was unable to convert on its first overtime possession after an offensive pass interference call knocked them out of field goal range.
On their second overtime possession Northridge scored on a four yard Maka'afi run, and the extra point put them up seven. Davis matched their touchdown on a four-yard run by Steven Pitcher but missed the extra point attempt, giving Northridge the victory 21-20.