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High school football: Syracuse defense stymies Northridge

SYRACUSE — Jake Dallimore, Hunter Dimick and the rest of the Syracuse defense expect absolute dominance every time they step on the field.

With performances like the one turned in Friday night against Northridge, convincing them otherwise might be difficult.

Dallimore and Dimick combined for 13 tackles and three sacks as the Titans stonewalled the Knights 14-0 in the Region 1 opener for both teams.

The Knights, who put up 36 points last week in their season-opening victory against Jordan, had only 135 total yards, eight first downs and played just one drive on the Syracuse side of the field.

"We expect to have zero points on the opponents' board every time," Dallimore said. "We had a good week of practice and everyone did their jobs."

After forcing Northridge to punt on its first drive of the game, Syracuse marched 53 yards on 10 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Senior Kayden Davies led the way, rushing the ball seven times for 36 yards, eventually plowing into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the Northridge 2.

With that lone score, the game was pretty much already over.

Northridge's best opportunity to score came midway through the third quarter when it found itself starting a drive at the Syracuse 45 after a shanked punt that traveled only seven yards.

The Titans' defense stiffened though, allowing just four yards on three plays to force a punt.

"It gets us excited when the offense doesn't move the ball," Dallimore said.

Syracuse made it 14-0 on its next possession when quarterback Tanner Russell bolted 78 yards to the end zone.

The Knights seemed to have something brewing on their next possession and even moved the ball out to their own 45, but once again, the Titans' defense held, thwarting a fourth-and-2 attempt.

"They did a heck of a job containing the quarterback and shutting down receivers," Syracuse coach Russ Jones said. "They came to play."

With all the hoopla made over such a fast start to the region part of the schedule, it might have been easy for Northridge to make excuses.

But coach Eric Thompson said his team was just overpowered.

"Syracuse shut down our running game," Thompson said. "I thought their front seven was the best we've seen in a while."