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Northridge uses special teams to beat Bryant


TUSCALOOSA | The Northridge Jaguars ended the regular season with a win Thursday, defeating Paul W. Bryant 28-0. The Jaguars are 5-5 overall while Paul W. Bryant finished the season winless at 0-10.

Northridge scored on its first possession, using a mix of running and passing plays to keep the Stampede defense off balance. The Jaguars drove 54 yards, capped off with a 4-yard Deondre Rogers rushing touchdown.

Undaunted, the Stampede defense held the Jaguars’ offense scoreless on its next four drives with plays that included a goal-line stand and a blocked field goal.

Northridge held Paul W. Bryant to one first down in the first half.

After forcing a Paul Bryant punt, Northridge junior defensive back Jamorien Hill took the punt at the Paul W. Bryant 34 yard line and returned it for a touchdown to give the Jaguars a 14-0 lead.

"I just saw one of our plays went down, and we needed somebody to come in and get the job done," Hill said. "I saw an opening, and I went for it."

The Jaguars scored on its next drive, a 29-yard pass from junior quarterback Michael Cline to junior tight end C’yontai Lewis, rounding out the scoring for the half.

Northridge was able to add another score off another key special teams play in the fourth quarter when sophomore linebacker Lee Wicks returned a fumble off a blocked punt for 55 yards, giving the Jaguars its final 28-0 lead and win.

Stampede head coach Errol Jones said he was pleased with his team’s effort, despite the score and the effort his team has given all season.

"They didn’t give up," Jones said. "From the opening kickoff, till the end. I just hate it for my seniors, their last go around…. Those that stayed with me, I’m proud of them."

With the win, the Northridge seniors were able to earn at least a .500 season every year they played for the Jaguars. Northridge head coach Mike Smith said sending his team out as winners was huge, especially for the seniors.

"To finish up not with a losing record, pretty good," Smith said. "These kids have gone through a lot of stuff this year, a lot of drama. For these seniors, to never have a losing season in four years of 6A football says a lot."