NorthWood Panthers fall in 4A state title, 42-14

NOW: NorthWood Panthers fall in 4A state title, 42-14

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Trust has been the name of the game all season long for Nate Andrews and his NorthWood Panthers.

That trust continued Saturday as NorthWood took on the East Central Trojans in the team’s first state title appearance since 2016.

Out the gate, neither team could finish offensively, leading to a 0-0 score after one quarter.

Shortly into the second, the Trojans struck for the first time on a QB sneak, putting them up 7-0.

However, NorthWood had an answer, as Quarterback Owen Roeder would connect with NiTro Tuggle for a long touchdown to tie it 7-7.

East Central had a response of their own and scored shortly after, marking the third score within 90 seconds of game time. The Trojans would punch the ball in again before halftime to take a 21-7 lead into the break.

NorthWood's defense struggled out the gate in the third quarter, allowing East Central to score, making it 28-7.

Down 21 late in the third, NorthWood attempted to push for a comeback, and drove down inside the East Central five yard-line. A bad snap forced Roeder to scramble for the ball and heave the ball toward the endzone on fourth down, leading to an interception.

Roeder would connect with NiTro Tuggle for another score in the final minute of the game, but the East Central run game dominated the second half, leading to a final score of 42-14.

Head coach Nate Andrews is proud of his team's growth despite the loss and was happy that his team inspired the youth of the Nappanee community to push forward and become championship caliber players themselves someday.

East Central finishes their season a perfect 15-0 and captured their second straight 4A title.

NorthWood ends the year at 12-3 overall.

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