As expected it was a low scoring affair tonight at NW Cabarrus. The two offenses could not establish much production trading possessions just about the entire first 24 minutes. Late in the first quarter with 2:51 NW scored on the foot of their highly touted place kicker for a field goal. That was it for the scoring as the Ragin' Bulls went to the locker room down 3-0. It was only the second time this season the Bulls have been shut out in the first half.
NW did end the first half with a missed 37 yard field goal. The opportunity came after a critical mistake by special teams play. Hickory Ridge was called for roughing the punter after a great defensive stand appeared to give the Bulls one more chance to do something on offense before the break.
At the 3:18 mark in the 3rd quarter, NW scored on a 9 yard TD pass play. A 3rd down play, high fade route to the back corner of the end zone extended the Trojan lead to 10- 0.
On the Bulls next possession it looked like the Bulls were making a statement. Brian Baltimore broke through the middle, then cut left and scampered 62 yards for a TD. Only issue, a holding penalty near mid field nullified the great run.
The Bulls did keep the drive alive to start the 4th quarter. Baltimore scores from 32 yards out and with 10:27 in the contest the score was HRHS 7, NW 10.
The Ragin' Bulls defense makes another strong statement forcing NW to a 3 and out off the ensuing kick off. Bulls offense seemed poised to really take control of the game after the NW punt. Bulls set of offense at their own 43 with 8:18 to play. On a first down sweep to the left, Baltimore goes down hard and is forced to the sidelines for the remainder of the series. The Bulls go 3 and out and are forced to punt again. A big roll off the foot of Dillion Burdette pushes the Trojans back to their 17.
Once again the Ragin' Bulls Defense bends, but does not break and after 1 first down, the Trojans are punting.
The final offensive series. The Bulls let the Trojan punt land and roll to the 27 yard line. With 3:11 in the game, Bulls are 63 yards from victory. Brian Baltimore returns, and carries on first down for no gain. 2nd down, pass falls incomplete, 3rd down incomplete pass, 4th down, strong pressure from the defensive line and another incomplete pass. North West holds on and salts away a conference win in front of their fans on Homecoming night.
The loss simply means that Hickory Ridge will take a much more difficult path to the playoffs. They could certainly use some help in seeing AL Brown or Concord falter before the next couple of weeks. Next week, HRHS host AL Brown at the Ridge.
Come on out and support your Ragin' Bulls.
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