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HS Football: Northwest Indians Hang On to Top the Fairless Falcons 17-12

By Don DiFrancesco @MayorNEOPrep

Fairless 0 6 6 0 = 12

Northwest 7 10 0 0 = 17

CANAL FULTON, OHIO – The Northwest Indians withstood a late rally by Fairless, holding on to beat the Falcons 17-12 on Friday night. The victory puts Northwest in the driver’s seat for the PAC-7 title with a 5-0 record. Fairless slips to 3-2 with the loss.

Northwest scored early, with sophomore running back Ethan Nickey running for a 25-yard touchdown just three minutes into the game.

Both teams struggled to do much on offense for the next several series. The exception was a 43-yard pass completed from Northwest senior quarterback Jordan Mick to his sophomore brother Braden Mick. The Indians were unable to capitalize on the play, but they did gain a field position advantage that eventually forced Fairless to punt from deep in their own territory.

Northwest was then able to drive inside the Falcons’ 20, but penalties stalled the drive and they settled for a 37-yard field goal by sophomore Isaac LaFay with 8:24 remaining in the second quarter.

The Indians’ defense forced a three-and-out on the subsequent possession, and took over at their own 39, setting the stage for the biggest play of the game.

Northwest senior Anthony Grossnickle took a swing pass from Jordan Mick and exploded down the left sideline for a spectacular 61-yard touchdown. That gave the Indians a 17-0 lead with just under six minutes remaining in the first half.

Fairless took advantage of a Northwest mistake to get on the scoreboard just before halftime.

The Indians disdained the running game and it came back to bite them when Fairless senior Seth Short intercepted a pass and returned it 33 yards to the Northwest 7 with 0:20 showing on the clock. This led to a 4-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Ethan Brindley to junior tight end Coltin Colucci, cutting the Falcons’ deficit to 17-6.

Another Fairless interception injected some life into the Falcons late in the third quarter. Senior DB Reise Lanier picked off a pass at the Northwest 15 and took it into the end zone to make the score 17-12.

The fourth quarter was exciting with both teams having chances to score but with both defenses refusing to yield.

Fairless put together their best drive of the night after taking over on their own 23 with 6:18 to play. Eleven plays later they had advanced to the Northwest 36-yard line, and an unsportsmanlike conduct call put the ball on the 21 with 1:41 remaining. But Northwest senior DB Cooper Barnby made the big play—an interception to end the threat and seal the victory for the Indians.

1st Quarter

Northwest Ethan Nickey, 25 run (Isaac LaFay kick) 9:05

2nd Quarter

Northwest LaFay, 37 field goal 8:24

Northwest Anthony Grossnickle, 61 pass from Jordan Mick (LaFay kick) 5:55

Fairless Coltin Colucci, 4 pass from Ethan Brindley (kick failed) 0:02

3rd Quarter

Fairless Reise Lanier, 15 interception return (run failed) 2:53

4th Quarter

No Scoring

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