FORT WAYNE – North Side coach Ryan Hall reminded someone as he came off the field Friday that he had to be in Huntington at 7:45 a.m. today for a junior varsity game.
Hall’s early wakeup will probably feel even earlier after his Redskins outlasted time and Huntington North 51-25 in a game that went almost to 11 p.m.
“It was going to be a long game because both teams throw the ball so much,” Hall said.
The game was delayed in the first quarter for 30 minutes when the Vikings’ Alex Kaylor had to be taken off the field on a stretcher.
Kaylor’s injury appeared to be a broken leg, and Huntington North athletic director Mike Gasaway didn’t know the extent of the injury immediately after the game.
“We talk about dealing with adversity all the time,” Hall said. “Injuries are horrible, and I feel for that kid. After that happens, though, you have to get back and get refocused and motivated again to play a game.”
The teams combined for 60 pass attempts and 17 penalties.
North Side running back Anthony Linnear and quarterback C.J. Jackson each accounted for four scores. Linnear, who also plays linebacker, ran for 248 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown, hauled in two TD catches and returned an interception for a score.
“We had a couple of setbacks, and then we got back into the game,” said Linnear, whose scoring receptions came from Jackson and backup quarterback Earrels Lewis. “In the second half, … we got rolling, our offense put up points, and our defense stopped them at the end.”
Jackson threw for four first-half touchdowns and finished with 178 passing yards. He completed one pass in the second half for five yards.
“C.J. Jackson can make plays,” Hall said. “Tonight, it was the Anthony Linnear show. You have to decide whether you are going to try to stop Anthony Linnear or C.J.”
North Side improved to 2-0, while Huntington North fell to 0-2.
“We are not playing our best football, and we don’t plan to until about sectional time,” Hall said.
Cliff Thomas added 124 yards rushing and a touchdown for North Side.
North Side led 33-19 at halftime as the two teams combined for 521 yards. North Side had 293, and Huntington North had 228.
“Most of the time, we were late getting calls so people were backward,” Linnear said. “We just started stepping up (in the second half), and it worked out for us.”
For Huntington North, Drew Schnitz threw for 286 yards and four scores. He also threw three interceptions.
“We have to shore up our secondary,” Hall said. “It’s not talent-wise, it’s mental stuff. That secondary is going to be OK, we just have some work to do.”