A steady effort on both sides of the ball helped the Huntington North High School varsity football team end the regular season on a winning note, as the Vikings defeated visiting New Castle, 28-14, on Friday, Oct. 12.
Quarterback Drew Schnitz completed nine of 21 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Backup QB Troy Akeley got in on the action as well, throwing a touchdown pass of his own.
Wide receiver Paul Ehler was the favorite target, leading the team in receiving with five catches for 108 yards and two scores. Caleb Richison added two catches for 72 yards.
Running backs Austin Shrock and Braydin Stell got into the end zone as well, both players catching scoring strikes.
Schnitz supplemented his work through the air with a team-high 88 rushing yards on 13 attempts. HNHS had 114 yards on the ground in 31 carries as a team.
The Vikings raced out to the early lead with a 13-point first quarter. Things quieted down in the second quarter, with the only points coming on a Trojan touchdown that was scored with .8 seconds left on the clock.
The Huntington North defense made sure that touchdown was an aberration as it yielded only seven points to New Castle the rest of the game. An insurance touchdown in each quarter by the Viking offense brought the game to its final tally.
Stell and linebacker Wyatt Cocklin factored into the team's solid defensive effort, with the former grabbing an interception and the latter recovering a fumble.
Pressuring the quarterback was defensive lineman Nathan Sutter, with a sack, and defensive linemen Cameron Hackney and Heaston Schwob, who shared credit on a sack.
Defensive back Chris Akeley led the team in tackles with five.
The Vikings end the regular season 5-4 with a 5-2 record in North Central Conference games. They open up postseason play next week by hosting Fort Wayne South Side.
Schnitz heads into sectional play with 27 touchdown passes against only six interceptions.