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Northridge wanted to set the tone early in its non-region match-up against Kearns Friday night, and its offense got off to the right start in the first half. Kearns, however, had no intention of going down easily as it made some noise of its own before eventually falling to the Knights, 42-27.
Northridge wasted no time building a lead as it scored touchdowns on each of its first three possessions. Quarterback Karson Casteel was effective in leading a balanced offensive attack as he threw for two touchdowns and ran for one more in the first half alone. Running back David Adams accounted for another first half touchdown on a seven-yard scamper as Northridge took a 28-6 lead into the locker room.
The second half proved to be quite a different story thanks to a couple of big breaks that turned to the Cougars' favor. After recovering a fumble by Adams at midfield, the Cougars went on a 50-yard drive capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run by James Felila. Quarterback Justin Summers helped set up the score with a 33-yard scamper a few plays earlier.
The breaks continued for Kearns as it managed to block a punt deep in Northridge territory. Fifteen yards later, Summers found the end zone on a quarterback sneak, but the Cougars still trailed 28-19 after their second missed PAT.
Things really got interesting after Kearns turned it into a one-possession game, thanks to another Summers touchdown run, this time from 15 yards out. The two-point conversion attempt was successful, and Kearns found itself down just eight, 35-27, with five minutes left in the game.
The Kearns defense was able to get the ball back to allow the offense one last chance to tie the game. But four straight incomplete passes resulted in a turnover on downs.
Northridge was finally able to put the game away for good after an 18-yard touchdown run by Adams gave it a 42-27 advantage with under a minute left.
Casteel accounted for four of Northridge’s touchdowns — three through the air and one on the ground. Adams had three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving, for the Knights. Summers and Felila provided the bulk of Kearns’ offensive production with Summers finding the end zone twice, Felila once and the two connecting on a key two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.