Prep football: Northwestern falls to Indian Lake

Northwestern High School senior John Angell grabs Indian Lake's Kaleb Hurley from behind during their game on Thursday night at Taylor Field in Springfield. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED
Northwestern High School senior John Angell grabs Indian Lake's Kaleb Hurley from behind during their game on Thursday night at Taylor Field in Springfield. Michael Cooper/CONTRIBUTED

The Northwestern High School football team is searching for answers on offense.

Northwestern’s Nick Morton returned an interception 34 yards for the Warriors lone touchdown as Indian Lake rolled to a 34-8 win in Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division action on Thursday night at Taylor Field in Springfield.

Defensively, the Warriors caused three turnovers, but were only able to capitalize on one of them. The offense gained 187 yards and drove into Indian Lake territory three times, but were unable to get the ball into the end zone.

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“We just have to find a way offensively to put some drives together and move the football,” said Warriors coach Shane Carter. “We just couldn’t do that tonight.”

Indian Lake’s Caleb Wurster threw three TD passes in the first half. Lakers running back Elijah Slagle rushed for 191 yards and two second half TDs to seal the victory for Indian Lake (1-2,1-1). Northwestern’s Ed Boehmer and Evan Hager each had interceptions for the Warriors.

The Lakers had 22 first downs, while Northwestern had 10. Sophomore quarterback Brock Mansfield went 17-for-40 for 187 yards, while senior running back Nathan Dewey had 84 total yards for the Warriors.

The Lakers drove 79 yards on eight plays to open the game, scoring on a 38-yard pass from Wurster to Kaleb Hurley.

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With 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Morton picked off Wurster and returned it 34 yards into the end zone. Nathan Dewey converted the two-point conversion to give the Warriors an 8-7 lead.

The second quarter belonged to the Lakers. Wurster found Lane Mefford on a 20-yard TD pass to make it 13-7.

With about three minutes remaining, Wurster found Hurley for a 33-yard TD pass to increase their lead to 20-7.

After Hager’s interception, Northwestern drove to Indian Lake’s six-yard line, but couldn’t time expired.

The Warriors got the ball to open the second half and drove to Indian Lake’s 29-yard line, but were stopped short on fourth down.

“We’re just not executing, not catching the football, not physical upfront as far as running the football,” Carter said. “We struggled offensively across the board.”

Slagle scored on runs of five and 45 yards in the second half for the Lakers.

“In the first half, we gave them touchdowns,” Carter said. “We had bad eyes. We just didn’t read our keys, so we gave away some things. As they wore us down, they were able to move the football with (Slagle) and do some things up front. They’re a well-coached team that just came up and competed harder than us today.”

Northwestern (1-2, 1-1) travels to North Union next Friday night. The Wildcats beat the Warriors 14-12 last season.

“We just have to work on ourselves and our program getting better,” Carter said. “Right now, we’re beating ourselves. … We’ve got to get better as a program.”