JASPER — Northwest Whitfield’s offense left at least one score on the field Friday. The Bruins defense made sure that didn’t matter.
Northwest picked up its second road win to start the season, winning 20-7 at Pickens on Friday after opening the season two weeks ago with a win at Pepperell.
The Bruins (2-0) held the Dragons (1-1) to 298 yards of total offense, with the lone score coming thanks to a special teams mistake.
“They’re playing good and hard,” Bruins coach Josh Robinson said. “Defense has been the backbone for Northwest Whitfield ever since I’ve been here.”
It appeared the Bruins would put a lot more points on the board, but quarterback Silas Ledford gave up a red-zone interception in the first quarter, and Northwest was stopped on fourth-and-goal at Pickens’ 1.
But the defense was there.
“We have the offense’s back,” said defensive back Andy Whisenant, who had an interception in the first half. “If they’re down one night, then we have their back.”
The biggest stand came early in the fourth quarter. Northwest led 17-7, but Pickens was on the tail end of its best drive of the night after starting from its own 43. On third-and-goal from the Bruins’ 4, running back Shannon Brooks was stopped at the 1. Jacob Godfrey missed a 21-yard field goal with 11:36 to play .
All of the first-half scoring came in the first quarter. Northwest took the lead with a 72-yard, nine-play drive that ended on a 4-yard run by back O’Shea Hill with 6:17 to go. It was set up by a 47-yard pass from Ledford to wide receiver Brady Middleton.
Only three minutes later, Ledford found wideout Jalen Lockett on a 71-yard bomb to give the Bruins a 14-0 lead.
“That’s a little more of an established program, and we’re still getting there,” first-year Pickens coach Chris Parker said of the difference between the teams. “Tonight, to be honest, they beat us up and down the field. They were better than us.”
After another Pickens three-and-out, Northwest looked to widen the gap even more, but Kaleb King fumbled a deep punt, and the Dragons recovered inside the Bruins’ red zone. It only took two plays for quarterback Tanner Brumby to find the end zone with 2:07 left in the first quarter.
Northwest kicker Miguel Villa had field goals of 38 and 34 yards for the only scores in the second half.
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