LAGRO TOWNSHIP - The Triton Trojans football team could only muster one first half touchdown on two Northfield Norsemen fumbles, and two more Norsemen mishandled punt snaps. The Trojans (4-6) tuned their sputtering offense in the second half, however, turning their 13-6 halftime deficit into a 22-13 Class 1A Sectional 44 semi-final win over Northfield (7-4).

Triton finally capitalized on another opportunity afforded them via good field position due to the Northfield punting team woes when they fielded Norsemen punter’s shanked 24-yard boot at the hosts’ 42-yard line.

“Our kids, when we came out at halftime,” Triton head coach Rodney Younis said. “They still had that fire. They weren’t going to leave this field without a victory.”

Northfield went from the fire into the frying pan when they were penalized with a dead ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalty before Triton stepped up to the line to run another play on second-and-ten at the Norsemen 30.

Suddenly the Trojans were in the red zone at the Northfield 15-yard line when sophomore Cole Shively completed his first pass of the night finding freshman wingback Dante Workman eleven yards out in the left side of the end zone. Anthony Schuh (24 carries, 91 yards, one TD) bowled into the end zone for a two-point conversion putting Triton up for good 14-13 with 8:09 left in the fourth quarter.

Northfield quarterback Jake Halderman coughed up one of his team’s five lost fumbles for the night 43 seconds later, and the Trojans were back in business.

A muddy night on the gridiron requires a good pair of shoes, and Triton certainly had a pair of Schuhs in their backfield: Anthony (6’1”, 205-lb. sophomore), and his older brother, 6’1” 235-lb. junior Trace. Big brother Trace (seven totes for 56 yards, first-half TD) set up Anthony’s 14-yard touchdown run at the 4:39 mark with runs of eight and 16 yards. Shively found Workman again, this time on a two-point conversion pass completion in the same spot in the end zone as their earlier touchdown connection to punctuate the effort and finish the night’s scoring.

“The only adjustment,” Younis said of his backfield duo, “was to get Anthony in a wildcat formation to run up the middle because we knew in these conditions, they weren’t going to give us anything outside.”

The Norsemen offense, whose triple option attack controlled the clock on the first half while outrushing the Trojans 127-30, committed three turnovers in the next three minutes.

Triton junior cornerback Amari Snyder picked off passes at the 3:18 and 1:39 marks in the final stanza after Trenton Conley recovered the fifth Northfield fumble at with 4:22 on the fourth period clock.

Northfield (144 rushing yards and 108 passing yards) outgained Triton (153 yards rushing, 11 passing) on the night, but they continued to stand in their own way. The Trojans held their hosts to 17 yards on the ground, and 19 yards through the air in the second half.

The five juniors who comprise the Triton offensive line were a vital cog to the second half offensive turnaround. Conley, Josh and Landon Lemler, Cam Shively also pulled defensive duties, and Ethan Howell, at tackle rounded out the lineup.

“They work hard,” Younis noted, “We’ve got some young guys on that line. The name of the game tonight was grit.”

Triton travels to Class 1A second-ranked Adams Central (10-1) Friday for the Sectional 44 title game.

“We were fortunate to have an opportunity to play them in the second round last year (a 38-14 loss),” Younis said of his next opponent. “They’re a very solid ball club. We’re going to have to play an amazing game and have some things go our way.”

“We’ve got a young team,” Younis said regarding his squad with no senior starters. “Our goal is to get to this spot because anything can happen.”