MIDDLEBURY — Wawasee had the opportunity for the first offensive series Friday, Sept. 23 in Northern Lakes Conference football at Interra Field.

The Warriors took the opening kickoff and marched all the way deep into Northridge territory before settling for a 32-yard field goal by senior Tim Block and a 3-0 lead 11:54 of the first quarter.

Junior Hunter Tinkey scored both touchdowns for the visitors — one on offense and one on defense.

Wawasee followed that with goal-line stand against the Raiders. Moments later, a punt block by Northridge led to hosts’ first points.

The play before the field, senior quarterback Jaxon Brown went out with a right-leg injury. Senior and three-year starting left tackle Nico Ramirez was sick all week and did not play.

Wawasee coach Jon Reutebuch said that made the Warriors a target for sacks and pressures on that side of the line.

The Raiders (3-3, 2-2) topped the Warriors (1-5, 1-3) by a score of 42-17.

“It comes down to basic blocking and tackling and we didn’t do that very well,” said Reutebuch. “We were in the game early and — even at halftime — we felt pretty good about where we were at.”

Reutebuch says his club’s goes into next week with junior Mason Shoemaker, who took Brown’s place under center after the injury, and sophomore Reed Reidenbach 1-2 on the depth chart at QB. Shoemaker started Game 1 of 2022.

Northridge — coached by Wawasee graduate Chad Eppley — used uptempo to keep the Warriors guessing and it worked to the tune of six touchdowns — five through the air to four different receivers.

“We were trying to go fast tempo and keep them on their heels,” said Eppley. “I think it makes us play better when we go faster tempo.”

Eppley had kind words to say bout the Warriors.

“Coach Reutubuch coaches those guys up.” said Eppley. “That’s a good program that’s coming up. We knew that they were going to come out and hit us and be physical.

“They had their back-up quarterback in there and they still did a good job.”

The Raiders have now won last seven meetings with the Warriors.

On Friday, Sept. 30, Wawasee goes to Warsaw and Concord visits Northridge.