LAYTON — Funny things happen when the Knights and the Lancers tangle.
This one might have topped them all.
A year ago the stadium lights went out forcing the two teams to wrap up the game in a Saturday matinee, which Northridge won in double overtime.
With six of the last seven games between the two schools being determined by four points or less — including three overtime affairs — Northridge coach Erik Thompson made a gutsy call, playing for a likely win in regulation rather than a tie.
After the Knights pulled to within 28-27 on a three-yard Davy Adams run with 1:56 to play, Northridge went for two. Nate Kusuda’s pass fell incomplete, seemingly ending the Knights’ comeback bid.
However, with Layton burning the clock, a fumble gave the ball back to Northridge and kicker James Baird connected on a 45-yard field goal with 1:01 to play to give the Knights an unlikely victory with 23 unanswered points. “Is that not one for the ages right there? I don’t know what happened to be honest with you,” Thompson said. “I’m proud of my kids for responding and fighting and sometimes crazy things happen.
“We have a saying around here that fate loves the fearless and the only mistakes that I’ve ever really felt coaching and regretted is that I wasn’t more aggressive. I felt, shoot, we might not be able to stop their offense in overtime. It was probably more out of respect for Layton and the way their offense was playing. Let’s take the lead right now because I felt to that point Layton had outplayed us and let’s see if we can steal a win here.”
The contest started out with Lancers clicking on all cylinders , as they built up a 21-7 first quarter lead.
Northridge’s Dallin Isaacson caught a four-yard scoring pass from Kusuda sandwiched around a pair of 14-yard scoring runs by Layton’s Wille Uasilaa.
Layton’s Hunter Evans then found Tyler Fox on a 73-yard scoring connection and the Lancers moved their advantage to 28-7 with another Evans to Fox TD with 15 seconds left in the half.
From there the Lancers self-destructed missing a pair of field goals and committing three second half turnovers that all led to Northridge points.
Adams kick-started the comeback with an eight-yard run with 10:08 to play in the third period.
Northridge then mounted its late surge with 17 points in the final six minutes. Eliyah Mayberry cut the deficit to 28-21 with a four-yard run. The Knights then turned a tipped pass interception led to their final touchdown.
Uasilaa led the Lancers with 235 yards rushing on 28 carries.