Knights get victory from backup quarterback

Oct 4 2013 - 11:36pm

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PLAIN CITY -- He is 2-0 as a starter and the Knights have won back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Junior quarterback Ben Jackson, a three-year JV starter who took over as Northridge's top guy after two-year starter Nate Kusuda broke his collarbone in the third quarter of the Syracuse game on Sept. 20, threw three touchdown passes Friday and the Knights' defense pitched a shutout versus winless Fremont at Moyes Field.

"You have to be happy with a shutout because that means you won the game," said Northridge coach Erik Thompson.

The Knights rode Jackson's three touchdowns -- two to senior tight end Jace Colby -- and Robert Crawford kicked two field goals covering 38 and 31 yards in a 27-0 Region 1 whitewash of the Silver Wolves.

The 17-year-old Jackson completed 19 of 28 passes for 250 yards with no interceptions. He connected with Colby on 39- and 45-yard touchdowns, and also tossed a 4-yarder to junior tailback Dayan Lake -- a BYU commit -- with 6:36 remaining.

"I thought we would be more run heavy with quarterback runs," Thompson said. "Ben showed he can handle everything we did with Kusuda. I was playing it by ear on play calling, but Ben was sharp early on deep balls."

Colby had six receptions for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Lake rushed for 67 yards on 13 carries.

"Our run blocking and pass blocking was the best it's been this year," Thompson said. "We've had some guys hurt who are getting healthy, and we've moved some guys around. The OL had a great week of practice."

Northridge converted three Fremont turnovers -- two interceptions and a fumble -- into 10 points. The Knights did not commit a turnover.

"No turnovers; we're getting better at that," said Thompson, who is 66-39 in 10 years at the 'Ridge.

"The best thing Ben did tonight was checking down and finding the second guy," he said. "There were a number of plays called where the first read wasn't there and Ben found the second guy.

"That's what Nate used to do in his sleep, and Ben is getting better at making the checkdown each week," Thompson said.

Houston Lacey and Lake each had a pick and Josh Hawes had a fumble recovery for Northridge, which went 0-3 in preseason.

"We don't care about that. We have to continue to improve, and play an undefeated Davis team next week," Thompson said.

The Silver Wolves blocked a punt on Northridge's first possession, but an ensuing 30-yard touchdown reception by freshman Haze Hadley at 5:30 of the first quarter was negated by offensive pass interference.

Contact reporter Dennis Larsen at 801-625-4264, dlarsen@standard.net.

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