University's Zach Goodfriend is swarmed over by Northwood's defense in Friday night's game. (MARK CHODZKO, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER)

Loveland field goal helps University top Northwood


IRVINE – For the second year in a row, University beat Northwood with a late field goal.

Nick Loveland booted a 22-yard field goal with three seconds left, and the Trojans escaped with a 24-21 win over the Timberwolves

“He did it last year too against Northwood,” University coach Mark Cunningham said of Loveland. “I have a lot of confidence in him. But I will tell you what, Northwood played so tough tonight. We were glad to get this one."

It was a back-and-forth contest all night. Northwood (1-6, 1-1) tied the score, 21-21, on a 3-yard TD by quarterback Brandon Johnson with 8:39 left in the fourth quarter.

University (6-1, 1-1) looked like it might take the lead with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Alex Pourdanesh reached the goal line on a run, but when trying to get to get in, he fumbled the ball through the end zone for a Northwood touchback.

Four plays later, the Timberwolves went for it on fourth-and-1 at their own 29-yard line. University’s defensive line stopped Johnson inches short of the first down with 2:05 to play.

The Trojans then had sophomore quarterback Thomas Keeling step up to help set up the field goal.

On fourth-and-13 from the 32, Keeling found Darrius Outland open for 14 yards and a first down and two plays later Keeling connected with Outland on a 13-yard pass play to the 5.

University, which hurt itself with penalties and two turnovers on the night, moved the ball to the middle of the field and Loveland was perfect with the kick for the win.

Keeling completed 8 of 15 passes for 98 yards. University also got big performances from Pourdanesh, who had 134 yards rushing.

Clark Smith, who finished with 140 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, including one for 70 yards in the first half, and Jalen Robertson, who returned a kickoff 82 yards to give University a 21-14 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Johnson rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns and passed for another 46 yards to pace Northwood.

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