EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The North Huskies secured a big week-one win against Castle on Friday. Head coach Joey Paridaen was pleased with his team’s performance in the 21-14 win.

“Well, I mean, anytime you play a program like Castle [in] the first game of the year, you know you’re going to be in for a true, grueling fight,” Paridaen said. “And, you know, that’s exactly what this game has been in the last few years. Unfortunately, we had come up on the short side of it the last couple of years. And this year, we were fortunate enough to have the ball at the end there and our guys really got out of it a really a tough victory. You know, I felt like we played well enough to win. We had some sloppy penalties and mistakes, but, you know, just really proud of our kids, the perseverance. And, you know, that last driver was one that we’ll take a lot of times this year.”

Since the 2019-20 season, the Huskies are one game over .500 and have struggled to find a groove when it comes to the win column. So playing a team like Castle in the first week of the season was already a tall mountain to climb. But the Huskies took on the challenge and faced it without fear.

“I thought we executed both of our game plans really well,” Paridaen said. “Offensively, we were able to control the line of scrimmage. We rushed the ball for over 200 yards and Sam [McKinney] had a really good game, throwing the ball for 150 yards. So we were pretty balanced. And we would have obviously like to put the ball in the end zone a few more times and got it on the board. But defensively, outside of two drives, our defense played really, really well and limited a really good Castle offense to just over 100 total yards.”

One thing North football has been known to produce are successful running backs. In Friday’s game, the team collected 243 yards on the ground and was mostly split between two backs, Cainen Northington–who took majority of the carries–and Jason Rucker II.

“Well, I mean, the running game has been a strength of ours for, you know, the last few years,” Paridaen said. “Obviously, we’ve had, you know, several good running backs. I mean, each year we have a kid that’s going over a thousand yards rushing. And so this year, I don’t visualize that being too different, to be honest with you. We have several capable backs. We had Jason Rucker who ran for 77 yards as well and probably could have been up over 100. He had some called back, so we got a more multifaceted rushing attack this year and the running backs Northington and Rucker are a little different than what we’ve had. Typically, we have more downhill guys that have some decent speed but can really break tackles. These guys are more shifty and can kind of make you miss. So, you know, we have some really capable backs and we’re excited about them, but obviously it all starts up front with their offensive line. Got an experienced offensive line and they really did a good job Friday night.”

The North Huskies will face off against Memorial this Friday, with the tentative start time at 6:30.