CLAYTON — Northmont rolled to a lopsided 48-13 victory Thursday over Vandalia-Butler in a game reminiscent of last week’s 44-12 rout of Tippecanoe, with one exception.
Northmont fumbled the opening kickoff to give the Aviators a first and goal at the Thunderbolts nine yard line and it looked as though Butler would hold an early advantage. But on the Aviators first play from scrimmage senior defensive back Cameron Rucker tackled Butler running back Ryan Martin and forced a fumble that Northmont linebacker Jason Zile recovered at the eight yard line to thwart the early scoring threat.
From there Northmont marched 92 yards in 12 plays capped by a 5 yard touchdown run by Devin Kenerly. Brandon Goodwin’s point after gave the Thunderbolts a 7-0 lead with 8:09 remaining in the first quarter.
After Butler was unable to move the ball on its next possession the Aviators got the ball back quickly when Dolen Fults intercepted a Miles Johnson pass at the 38 and returned it 23 yards to the Northmont 39. Fults also recovered Northmont’s fumble on the opening kickoff. After the interception the Aviators mounted a seven play drive that culminated in nine yard touchdown pass by Mason Motter to Daiton Sharpe. Sutton Skapik’s kick knotted the score 7-7.
From there the Thunderbolts scored 41 unanswered points to put the game out of reach en route to the eventual 48-13 victory. Northmont improved to 3-1 while Butler fell to 1-3.
Next week the Thunderbolts will be put to the test when they host Wayne. Northmont hasn’t defeated the Warriors since 2012 when the T-Bolts posted a 14-11 win.
“At the beginning of the game I think everyone was so excited , both teams, about the thrill of the rivalry and the atmosphere was great and everybody had too much adrenalin, so both teams lost fumbles,” said Northmont Coach Tony Broering. “After that we calmed down and got into our game plan and the boys did a great job. We really executed our offense. I preach to the kids all the time about things you can learn from losing and you can build on those lessons, and there are also ways to win the right way and win with class. That is what we’ve been preaching to them the last couple of weeks, so I am very proud that they listened and learned. They really are good boys and I am proud to be their coach.”
Just like last week when Northmont racked up 595 total yards, the Thunderbolts had another impressive night against Butler with 615 yards. Quarterback Miles Johnson completed 20 of 22 pass attempts against Butler for 292 yards with four touchdowns and only one interception. Running back Devin Kenerly also had a big night with 166 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.
Both players will have to produce solid numbers against Wayne, a team that has posted back-to-back victories after suffering an opening game 41-0 loss to Pine Richland, Penn.
Broering knows the Wayne game will be a big test for his team.
“Next week is Wayne and we have already started getting ready for them,” Broering added. “I told the boys in the team huddle after tonight’s game, ‘Guys… tomorrow is all business. We are going to go to school and have practice at three thirty and we are going to start preparing for Wayne right away.’ So yes, we are focused on that for sure.”