CLAYTON – Northmont’s offense looked lethargic at best last week at Beavercreek. This week it was a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as the Thunderbolts erupted for 41 points in their homecoming game against Centerville after scoring only 7 at Beavercreek.
Unfortunately the Elks scored even more. Centerville romped to a 62-41 victory to put a damper on an otherwise festive homecoming celebration at Northmont’s Good Samaritan Stadium.
The two teams generated a whopping 1,261 yards in total offense; Centerville 621, Northmont 600 in a game that saw both schools score at-will on each other – especially in the first quarter. The first quarter ended in a 21-21 tie.
Centerville struck first with Jacob Harrison throwing a 56 yard touchdown pass to Nate Richmond one minute into the game. A minute and 10 seconds later Avery Miliner scored on a 20 yard run for the Thunderbolts to tie the game 7-7. Miliner would finish the game with 187 yards rushing on 24 carries and two touchdowns.
Centerville quarterback Jacob Harrison also had a big night, rushing for 175 yards and one touchdown that came on a 91 yard romp at point when it looked like Northmont had Centerville on the ropes.
With Northmont trailing 38-27 in the third quarter the Thunderbolts backed the Elks up to their own nine yard line. That’s when Harrison broke loose for a 91 yard run down the left sideline for a touchdown, a play that changed the complexion of the game. That gave the Elks a 45-27 lead at a crucial juncture in the game.
Northmont answered with a nine play, 83 yard drive capped by a 36 yard touchdown pass from Brenden Reck to Nick Boyd to cut the Elks lead to 11 points, 45-34 with 5:38 left in the third quarter.
On any other night Reck’s passing statistics would probably have been stellar (19 of 29 for 257 yards and two touchdowns), but against the Elks it just wasn’t good enough.
Centerville quarterback Jacob Harrison completed 19 of 23 pass attempts for 360 yards and four touchdowns to compliment his 175 yards rushing. It was that kind of night with too many big plays to detail at length (see scoring summary below), but both schools deserve credit for their efforts in this knock down, drag out battle that was a dizzying display of football at its best.
Northmont receiver Nick Boyd had a big night catching seven passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns, including a 64 yard bomb from Reck early in the third quarter. Elks’ receiver Colin DeBord had a similar night with six receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns, including a 65 yard
touchdown catch in the second quarter.
Already beset by a slew of injuries, even more Northmont players came up limp after the marathon scoring affair with Centerville. After starting the season with 80-plus players, the Thunderbolts are now down to about 60 players.
“Like I told the boys, there is 103 points up on that board so it was a long game and a hard hitting game,” said Northmont Coach Tony Broering. “Obviously Centerville has some good football players. Jacob Harrison is everything they say he is and then some and Caleb Anthony is a really good running back and receiver Nate Richmond is an electric wide out. He gets the ball in his hands and you don’t know what he is going to do with it and Colin DeBord is really fast. He is scary fast.”
Centerville’s talent aside, the Thunderbolts have plenty of weapons of their own but have been unable to pull everything together this year.
“We have good football players too as you can tell by the way we were keeping up with them for the most part,” Broering said. “We made a couple of crucial mistakes. Probably the worst one was our special teams play. We fumbled on a kick off and that got us behind and we couldn’t catch up.”
Northmont fumbled the second half kick off and the Elks recovered at the Thunderbolts five yard line. From there Anthony scored on a 3 yard run to put the Elks up 38-21.
“That’s how it is in a game like this. Against Centerville you can’t make a mistake like that,” Broering said. “We are playing a lot of sophomores and they are playing some sophomores, but Centerville’s offense is nine seniors and two juniors but they play some sophomores on defense. We have between eight to ten sophomores out there.”
That inexperience showed against Centerville’s upperclassmen dominated offense.
“I’m proud of our boys. They played their hearts out. I’m very, very, very proud of them for what they’ve done for me and this program and they represented Northmont the right way tonight,” Broering added. “My coaching staff at halftime went in and made some beautiful adjustments on both sides of the ball. Our offensive coaches came up with some things that we did in the second half that really worked well and our defensive coaches a couple times got us the perfect call but we just couldn’t get Centerville’s player down. I was really proud of our coaches too because they went in there at halftime and went to work and did a great job.”
Northmont flexed its muscles against Centerville but just can’t seem to get over the hurdle. The Thunderbolts have plenty of talent, but the Central Division of the Greater Western Ohio Conference is no picnic to play in.
“When we focus our minds and do what we are capable of doing on offense we are scary too,” Broering noted. “We just have to get focused on Wayne now.”
The Thunderbolts play at Wayne this Friday at 7 p.m.
CEN 21 10 21 10 – 62
NMT 21 00 20 00 – 41
11:00 Centerville – Jacob Harrison 56 yard pass to Nate Richmond. Grant Timmerman kick. 7-0
09:50 Northmont – Avery Miliner 20 yard run. Nick Winchester kick. 7-7
08:13 Northmont – Jabari Perkins 47 yard run. Nick Winchester kick. 14-7
05:55 Centerville – Jacob Harrison 40 yard pass to Colin DeBord. Nate Richmond kick, 14-14
02:15 Centerville – Jacob Harrison 38 yard pass to Nate Richmond. Grant Timmerman kick. 21-14
00:03 Northmont – Jabari Perkins 31 yard run. Nick Winchester kick. 21-21
05:45 Centerville – Jacob Harrison 65 yard pass to Colin DeBord. Grant Timmerman kick. 28-21
00:00 Centerville – Grant Timmerman 49 yard field goal. 31-21
11:38 Centerville – Caleb Anthony 3 yard run. Grant Timmerman kick. 38-21
11:10 Northmont – Brenden Reck 64 yard pass to Nick Boyd. 2 point conversion fails. 38-27
10:01 Centerville – Jacob Harrison 91 yard run. Grant Timmerman kick. 45-27
05:38 Northmont – Brenden Reck 36 yard pass to Nick Boyd. Nick Winchester kick. 45-34
02:54 Centerville – Derrick Carter12 yard interception return for TD. Grant Timmerman kick. 52-34
00:49 Northmont – Avery Miliner 42 yard run. Nick Winchester kick. 52-41
07:54 Centerville – Grant Timmerman 32 yard field goal. 55-41
02:05 Centerville – Caleb Anthony 21 yard run. Grant Timmerman kick. 62-41
Ron Nunnari can be reached at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind