HUBER HEIGHTS – Facing the No. 2 ranked team in the state is never an easy task, especially when it’s a division rival and even more so when your offense runs hot and cold from one week to the next.
Friday night Northmont was ice cold – generating no points in a 38-0 loss to Wayne. With the victory Wayne improves to 8-0 and 3-0 in division play while Northmont falls to 1-7 and 0-3.
It’s not that the Thunderbolts didn’t have their chances, but they failed to capitalize one those chances.
Northmont had the ball in the red zone four times but couldn’t generate a single point.
Wayne took a 7-0 lead with 4:06 remaining in the first quarter on a 2 yard run by Antwand Wilson.
Northmont went three and out on its next possession, but got the ball back when Austin Kossoudji intercepted a Messiah DeWeaver pass at the Wayne 27 and returned the ball to the 13. The Thunderbolts couldn’t score a touchdown and a 31 yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
Wayne increased its lead to 14-0 on a 19 yard touchdown pass from DeWeaver to Fred Pitts with 5:52 remaining in the first half.
The Thunderbolts mounted a scoring threat on its next possession. Brenden Reck completed a 36 yard first down pass to Arius Spears to give Northmont a first down at the Warriors’ 37. Northmont drove to the two yard line but coughed the ball up on a fumble with Wayne recovering the ball at the six.
Five plays later DeWeaver tossed a 58 yard touchdown pass to L’Christian Smith to put Wayne up 21-0 at halftime. That’s the kind of night it was for the injury plagued T-Bolts.
“We were inside the five twice and inside the 20 four times and didn’t get any points. We missed a field goal, we turned it over and when you are playing the Number 2 team in the state you can’t leave points on the field,” said Northmont Coach Tony Broering. “We had all the momentum. We had a ten play drive and came away with nothing, so that hurt us on that first drive. The defense got an interception for us and we didn’t get anything out of that. Our defense is playing their hearts out and our offense did some really good things, it was just once we got inside the red zone we couldn’t capitalize.”
Wayne took the second half kick off and on its first play from scrimmage Daryl McCleskey scored on a 67 yard run to put the Warriors up 28-0.
McCleskey returned Northmont’s next punt 39 yards to give Wayne a first down at the Thunderbolts 13 yard line. The Warriors settled for a 32 yard field goal by Nate Strong to make it 31-0.
Late in the third quarter Wayne mounted its final scoring drive that covered 82 yards. DeWeaver connected with L’Christian Smith for a 37 yard pass play to give the Warriors a first and goal at the Northmont three yard line. Antwand Wilson scored on a one yard run with 11:11 remaining in the game to make 38-0 and the mercy rule went into effect with clock running constantly from that point on.
Running back Avery Miliner went out with an injury during the first half adding to the Thunderbolts’ long list of injured players.
“Wayne has a very good defense,”Broering stated. “I don’t think anyone other than Moeller has scored on them yet. That’s why I was so frustrated at halftime because we had the chance to score 21 points against a team that only Moeller has scored on and we kind of let them off the hook. It was tough on us in the second half because we didn’t have a running back and had to go with an empty backfield on every snap.”
Broering is frustrated for his team because he feels they deserve to win.
“They are good kids and do everything I ask of them. They are good kids and I feel bad for them because they deserve a win,” he added. “We have a lot injuries. Wayne is missing 12 kids but they are all back up players. We have 19 guys injured and of that, seven are legitimate starters.”
Broering did not care for the new rule this year that dictates that the clock must continue to run once a team takes a 35 point lead.
“I am not a fan of that rule,” Broering said. “I know they wanted to get the running clock. I think they put that rule in to discourage unsportsmanlike conduct of coaches running the score up. These guys wouldn’t run it up on me. I’ve known Jay Minton forever and his assistant Brian Blevins. They are my friends, but because they want to get that running clock you have to do something that’s not really something they want to do. They don’t really want to run a hitch-and-go pass when it’s 31-0, but they did because they wanted to get that running clock. So the rule really isn’t serving the right purpose in a game like this.”
NMT 00 00 00 00 – 0
WAY 07 14 10 07 – 38
Wayne 04:06 Antwand Wilson two yard run. Nate Strong kick. 7-0
Wayne 05:52 Messiah DeWeaver 19 yard pass to Fred Pitts. Nate Strong kick. 14-0
Wayne 01:52 Messiah DeWeaver 58 yard pass to L’Christian Smith. Nate Strong kick. 21-0
Wayne 11:40 Daryl McCleskey 67 yard run. Nate Strong kick. 28-0
Wayne 09:37 Nate Strong 32 yard field goal. 31-0
Wayne 11:11 Antwand Wilson 1 yard run. Jesse Bailey kick. 38-0.
Arius Spears hauls in a 36 yard pass from Brenden Reck.
Jabari Perkins returns a kickoff 35 yards to give Northmont excellent field position.
Jarell Taylor gets tackled by DeWayne Morris after rmaking a pass reception.
Avery Miliner runs for yardage as his offensive lineman open a big hole in the Wayne defense.
Jake Monnin gets off a punt at Wayne.
Ron Nunnari can be reached at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind