LEBANON — After three straight losses Northmont got back in the win column with a 49-26 rout over Lebanon.
The victory saw the Thunderbolts bounce back from consecutive disappointing six point losses to Trotwood-Madison 20-14 and to Springboro 27-21 on homecoming weekend last week.
Northmont improves to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in conference play while Lebanon falls to 3-4 and 0-2.
“Lebanon is a good team. I was very impressed with their offense,” said Northmont coach Tony Broering. “They have a great scheme. A couple of their kids have been playing against us for three or four years and I went out of my way to talk to a couple of them and told them to keep their heads up and told them how impressed I was with how they played. Ethan Marsh is a great football player and they have some good guys, so it was a tough game. Our offense is rolling on points so that helped.”
Quarterback Keaton Kesling completed 22 of 35 pass attempts for 371 yards and four touchdowns. Marcus Allen caught eight passes for 155 yards and one TD, Jazz Keys had seven receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns and Darris Blanks hauled in two passes for 52 yards and one TD to lead the receiver corps.
More importantly the Thunderbolts running game finally came to life. After amassing less than 500 yards in the first six games Northmont racked up 163 yards on the ground. Michael Franklin led the team with 84 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns including a long run of 35 yards in the second quarter. Franklin scored his first touchdown on a 13 yard run with 10:51 left in the first quarter to give Northmont a 7-0 lead.
The aerial attack setup Northmont’s first score. Kesling threw three passes to Marcus Allen on the opening drive, two for five yards and one for 38 yards for a first down at Lebanon’s 13. From there Franklin scored on a 13 yard run and Brandon Goodwin’s kick put the Thunderbolts up by seven.
Lebanon answered with a 15 play, 80 yard drive capped by a 14 yard touchdown pass from Ethan Marsh to Blake Lamb. Dylan Wray’s kick tied the score 7-7.
Franklin scored on a seven yard run and Kesling tossed touchdown passes to Jazz Keys of two yards and 37 yards to give Northmont a 28-7 halftime lead.
Lebanon opened the second half with a 15 play, 74 yard drive consuming 5:41 capped by a four yard TD pass from Marsh to Seth Myers.
Kesling connected with junior Darris Blanks for a 34 yard TD pass to boost Northmont’s lead to 35-14. Lebanon responded with Marsh tossing a 22 yard TD pass to Lamb but Northmont blocked the point after to make it 35-20 entering the fourth quarter.
Kesling tossed a five yard TD pass to Allen to make it 42-20. Marsh hit Lamb with a 30 yard TD pass to cut Northmont’s lead to 42-26. Devin Chattams scored on a one yard run to cap the scoring to give Northmont a 49-26 victory.
Ron Nunnari can be reached at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind