SPRINGFIELD — Northmont’s final game of 2015 proved to be an exciting contest as the Thunderbolts beat Springfield 34-32 by thwarting a last ditch scoring drive by the Wildcats in the final seconds of the game.
On fourth down and goal to go at the Northmont two yard line sophomore Dominic Wilson sacked Springfield quarterback Nick McCaughey on a corner blitz at the 11 yard line to preserve the victory.
“Wilson is a special kid. I brought him up to varsity last year towards the end of the season when he was a freshman when I was coaching the defense,” Broering said. “We call him (Troy) Palamalu when he plays safety because he’s got the hair and runs around and makes all those plays. We blitzed him quite a bit this year as both a safety and a corner. What we did tonight was anytime Daniel Davis was not in the backfield Wilson covered him man-to-man and he did a really good job. He’s a good football player.”
With the victory Northmont improved to 2-3 in Central Division play and 3-7 overall while the Wildcats fell to 1-4 and 3-7. The Thunderbolts secured fourth place in the division.
Northmont appeared to put the game away on a 10 yard touchdown run by running back Avery Miliner (107 yards, three touchdowns) with 6:37 left in the game. Nick Winchester kicked his fourth successful extra-point of the night to put the Thunderbolts up 34-26.
But Daniel Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards to give the Wildcats a first down at Northmont’s 20 yard line. On fourth down and seven Saalih Muhammad tossed a 17 yard touchdown pass to Davis to cut the Thunderbolts’ lead to 34-32. Springfield went for a two point conversion and scored to apparently tie the game but a penalty wiped out the conversion. That moved the ball back to the seven yard line and on their next attempt Muhammad fired another complete pass that came up one yard short of the goal line with 4:14 remaining.
Broering, commenting on the big kickoff return by Davis, said, “I coached against Danny’s dad when I was head coach at Springfield South and he played at Springfield North. I went to college with Danny’s step-father, so I’ve known Danny since he was a baby. He’s a really good football player.”
The Thunderbolts couldn’t get a first down on its next possession and were forced to punt. Winchester got off a 36 yard punt with Springfield taking over at its own 38 with 2:19 remaining. The Wildcats put together a 12 play drive that ended with Wilson sacking McCaughey at the Northmont 11 to wipe out the Wildcats comeback hopes.
“This was a game where you had two really good teams with some good football players and our guys just made one more big play than their guys,” Broering added. “It’s really a credit to their team too, to play that hard. As you know their head coach Maurice Douglass used to be on my coaching staff and all his assistants used to play for me. Most of Springfield’s coaching staff are my former players, so it’s bittersweet coming home and playing against my old school and some kids that I coached when they were growing up, so I hugged them and told them that I was proud of them. They should be proud of their team. They fought to the very last play. That’s as even as you get. If they score on that last drive, they win, but Dominic came up with the sack and we won. It’s just one of those things.”
Wayne crushed Centerville 56-17 to finish in 1st place in the Central Division of the Greater Western Ohio Conference with a perfect 5-0 division mark and 10-0 overall record. Centerville finishes second with a 4-1 division record and 6-4 overall, Beavercreek third at 3-2 in division play and 7-3 overall, Northmont fourth at 2-3 and 3-7, Springfield fifth at 1-4 and 3-7 and Fairmont sixth at 0-5 and 2-8.
NMT 06 07 14 07 – 34
SPR 07 13 06 06 – 32
Chris Timmons tackles Springfield’s Saalih Muhammad.
Avery Miliner runs for a touchdown against Springfield.
A bucket of Bolts gang tackle Springfield’s Daniel Davis.
Nick Boyd turns toward the end zone after making a pass reception as Wildcats’ free safety Moses Douglass closes in.
Northmont Head Coach Tony Broering hugs Dominic Wilson following the Thunderbolts final game victory at Springfield.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind