TIPP CITY — After opening the season with 21-14 victory over Bellbrook and a 38-0 shellacking of Springfield Shawnee the Tipp City Red Devils found themselves in hell Friday as visiting Northmont took a 31-6 halftime lead en route to a 44-12 victory.
The Thunderbolts racked up an impressive 583 yards in total offense compared to 201 for Tipp.
Northmont quarterback Miles Johnson had a big night completing 24 of 31 pass attempts for 359 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. His longest completion was an 85 yard touchdown pass to Drake Hickman for the Bolts’ final score with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter to give Northmont a commanding 44-6 lead.
“We had a lot of respect for Tipp City. They have a great program and they have been in the playoffs the last six years, and we haven’t,” said Northmont Coach Tony Broering. “We felt it was going to be a tough matchup for us. They run a version of the Wing-T offense that we haven’t seen, so it was a tough week getting of preparation for sure.”
Broering challenged his team before getting on the bus to leave for the game to be focused and to play well and he felt they responded to that challenge.
“We have a lot of respect for Tipp City and their program,” Broering noted. “They have been, the last few years, where we want to get to…. to the playoffs and the regional finals. That’s what we aspire to do.”
Compared to last week’s game when Northmont was out-sized by Fairfield’s lineup and still managed to come away with a come-from-behind 28-21 victory, this week the Thunderbolts’ players were bigger and stronger than Tipp’s. The final score reflected that.
“This is really the first week of the season where we felt like we had a little bit of a size advantage,” Broering said. “In the pregame warm-up I noticed that, but the last couple weeks against Winton Woods and Fairfield I felt like we were the smaller team. I think our team speed was a factor too. We’ve got some guys that can really run like Drake Hickman, Jabari Perkins and Donavin Wallace who give everyone trouble. Tipp is Division III and we are a Division I team, so there was a little bit of difference in how we matched up for sure.”
Brandon Goodwin kicked 26 yard field goal to give Northmont an early 3-0 lead with 7:23 remaining in the first quarter. Devin Kenerly scored on a two yard run at 3:40 of the first quarter and Goodwin’s kick extended the lead to 10-0. That touchdown was set-up by a 34 yard screen pass to Wallace to give the Bolts a first and goal at the two.
Tipp’s only score of the first half came on an eight play, 67 yard drive capped by a 35 yard touchdown run by quarterback Cole Barhorst. Jestin Jacobs blocked the extra-point kick to keep the score 10-6 in Northmont’s favor.
The Thunderbolts responded with a 10 play, 66 yard drive highlighted by Johnson pass completions of 18 yards to Wallace and 20 yards to Kameron Mathis. Johnson capped the drive with a one yard run for the touchdown. Goodwin’s kick put Northmont up 17-6.
On the Bolts next drive Johnson tossed a 45 touchdown pass to Jabari Perkins and Goodwin’s kick extended the lead to 24-6 and the rout was on.
Johnson tossed a 12 yard touchdown to Hickman with 35 seconds left in the second quarter to give Northmont a 31-6 lead at the half. Northmont took the second half kickoff and drove 69 yards in seven plays with Johnson tossing a 17 yard touchdown to Jabari Perkins to make it 37-6.
Hickman then scored on an 85 yard catch and run on a first down pass from Johnson to make it 44-6. Tipp’s final score came with 2:02 remaining on a two yard run by Cole Barhorst to cap a 13 play, 90 yard drive.
“It was a hard week of practice for our defensive coaches and players to get ready for the style of offense that Tipp runs, but our boys did a good job and were ready,” Broering added. “Coach (Aaron) Fister did a good job getting them ready. Tipp runs some nice play action passes and they really had their way the first two weeks of the season. They destroyed my alma mater (Springfield Shawnee), that was terrible and they beat Bellbrook, so we knew we had our hands full with their play action pass and their jet sweep. They got us a couple of times on the jet sweep. The Tipp City coaches do a great job. They prepare their kids, they play hard and they never gave up. The game was done and they took it right down and scored late. They didn’t wave the towel and kept fighting, so you’ve got to give them credit for that.”
This week the Thunderbolts will host Butler on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind