CLAYTON — Devin Kenerly set a new school record Friday by scoring six rushing touchdowns in a game as Northmont clinched the National West Division crown with a 49-28 victory over Miamisburg. Jamar “Tuggy” Harris set the previous record of five rushing touchdowns in 2003.
Kenerly finished the night with 162 yards on 24 carries. Quarterback Miles Johnson was 12 for 12 for 178 yards and one touchdown. Jabari Perkins caught eight of those passes for 134 yards while Donavin Wallace had three receptions for 34 yards and one touchdown. Drake Hickman had one catch for 10 yards. Hickman also returned a punt 66 yards to set up a third quarter score.
With the win Northmont ends regular season play at 8-2 overall and 3-0 in division play. Miamisburg fell to 4-6 and 1-2. The Thunderbolts will now travel to Pickerington Central (9-1) for a first round playoff game this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
It was miserable night for football with wind and rain and tons of penalties. Northmont got slapped with 13 penalties for 125 yards. On one Miamisburg possession the Thunderbolts were penalized 65 yards to enable Miamisburg to score a touchdown and cut the Northmont lead to 35-28. Miamisburg had seven penalties for 68 yards.
The Vikings came to play and took an early 7-0 lead on a seven yard run by Tony Clark. Northmont answered with a 46 yard touchdown run by Kenerly. Miamisburg came back with a seven play, 69 yard drive with Clark scoring from a yard out for 14-7 Vikings’ lead.
Northmont cut the deficit to 14-13 in the second quarter with six minute, 11 play, 58 yard drive with Kenerly scoring on a two yard run. A bad snap wiped out the point after kick.
After a four and out by the Vikings the Thunderbolts wasted no time regaining the lead. Johnson hit Jabari Perkins with a 47 yard pass completion for a first and goal at the four. After a one yard loss Kenerly scored on a five yard run. Northmont went for two points on the conversion with Perkins taking the snap and running to his right for three yards to put the Bolts on top 21-14.
Miamisburg managed to tie the game 21-21 at halftime with an eight play 59 yard drive with Clark scoring on a five yard run.
The Vikings received the second half kickoff and on third and 16 Tate Vongsy threw a pass to Jackson Myers but Logan Jewsikow hit Myers hard to force a fumble with Jestin Jacobs recovering the ball for the Bolts at the Northmont 45. On third down and one Johnson hit Perkins for a 42 yard pass completion to set up a first and goal at the four. Kenerly blasted into the end zone and Brandon Goodwin’s kick gave Northmont a 28-21 lead.
On Miamisburg’s next possession the Vikings were forced to punt. Colin Dillon took a high snap and got off a low line drive kick. Drake Hickman snared the kick in traffic and raced 66 yards down the left sideline to give Northmont a first down at the 12. From there Johnson hit Donavin Wallace with a 12 yard touchdown pass to boost the lead to 35-21.
Miamisburg cut the deficit to 35-28 with 2:52 left in the third quarter on a six yard by Jon Yerkins. Northmont put the game away with Kenerly scoring on runs of 10 and four yards for a 49-28 victory.
“It was a tough, hard-hitting football game between two very competitive teams,” said Northmont Coach Tony Broering. “Steve (Channell) and I go way, way back. He has been a good friend to me by being a mentor in coaching and he is a competitor. He has changed the culture at Miamisburg and has made his kids tough and they are a good football team. It was a hard-hitting game with a lot of things going on. The weather was tough on everybody, so it wasn’t a clean game. But it was also just two ultra-competitive guys and two ultra-competitive teams going at it. We are blessed that we have such a great defense so that they could weather the storm, so to speak. They made some great adjustments at halftime, Coach Fister, Coach Frantz, Coach Stanley and Coach Mangen. Those guys got in there, figured it out and made some adjustments in the third quarter that really helped us.”
Broering also praised his offense for another explosive performance.
“The offensive line has been the strength of the team all year and Devin Kenerly is a special running back, and then you saw what Jabari Perkins did,” Broering commented. “Jabari is something else. He is amazing. He did some stuff tonight that was pretty amazing.”
Broering reflected on how far the program has come since he took over as interim head coach in 2015 when the Bolts went 3-7 and 4-6 last year in his first year as the official head coach.
“I am very happy for the boys, especially the seniors, not just because it is Senior Night but because they stuck with me,” Broering added. “When they were sophomores I put some players in there and a lot of them played varsity football probably before they should have and we took some lumps together. But they stuck with me and they believed in the message we were saying to them and now it has all paid off. They listened and they trusted me. I love them and they love me and we hung together through all the tough times, and now we get to be together for the good times. Tonight we are going to let them have a little fun, celebrate a little bit and then we are going to get ready for next week.”
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind