HUBER HEIGHTS — Northmont played well in the first half against unbeaten Wayne and led 20-12 at one point, but in the second half the Warriors multiple weapon attack proved to be too much to handle.
The Warriors went on to post 58-26 victory to improve to 4-0-1 while the Thunderbolts fell to 3-2.
Wayne took an early 6-0 lead on blocked punt by DeWayne Morris who recovered the ball in the end zone for a 6-0 lead with 8:15 remaining the first quarter. Fred Pitts broke loose for an 84 yard touchdown run with 4:13 left in the quarter but a second straight failed two-point conversion left Wayne with a 12-0 lead that would not stand.
Northmont got its first score on a 40 yard touchdown pass from Brenden Reck to Logan Zerkle at 1:35 of the first quarter and Nick Winchester’s point after cut Wayne’s lead to 12-7.
On their next possession Wayne coughed the ball up on a fumble forced by Dominic Wilson and recovered by Danny Lewis at the Wayne 27. Five plays later Devin Kenerly scored on a 4 yard run and Winchester’s kick put Northmont on top 14-12.
Wilson came up with another big play on the next defensive series by picking off a Rashad McKee pass and returning it 34 yards for a touchdown. A bad snap on the extra-point attempt staked the Thunderbolts to a 20-12 lead with 9:24 remaining in the first half.
Wayne answered with an 8 play, 80 yard drive capped by two yard touchdown run by Matt Wilcox. McKee hit Fred Pitts with a pass for the two point conversion to tie the score 20-20 with 6:52 left in the half.
DeWayne Morris came up with another big defensive play for the Warriors by intercepting a Reck and returning it 39 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. McKee hit Trew Davis with a pass for the two point conversion to give the Warriors a 28-20 lead at the half.
“Tonight was eerily similar to last week when I went and scouted them against Miamisburg,” said Northmont Coach Tony Broering. “It was 17-12 at the half down there but Wayne just keeps coming at you and the same thing happened to us. It was 20-20 and we figured it was going to be a close seven point game at halftime. That was our plan going in to keep it at seven and then we were going to do this, this and this in the third quarter, but the problem was that they just scored too quick. We got a couple of guys banged up, so that changed what we were doing.”
Wayne pulled away on a 22 yard by Josh Foster, a two yard by Matt Wilcox, and a one yard run by Foster to take a 50-26 lead by the end of the third quarter. The Warriors added another score on a 16 yard pass from McKee to L’Christian Smith to make the final tally 58-26.
“We came out and for some reason we were a little flat and we didn’t have our kicker tonight due to an injury and we didn’t have any backup, so it was kind of strange,” said Wayne Coach Jay Minton. “Our night seemed to be a lot of adversity. You’ve got to give credit to Northmont, they were taking advantage of it before our kids finally settled down. It was kind of like what we did last week when we regrouped at halftime, came out in the second half and went after it a little bit better.”
Wayne travels to Centerville (2-3) next Friday while the Thunderbolts host Lebanon (4-1).
“We just have to regroup,” Broering added. “You heard me talking to the boys. Our goal is to win our division so we are focused on Lebanon, Springboro and Miamisburg. I think we have a good team. I know the score maybe doesn’t look like that, but Wayne knows it was game and we gave them our best shot. Wayne is a very good football team.”
NMT 07 13 06 00 – 26
WAY 12 16 22 08 – 58
Logan Zerkle scores on a 40 yard pass from Brenden Reck as Matt Wilcox tries to make the tackle.
Devin Kenerly fights for yardage against Wayne at Heidkamp Stadium.
Brenden Reck throws a pass under pressure from Wayne defensive player Alex Reigelsperger.
DeWayne Morris (3) blocks a punt in the end zone and recovers the ball for a touchdown to give Wayne an early 6-0 lead.