T-Bolts lose at Winton Woods

By Ron Nunnari

[email protected]

CINCINNATI — After leading 20-12 at halftime at Winton Woods the Northmont Thunderbolts surrendered 33 second half points to lose the opening game of 2017 by nine points, 45-36.

Winton Woods swung the momentum its way when Jaylen Fetha blocked a Northmont punt on the Thunderbolts’ first possession of the second half. On fourth and 13 at Northmont’s 19 yard line, Fetha blocked a punt by Danny Lewis and recovered the ball at the three yard line. Two plays later Miyan Williams scored on a one yard run to cut the Thunderbolts’ lead to 20-18.

“Anytime you play a high school football game and you get a punt blocked, your odds of winning that game are dramatically lower. It’s almost impossible,” said Northmont Coach Tony Broering. “I have seen teams overcome a blocked punt and have been part of it because I have coached for 28 years, but 99 times out of 100 you will not win if you get a punt blocked.”

Broering noted that if you summed up the entire game that blocked punt was the key.

Northmont’s woes continued on its next possession. Winton Woods recovered a fumble at the Thunderbolts’ 25 and two plays later quarterback Kenny Mayberry scored on a 10 yard run. Yeri Velasquez tacked on the point after to put the Warriors on top 25-20 and Winton Woods never surrendered its lead.

The Warriors increased their lead to 32-20 with 1:58 remaining in the third quarter. Mayberry threw a six yard pass to Zy’shaun Johnson and Velasquez added the point after to put Winton Woods up by 12 points.

The Thunderbolts had another costly turnover early in the fourth quarter. Miles Johnson completed a pass to Kameron Mathis but Jaylen Fetha hit Mathis to force a fumble. Christopher Oats scooped up the loose football and raced 40 yards to the end zone. Velasquez tacked on the extra-point to boost the Warriors’ lead to 39-20 with 8:17 left in the game.

Drake Hickman returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and Johnson completed a pass to Dawson Walker for a two point conversion to cut the deficit to 39-28 with 8:05 remaining.

Northmont forced the Warriors to punt on their next possession with Jabari Perkins calling a fair catch at the 22 yard line. But on the first play from scrimmage Fetha intercepted a pass to give the Warriors possession at the Winton Woods 47 yard line. Winton Woods couldn’t sustain a drive but on the Thunderbolts next possession a pass by Johnson went through the hands of Drake Hickman and was intercepted by Kymetrius Gates who returned the interception 42 yards for a touchdown with 2:22 left on the clock.

The Thunderbolts scored on a 22 yard pass from Johnson to Mathis and added a two point conversion from Johnson to Mathis to make the final tally 45-36.

Winton Woods led 3-0 on a 37 yard Velasquez field goal. Jestin Jacobs recovered a fumble by Mayberry at the Winton Woods eight yard line and three plays later Johnson hit Perkins with a four yard touchdown pass. Brandon Goodwin added the point after for a 7-3 lead.

Winton Woods answered with a 68 yard touchdown run by Williams to take 9-7 lead. Johnson connected with Perkins on a 33 yard pass and a 25 yard touchdown pass to put Northmont up 13-9.

Johnson hit Perkins with an eight yard pass to boost the lead to 20-9. Velasquez booted a 37 field goal to cut Northmont’s lead to 20-12 at halftime.

“I am proud of the boys,” Broering said. “They played their hearts out and played a hard football game against a very good team. We made a couple of mistakes that you can’t make, but I am still proud of the boys. I was proud of the way they carried themselves and conducted themselves. There were a lot of personal fouls in the game, but we didn’t have any, so that is a credit to my kids and the way they have listened and learned, developed and grown as men so that they don’t react to that kind of stuff.”

Broering credited the defense for continuing to play hard against the Warriors high powered offense.

“It’s just a matter of we as a coaching staff doing a little bit better job of making sure we have every little thing taken care of for next Friday, because we have to play Fairfield,” Broering added. “I don’t want to say Fairfield is better than Winton Woods because Winton Woods is a very good team and I wouldn’t discredit them in any way, but Fairfield is Division I and they are just as talented and bigger, faster and probably a little stronger. It’s going to be a very difficult game. We started the season against two of the best teams in the state and you can’t make any mistakes against teams of that caliber.”

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By Ron Nunnari

[email protected]