SPRINGBORO — With a 35-10 victory Friday at Springboro the Northmont varsity football team took one step closer to clinching the National West Division crown in the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
The Thunderbolts improved to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in division play with only one game left against division opponent Miamisburg next Friday at Northmont. The Vikings are 1-1 in division play, 4-5 overall and could earn a share of the title with an upset of the Thunderbolts.
Springboro fell to 1-1 in division play and 4-5 overall with the loss to Northmont.
All over the Thunderbolts’ scoring against the Panthers came in the first half. At first it looked like Northmont would run away with the game, but the second half was a different story.
The Thunderbolts opened the game with a quick scoring drive reaching the end zone in five plays from their own 20 yard. Miles Johnson threw a 41 yard touchdown pass to Jabari Perkins less than a minute into the game at 11:15 of the first quarter. Brandon Goodwin’s point after made in 7-0. Johnson completed 12 of 19 passes for 163 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Cameron Rucker intercepted a Cameron Rountree pass to set up the next score with Northmont taking over at its own 34. Nine plays later Devin Kenerly scored on a seven yard run and Godwin’s kick made it 14-0. Kenerly finished the night with 107 yards on 21 carries.
Early in the second quarter Northmont drove to the Panthers’ two yard line where Perkins took over at quarterback. He took the snap from center, ran to his right and into the end zone for another touchdown. Goodwin’s kick made it 21-0.
The defense got in on the act on the next score. Springboro drove to the Northmont 26 where Rountree fired a pass to Jared McCarthy. After making an apparent catch, Northmont defensive back Jestin Jacobs leveled McCarthy and the ball came loose. Danny Lewis plucked the ball out of the air and raced 85 yards to a touchdown with 4:27 remaining in the first half. Goodwin’s kick made it 28-0.
Jacobs came up with another big play. After tasking the ensuing kickoff the Panthers fumbled on first down and Jacobs recovered the ball at the Panthers’ 45. Northmont’s final score came on a nifty halfback option pass by Donavin Wallace to Jabari Perkins for a 45 yard touchdown.
IN the second half Northmont had trouble containing Rountree. He kept the ball on several quarterback draw plays and fake handoffs to finish the night with 120 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown. Connor Luksic accounted for the Panthers’ other score with a 24 yard field goal to make the final tally 35-10.
When asked if his team backed off in the second half Northmont Coach Tony Broering said that was not the case.
“I think it’s hard for the boys to keep that same level of focus when it is 35-0, but I will give the Springboro kids credit,” Broering said. “They fought hard and they have a good quarterback and he is a good football player. I told the boys all week, he is faster than what you think, he is tougher than you think and he is a good football player.”
Looking forward to next week, Broering noted the Vikings will not be an easy opponent.
“Miamisburg is another tough challenge,” he added. “They have a very good quarterback with experience and they have a great wide out in Tyler Johnson and they run a Wing-T offense that we have only seen once this year, so we have some unique challenges there. Mostly what we are working on now is just ourselves. At this point in the season everybody has seen everybody on film and kind of know what you’ve got, so it is just a matter of honing what we do and getting better at it.”
Northmont hosts Miamisburg this Friday at 7 p.m.