GALION — A valiant fourth quarter comeback allowed host Northmor to take their game against Worthington Christian to overtime, but an unfortunately timed turnover helped lead to a 24-21 loss that dropped the Knights to 0-2 on the season.
The locals scored two touchdowns in the final 12 minutes of play to tie the score at 21. In the extra session, they chose to take the ball first and immediately gained four yards to the 16-yard line on a run by Matthew Ross. However, they would lose five yards on the next play and then, on third down, threw an interception.
Starting their own drive on the 20, the Warriors got passes from Alex Tucker to Reed Tucker and Derrick Mullins to get a first down at the eight. They would be stopped short of the end zone at the two-yard line, but Sammy Myers was able to finish the game with a 19-yard field goal — his first make of the night in three tries.
“The kids did a good job and stuck with it,” said Northmor coach B.J. Trainer. “But we had that turnover at an inappropriate time. That one in overtime is the one that really matters. That was the one that killed us.”
Trainer was proud of his team for taking the game to an extra session because for much of regulation, they were struggling to keep up with the Warriors. While they held the ball for a lot of the first quarter with good field position, they weren’t able to take advantage of that, punting on their first two possessions and fumbling on their third — all while being near midfield.
After the fumble, Worthington Christian held the ball on the Knight 46 and drove into the end zone in six plays, scoring on a 15-yard scramble by Alex Tucker at the 10:38 mark of the second quarter.
Conan Becker took the ensuing kickoff to the Knight 40-yard line and the team moved across midfield again because a muffed snap drove them back into their territory and forced another punt. The Warriors would then score again, getting a 38-yard pass from Alex Tucker to Reed Tucker to go up 14-0 with only 3:36 remaining in the first half.
However, Northmor would bounce back. A 32-yard run by Becker moved the ball from the WC 45 into the red zone at the 13. A 10-yard pass from Jordan Wiseman to Garrett Gillispie put the Knights inside the five-yard line and Becker would then score on a two-yard run. Kyle Kegley’s extra point allowed Northmor to go into the half only down by seven.
An untimely penalty contributed to the Warriors scoring in the third period. A Demetrius Johnson punt was downed at the WC 28-yard line, but the Knights were called for holding on the play. On the re-kick, they ball was downed on the 48, for a 20-yard change in field possession. Alex Tucker would hit Reed Tucker on another long pass that went for 34 yards and then would run the remaining 16 to give his team a two-touchdown lead again.
After the two teams traded punts, Northmor would get the ball on their 35 with 1:23 remaining in the third. Facing fourth-and-two entering the fourth quarter, Becker gained seven yards to put the ball at midfield. Three plays later, Becker came up big again, hauling in a Wiseman pass for 44 yards. Wiseman would then run the ball in from the three and Northmor got back within seven.
Northmor’s defense then stood firm after WC moved the ball into their territory, forcing the Warriors to turn the ball over on downs at their 37. After a short pass to Kolton Smith, Wiseman hit Nathan Hall for 37 yards to move the ball to the Worthington Christian 24. Five running plays got the Knights to the eight, where Wiseman connected with Hall for a scoring pass. Kegley’s third PAT tied the game at 21 with four minutes remaining.
Four very tense minutes, as the Warriors moved down the field, advancing to the nine-yard line before Myers missed a 26-yard field goal to send the game to overtime. Despite losing the game in the extra session, Trainer felt his team improved a lot from their opening week loss to Crestview.
“They executed things well, so that was good, but we still had mistakes,” he said. “We got better from a week ago, so we’ll need to keep getting better.”
When asked what the team had improved in, the coach responded, “A lot of things. Our line play was a lot better offensively and defensively and we just executed our offense better than a week ago.”
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