A dominating first-half performance paced the Northmor football team to a 48-26 win over visiting Worthington Christian as the Knights improved to 2-0 on the season.
Northmor got out to a fast start, as Gavin Ramos took the opening kickoff all the way to give his team an early 6-0 lead. While the Warriors would take advantage of a Knight fumble on their next possession, getting a 20-yard run by Michael Hartings to set up a short dive for the tying score, the rest of the half would belong to Northmor.
“That’s two weeks in a row that special teams set the tone with a big play,” said Northmor head coach Scott Armrose. “Coach Whisler does a good job with those guys.”
After the Worthington Christian touchdown, Northmor rode the legs of running back Conor Becker 54 yards to the Warrior end zone. Becker carried the ball four times for 49 yards, including the touchdown scoring 10-yard run that ended the drive. Becker then added a two-point conversion to give his team a 14-6 lead.
It wouldn’t take long for them to add to it, as the Warriors immediately fumbled the ball back to the Knights, who converted a pair of short passes before quarterback Hunter Mariotti ran 15 yards for a touchdown that put Northmor up by 15 point.
The Knight defense then got a big stop on the final possession of the first quarter. WC moved the ball from their 36 to the Knight seven on a 12-play drive that ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down. Northmor took advantage of that stop, going 93 yards in nine plays. Sparked by runs of 17, 42 and 15 yards by Becker, the Knights got into the end zone on a three-yard run by the junior back to go in front 27-6.
“Conor is a fantastic kid,” said Armrose. “He worked really hard during the offseason and the offensive line is doing a good job of opening holes.”
After giving up a good number of yards to the Warriors, especially Hartings, in the early going, Northmor’s defense was dominant as the first half closed, holding their opponents to negative yards and no first downs over their final three possessions of the second quarter.
“We wore them down a little bit,” said Armrose. “Hartings is a good player. He’s big and can run, but we did a good job controlling the line.”
Northmor had no troubles moving the ball during that span, getting two more touchdowns, as Mariotti hit Wyatt Reeder on scoring passes of 22 and 33 yards to give the Knights a 41-6 advantage going into the half. Armrose was pleased with the job his junior signal-caller did at moving the ball through the air, noting that he’s allowed to option out of running plays if he sees something open through the air.
After a scoreless third quarter, Worthington Christian attempted to come back in the fourth, getting two long interception returns for scores, as well as an 87-yard passing touchdown from Lucas Hartings to Jake Thompson, to close within a 41-26 margin. However, Becker scored his third touchdown of the game from 51 yards out to put an end to their comeback hopes.
Armrose is looking forward to his team’s upcoming challenge when they host Lucas in week three — a team that already boasts two wins over the KMAC this year, as they topped both Danville and Centerburg in their first two outings.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” said the coach. “We’re looking for a good, physical game next week.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS