Danville defeated Northmor 14-12 in a hard-fought KMAC contest between two young teams Friday night.
The game featured ground and pound offenses with junior Deion Parker running for 178 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown for the Blue Devils.
“We ran the ball very well and it’s exciting to get that many rush yards, controlling the football and moving down the field,” Danville coach Cam Smith said.
The Blue Devils (3-1, 3-1) amassed 288 yards on 42 carries.
Parker’s three-yard run to start the second half put the visitors on top 7-0 after Sophie Snively booted the extra point.
The Golden Knights answered when junior Niko Christo went in from 18 yards out to cut the lead to 7-6 with 9:38 to play in the first half.
“When Parker’s getting that many yards on first or second down, then they got to respect that run and we can spread stuff back out if we need to,” Smith said.
Danville quarterback Max Payne hit on 7-of-13 pass attempts for 64 yards, with Kaiden Colopy grabbing three of those for 34 yards.
Northmor, using a wildcat formation for much of the second half, came back from a 7-6 halftime deficit.
“That’s a nice part of our package that we can use,” Northmor coach Scott Armrose said. “Max is hard to bring down.”
Max Lower, a 230-pound sophomore, ran for 96 yards on 19 carries. Christo added 54 yards on nine carries.
“He’s a big boy,” Smith said. “I told my players that dude is bigger than some of the running backs I faced in college. He had plenty of yards too. He can move and run people over.”
Armrose knew his team was facing a quality opponent.
“It was a tough football game and they have some nice athletes,” Northmor coach Scott Armrose said. “Those are two young teams that should be able to compete for a few years to come.”
Levi Lyons’ one-yard score put Danville ahead 14-6 midway through the third period after an interception. That capped an eight-play, 45-yard drive.
Trenton Ramos intercepted a Payne pass in the end zone to stop another Danville drive with 1:33 remaining in the third quarter.
Northmor then put together a solid drive covering 80 yards in 16 plays, capped by Lower’s two-yard touchdown with 6:51 remaining to make it 14-12. The pass for two failed on a close call.
On that drive Lower ran for 12, 11 and five yards. Christo added several key runs and Griffin Workman caught a four-yard pass.
The drive was kept alive when, on fourth and three from his own 27, Marcus Cortez picked up a critical first down on a four-yard scramble. He injured his leg and left the game as the Knights went to the wildcat.
Danville converted 6-of-13 third down plays and Northmor 4-of-10. The visitors committed nine penalties for 86 yards and the hosts four for 30.
Ramos had three catches for 26 yards and Lower one grab for 12. Cortez also had an interception.
The Knights fall to 1-3, 0-3 and visit Fredericktown Friday night. The Blue Devils will host Highland.
Smith acknowledged the balance in the league this season.
“There’s no cakewalks and anyone can beat anyone on any night,” he said.
With a young squad, Armrose sees improvement.
“We are continuing to get better,” he said.