NORTH BLOOMFIELD TWP. — The Golden Knights rang the victory bell and celebrated homecoming with their sixth straight triumph Friday night.
“Effective,” is how Northmor (6-0, 3-0 KMAC) head coach Scott Armrose described his team’s 40-20 KMAC win over Fredericktown.
“We played good defense, took care of the ball in the first half and got ourselves a nice lead. In the second half, we were able to control the clock and run it out,” he said.
The hosts piled up 390 yards rushing on 48 carries.
The main weapon in the ground-and-pound attack was Max Lower. The junior ran the ball 23 times for 251 yards and a touchdown.
Northmor opened the game with a bang as Trenton Ramos returned the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. Caleb Schnuerer added the PAT for a 7-0 lead just 13 seconds into the contest.
The Knights added two more scores — a 26-yard strike from Marcus Cortez to Ramos and a Cortez 16-yard scamper — for a 20-0 lead after one quarter.
The third one was set up by a 58-yard run by Lower taking the ball to the Freddies’ 20-yard line.
Lower’s 7-yard run and Cortez’ 4-yard score bracketed a Teegan Ruhl 4-yard TD for Fredericktown, allowing Northmor to take a 34-6 halftime lead.
Ruhl had 8 catches for 55 yards. Quarterback Kaid Carpenter rushed for 96 yards on 22 carries and completed 14-of-27 passes for 96 yards and touchdown, an 8-yard pass to Xavier Mullins in the fourth quarter.
“The Carpenter kid is a heck of an athlete; a great runner. That’s kind of our plan; try to contain him and make him drive the ball downfield,” Armrose said.
“Make good tackles in the open field. And most of the time we were able to make those tackles, but we missed a few tonight.”
As a result Fredericktown ran for 163 yards on 35 carries.
Ruhl returned the second-half kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 34-12.
But Northmor answered with a score of its own and closed the door to any comeback chances.
Cortez had a strong game, hitting on 7-of-9 pass attempts for 80 yards. He added 71 yards on the ground on 13 trips.
Niko Christo contributed 64 yards on 10 carries. Ramos had 6 catches for 72 yards.
Despite the win, Armose admits there’s some things to clean up.
“We got a little sloppy toward the end. We’ve got to take care of the football and need to do that down the stretch to win football games.”
Northmor committed 7 penalties for 65 negative yards.
“Those penalties have haunted us all season. When we’re ahead of the chains, we’re a good football team. When we get behind the chains, we’re in trouble,” he said.
“If we make the other team drive the ball down the field, our defense is really tough. But we give them 15-yard penalties … those things have to be corrected; those things have to be cleaned up.”
Northmor converted 6-of-11 times on third down, while the Freddies made good on 4-of-8.
The Golden Knights host East Knox in a key conference game.
“It’s a big game. They’re all big games down the stretch. We’ve put ourselves in a good position. East Knox is a good football team and we’ve built quite a rivalry here since we started the KMAC.
“It’s going to be a big football game with a big crowd, and we’re excited.”
“It always feels good to be undefeated at this point in the season. But we can’t sit and think about that and be all proud of ourselves,” Armrose said.
“We’ve got big, tough football games coming up down the stretch. We’ve got to get back to work.”
Fredericktown (3-3, 1-2) hosts Highland Friday night.
Christo was chosen Homecoming King and Paige Caudill Queen during pre-game festivities.