MOUNT GILEAD — Northmor scored three touchdowns in the first 11 minutes of Friday’s contest and cruised to a 49-16 KMAC win over Mount Gilead.
“I was really pleased with how we started tonight,” said Golden Knights (8-0, 5-0) head coach Scott Armrose.
“We came out focused and ready to play and got off to a good start offensively, defensively and special teams. That’s the difference when you come out and build a nice lead early on and get some momentum in your favor.”
The visitors nearly doubled the total yardage numbers — 419 to 212 — in building a 42-0 halftime lead and gaining the win.
Marcus Cortez had the hot hand early rushing 38 yards for the first Northmor score. He then hit Andrew Armrose for a 14-yard strike before running it in again from 28 yards for a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
The senior quarterback wound up with a perfect 7-for-7 passing night for 120 yards and 4 scores. He added 155 yards rushing on 8 carries and 2 TDs.
Armrose caught just 3 passes, but all went for touchdowns totaling 57 yards. A 21-yard score came after a Gavin Miller blocked punt at the 10:59 mark of the second quarter.
“Two guys who played really well tonight. We put defenses in a bind because we are able to run the ball so well,” Armrose said.
“They have to stack the line of scrimmage and when they do that, our play-action game is pretty good.”
Griffin Workman snagged a twisting 45-yard TD pass from Cortez to put the Knights on top 35-0.
The Indians (2-6, 0-5) continue to work, according to head coach Mike Reid.
“Northmor is a great program. We’re still learning and building. The kids are still battling hard in practice,” he said.
“We’re trying to get things ironed. We had a couple of turnovers tonight, a blocked punt and some things.
“Honestly, Northmor has a lot to throw at us and when you’re a young team and rebuilding. Coach Armrose and his kids put in the work and have done a great job.”
Several bright spots emerged for the Indians despite the setback, including good performances by their young backfield.
Kyan Davis scored a 4-yard touchdown with 49 seconds remaining in the first half. The sophomore finished with 76 yards on 9 carries to go along with junior Garrett George’s 99 yards on 19 rushes.
George added a 2-yard un in the fourth quarter. Mount Gilead added a safety on a bad snap for the 49-16 final.
“My fellas didn’t give up. That’s the stuff we got to build on. We got some good pushes up front,” Reid said.
“All we can ask them to do is get better rep by rep, no matter what that scoreboard says. That’s how you build a program.”
Mount Gilead hosts Danville Friday night and then closes the season on the road.
“It’s senior night next week and then the big rivalry down at Cardington. That’s a fun one to end on. We’re going to keep trying to get better.”
Max Lower ran for 145 yards on 14 carries and a 62-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He has 1,068 yards on the ground and 13 touchdowns this season.
The Knights had 8 flags for 95 penalty yards.
“Those give me gray hairs. Those are things we really shouldn’t be doing,” Armrose admitted.
“But you get these Morrow County rivalries. These guys are all friends, they’re all buddies after the game but when they’re competing it gets a little bit ugly sometimes. That’s something we need to be able to work on. We need to be able to control ourselves and stay composed.”
Northmor plays Centerburg Friday night.
“It’ll be a tough challenge with Centerburg — a really good football team. We didn’t get the opportunity to play them last year and we’re looking forward to the challenge,” Armrose said.
Paul Butterman and Taylor Hashman were chosen Mount Gilead Homecoming king and queen prior to the game.