WEST JEFFERSON — The Roughriders lived up to their name as they ran roughshod in a 63-13 regional quarterfinal win over Northmor here Saturday night.
The third-seeded team scored on its first 6 possessions and built a 49-6 halftime lead over the Golden Knights in Division VI, Region 23.
“When you get to this point in the season, this level of competition, sometimes you run into a buzz saw. We did that tonight,” said Northmor head coach Scott Armrose.
“Are they 50 points better than us? I don’t think so, but that’s a good football team. We were just outmatched tonight.”
West Jeff quarterback Tyler Buescher showed his exceptional talent, throwing for 270 yards on 27-of-34 attempts and 1 touchdown.
During the game Buescher eclipsed the 10,000-yard mark in career passing.
Hayden Salyers served as a nice complement to his signal caller, rushing 9 times for 70 yards and 3 scores, all in the first half.
Salyer ran in from 5, 7 and 5 yards to enable West Jefferson to take a 21-0 lead after one quarter. Mason Cordetti made good on all his 9 of his extra-point attempts.
Buescher hit MJ Book for 8 yards in the second quarter, sandwiched in between runs by Spencer George from 3 and Weston Kimley from 1 yard out.
Marcus Cortez hit Trenton Ramos for a 39-yard strike down the right sideline to get the Knights on the board with 2:51 to go in the first half.
But the Roughriders’ Adam Fry returned the kickoff 88 yards for a score just 12 seconds later.
“They can do it all. We knew they had the receivers, the athletes. They are a good football team inside and out,” Armose said.
“Their offensive and defensive lines surprised us. They’re much more physical and strong up front. It doesn’t really show because the plays that stand out on film are their athletes making plays. They are good up front and that sets up a lot of what they do.”
That was apparent as West Jefferson (11-1) had 280 yards passing and 145 on the ground — and an eye-opening 32 first downs — in advancing to the third round.
They will face No. 2 seed Fairland (10-1) Saturday in a regional semifinal after it dispatched No. 10 Worthington Christian, 58-28.
The Cortez to Ramos passing duo has been a staple for Northmor this year. That connection hit again in the third quarter, this one covering 26 yards, for the second Knights’ touchdown.
Cortez hit on 9-of-15 passes for 139 yards. Defensively he had two interceptions of Buescher passes.
WJ’s George added a 12-yard run and Owen Carsey went in from 25 to end the scoring with 7 minutes remaining.
Northmor’s Max Lower was held to 46 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Ramos snagged 5 catches for 113 yards. Jaxson Wenger added 40 yards on 3 catches and Andrew Armrose 29 on 3 receptions.
AJ Bower came on in relief at quarterback and connected on 3-of-6 passes for 40 yards.
Northmor ends its season at 9-3 and those who played their final game have come a long way.
“Our senior class won 1 football game in junior high, and they didn’t get their chance to play until last season, because we had a good senior class in front of them, and they won 2 games,” Armrose said.
“They made a commitment this summer to do something in the weight room. They set a pretty good example for our program moving on and I’m so incredibly proud of those guys, what they’ve done for us and the future of Northmor football.”
Armrose said the Golden Knights jayvee team “competed pretty well, in the KMAC especially. We had an 8th grade class that won a KMAC championship.
“The seniors have showed the way that the difference between a mediocre season and a 9-win season happens in June and July, and I think our young kids understand that.”