Highland scored on their first five possessions and seven of their first eight in cruising past Northmor by a 49-6 count Friday night.
Relying on a powerful ground game that consistently gained yards, the Scots took the opening kickoff and drove down the field in 10 plays, nine being runs. Josh Cantrell finished the drive with a 15-yard scoring run and Satchel Denton added the first of seven successful point-after kicks to stake his team to a 7-0 lead.
Northmor got a first down on their opening drive, thanks to a face mask against Highland, but would then have to punt. The Scots would waste no time in getting back on the ball. Jared Limings opened the drive with a 45-yard run and then added carries of eight, 12, nine and nine yards, with the last one ending up in the end zone.
After forcing a three-and-out, Highland got the ball in great field position after a Northmor penalty put the line of scrimmage on the Knight 33. Five plays later, all on the ground, Limings got the ball back into the end zone on the first play of the second quarter with a 15-yard scamper.
“We challenged them on Monday that we were going to try to control the line on both side and I think we did,” said Scot coach Chad Carpenter of his team’s game plan. “Overall, I’m extremely pleased with how we played on both sides of the ball.”
On the other sideline, Northmor coach B.J. Trainer would not dispute that his opponents did control the game.
“They beat us out of the gate,” he said. “They’re a good football team. They created a lot of problems defensively. Their defensive line did a good job of disrupting what we tried to do offensively.”
Except for one drive. After falling behind 21-0, the Knights were able to get something going with the ball. Jordan Wiseman hit Garrett Gillispie with passes of 18 and 10 yards. The senior quarterback then handed off to Conan Becker, who darted 47 yards for the score, making it 21-6 with 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
Highland would regain control of the game during that time, though. Logan Veley started their next drive with a 33-yard run. After a seven-yard pass from Max Schreiber to William Parsley, Limings took control of the drive, running for 28 yards on three plays, including a nine-yard touchdown to make it 28-6.
Northmor was able to advance into Scot territory on their next possession thanks to a 14-yard pass from Wiseman to Kolton Smith, as well as a pair of Highland penalties. However, they would have to punt.
Highland then went 76 yards on seven plays, all on the ground. Veley had a 12-yard gain, while Limings added six runs for 52 yards, including a 10-yard score for his fourth touchdown of the day.
The Scots had a chance to add to their advantage late in the half, but were unable to convert on a field goal attempt after an errant snap led to an interception.
However, in the second half, they would quickly stop the Knights and then got a 44-yard scoring pass from Schreiber to
Javier Vasquez to go in front 42-6 midway through the third. By increasing their lead to over 30 points, there was a continually-running clock for the remainder of the game. Highland added a 10-yard scoring run by Cam Catrone in a quick fourth quarter to wrap up the scoring.
With the win, Highland improved to 4-0 in the league and 4-3 overall after dropping their first three contests of the season. Carpenter is hoping his team can continue to pick up wins as the Blue Division schedule continues.
“That’s the plan — to take it one game at a time,” he said. “We have the Freddies next week and they always give us problems, so we’ll start tomorrow morning.”
For Northmor, which is still looking for its first win, Trainer had a simple answer for how his team will recover from the loss to the Scots.
“That’s one you just flush,” he said. “We just have to look forward at next week’s game and move forward.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS