A banner day for the Northmor defense propelled the team to a 32-0 win at Fredericktown Friday night. The win boosts the Knights to a 4-0 mark on the season and 1-0 in league play.
Northmor held their opponents to 126 yards in the game and forced three fumbles. The first of those turnovers directly led to a Knight score, as with the score 6-0 in favor of Northmor, Blake Miller recorded a strip-sack of Freddie quarterback Terry Fern and sprinted 25 yards for a touchdown. The other two turnovers came when the Freddies were driving deep into Knight territory, allowing Northmor to maintain a comfortable lead.
“Blake is an All-Ohio player and he played like it tonight,” said Northmor head coach Scott Armrose. “With D’Marcus Hudson and Blake Miller there, we feel we have two All-Ohio caliber defensive linemen.”
Northmor got out to a fast start in the game, as Wyatt Reeder took the opening kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown to make the score 6-0 with only 14 seconds elapsed.
“Once again, special teams starts the game with a big play,” said Armrose. “We’re getting better there every week and had a great effort from the defensive line.”
After the teams traded quick punts, Northmor got back on the board with Miller’s forced fumble, recovery and score. Conor Becker ran for the two-point conversion and it was 14-0 midway through the opening period.
Fredericktown drove from their 23 to the Northmor 19 on their next drive, but fumbled the ball to the Knights to squander that opportunity. Northmor, getting the ball on their own 16, wouldn’t make the same mistake. Runs of 16, 15 and 23 yards by Becker helped move the ball far into Freddie territory. After getting special teams and defensive touchdowns in the opening quarter, all the Knights needed was an offensive score for the trifecta. With 35 seconds left in the period, that happened when Hunter Mariotti connected with Miller for a 22-yard scoring pass to make the score 20-0 after 12 minutes.
“We weren’t great offensively,” said Armrose of his team’s overall performance, citing penalties and missed opportunities. “Conor did his thing and had some big runs, but we weren’t great.”
One of those missed opportunities happened after the Knights forced a three-and-out. On their first possession of the second quarter, they were able to drive inside the Freddie 10, but the possession stalled on the seven and they turned the ball over on downs.
However, after the defense forced another punt, they got the ball at midfield. Mariotti immediately hit Gavin Ramos for 28 yards and a couple plays later, Becker scored on a 17-yard run to make it 26-0 — which is how it remained going into halftime.
Late in the third quarter, Northmor got a 57-yard run by Becker to push their lead to a 32-0 margin. While the Freddies threatened again in the fourth, driving inside the Knight 10, another fumble ended that drive and allowed Northmor to preserve the shutout in remaining perfect in 2018.
Becker tallied 236 yards on the ground and scored twice. Mariotti completed seven passes for 68 yards and another touchdown, with Ramos being his favorite receiver with three catches.
Northmor will host Danville this coming Friday as they look to keep their record unblemished. After topping the Freddies, Armrose was simply happy to still be unbeaten after his team’s first league outing.
“It’s a good feeling to come to Fredericktown and win,” he said. “We’re always happy to come to Fredericktown and win. They did a good job tonight.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS