A Friday night battle of unbeaten KMAC football teams did not go the way that Northmor expected.
Hosting East Knox for their Homecoming game, the Golden Knights gave up a 57-yard touchdown run to the Bulldogs’ Caleb Gallwitz, who finished with a whopping 265 yards on the ground, on the second play from scrimmage and never were able to recover in losing a 41-0 decison. Northmor falls to 5-1, 2-1 in league play, while EK remains perfect at 6-0, 3-0.
“It wasn’t unexpected,” said Northmor coach Scott Armrose of East Knox’s quick start. “Gallwitz was going to get his yards. He’s a big play guy.”
What was unexpected for the coach was his team’s offensive performance. Northmor was held to 167 yards in the game and was unable to take advantage of a number of potential opportunities.
“We were sloppy offensively,” said Armrose. “We put ourselves in bad situations and put our defense in bad situations.”
On their first drive, a 15-yard run by Wyatt Reeder and an 11-yard pass from Hunter Mariotti to Blake Miller helped the team drive from their 30 to the Bulldog 36. However, the drive would stall and they would turn the ball over on downs.
After the team’s traded punts, East Knox got the ball on their 33 and embarked on a time-consuming 13-play drive that ended with a 12-yard Gallwitz touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. A three-and-out by the Golden Knights would then lead to another scoring drive from the Bulldogs to put them in front 20-0 with nearly nine minutes remaining in the first half.
Northmor would get the ball near midfield after a short kick by East Knox, but after two runs by Reeder and a pass from Mariotti to the running back, the Bulldogs recorded an interception. Northmor would quickly regain possession after forcing a fumble, but they wouldn’t be able to capitalize, fumbling the ball back to their opponents.
Northmor’s defense rose up again, as Logan Randolph intercepted a Kadden Lester pass with just under three minutes remaining in the half. While they were able to push the ball into East Knox territory, their drive would stall and the Bulldogs took over on their 46 with 1:45 left after the Knights turned the ball over on downs.
“We just weren’t able to get it going,” said Armrose. “They made plays. We had opportunities, but that’s what a good football team does. They take those opportunities away from you.”
After taking away that opportunity, East Knox struck again, going 54 yards in six plays and getting a short touchdown run by Weston Melick to lead 27-0 going into the half.
Northmor’s first drive of the second half started with potential, as Mariotti hit Bryce Downard for 20 yards and Reeder added three carries for 16 yards. However, after moving the ball down to the Bulldog 30, a Mariotti pass was intercepted and East Knox ran it back to their 48.
From there, they drove down the field and took a 34-0 lead after a five-yard run by Gallwitz. After forcing a punt on Northmor’s next possession, Gallwitz made it back into the end zone for his four rushing touchdown of the night, taking the first play 69 yards and putting East Knox in front by 41.
After a scoreless fourth quarter, East Knox had taken control of the KMAC as the league’s only undefeated team.
Northmor got 60 rushing yards from Reeder, while Mariotti completed eight passes for 63 yards. Downard had two catches for 33, while Miller hauled in a pair for 22 yards.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS