CARDINGTON — Northmor used a potent passing attack to stop the host Pirates 36-13 in a KMAC contest here Friday night.
The Golden Knights, who entered the game ranked fourth in Division VI, Region 22, used the arm of Hunter Mariotti, who threw for 293 yards (12-of-18) and 4 touchdowns, to push its record to 6-1, 3-1 in the conference.
“We threw the ball really well tonight. They packed the box and made it hard to run the ball,” Northmor head coach Scott Armrose said.
Armrose singled out Cardington defensive lineman Nick McAvoy.
“McAvoy is such a force inside; he’s the best defensive linemen we’ve seen all season. It’s hard to come up with a scheme to double-team him and still block all 3 linebackers in the box. We decided to start throwing the ball a little bit.”
Mariotti did that very well, as he found Blake Miller for touchdowns from 36 and 45 yards. He added a 5-yard scoring toss to Gavin Ramos and a 31-yarder to Andrew Armrose.
Northmor led 29-6 at halftime.
Nathan Hickman found Trey Brininger for a 17-yard score in the second quarter. That came after a McAvoy punt block in Northmor territory.
But Northmor converted on third and one with a 35-yard pass completion that set up its next touchdown and took the momentum away from the hosts.
Pirates head coach Tim Plumley said his team plays hard every week.
“We make a lot of mistakes, mental mistakes. It’s hard to continually battle,” he said.
Cardington has had a rash of injuries to its senior class, including backfield starters Mason Goers and Ty Landon.
“We keep fighting. Our kids are ready every Friday night,” Plumley said.
The Knights outgained the hosts 427-212 in total yardage.
Wyatt Reeder paced the Northmor ground attack with 98 yards on 19 carries and scored the game’s first touchdown from 2 yards out.
Cardington sophomore Joe Denney rushed 6 times for 70 yards, including a 1-yard TD late in the game.
Quarterback Nate Hickman connected on 7-of-16 attempts for 111 yards with one interception.
“They’re a good team. We just got sloppy in the second half. We’ve got a lot of things to clean up,” Armrose said.
Miller had 4 catches for 104 yards and Gavin Ramos 91 on 4 receptions for Northmor. Brininger had 4 grabs for 62 yards for Cardington.
Plumley said his team plays a lot of young players.
“We have a good freshman class. They’re competitive. It’s a good mix of skilled guys and linemen. We didn’t intend on playing them all as much as we have,” he said. “We need to play smarter in certain situations. They’re still learning the game.”
Coming off the loss to East Knox last week, Armrose said his team was ready.
“After a game like last week you can’t wait to get back on the field. We were ready to go Monday.”
Cardington (1-6, 1-3) visits East Knox and Northmor goes to Danville Friday night.
Brydon Ratliff and Grace Struck were crowned king and queen during homecoming festivities prior to the game.