Over the course of the 2017 season, the Northwest Mohawks’ football program has faced its fair share of struggles.
However, despite those very struggles, Northwest has continued to push forward — and on Friday evening, it paid off with a big win.
Garrett Rowe threw for 193 yards through the air and collected three touchdowns without turning the ball over a single time — including touchdown passes of 92 and 56 yards, respectively — and Billy Crabtree made a triumphant return into the starting lineup by obtaining a 12-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-three to start the scoring as the Mohawks defeated the Notre Dame Titans, 48-12, on Friday evening at Spartan Stadium in Portsmouth.
From the outset, Crabtree and Northwest wasted no time taking control of the affair as the 6-3, 170-pound sophomore collected a 20-yard run to move the ball inside the Notre Dame 30. Then, after a 13-yard pass from Rowe to Timmy Emmons, the running back made the first significant salvo of the affair by converting the previously mentioned fourth-and-three en route to putting Northwest up by a 7-0 tally with just over five minutes to play in the opening quarter of action.
In the second quarter of play, Rowe began to counter Crabtree’s momentum on the ground with his throwing abilities from the quarterback position. With just over ten minutes to play, Rowe found Timmy Emmons through the air for a long touchdown pass that put Northwest in front by a 14-0 margin.
Ben Mader, however, put up a heck of a fight in trying to keep Notre Dame in the gritty affair. On the ensuing kickoff, Mader’s kick return abilities showed up in spades as the junior took the enusing kickoff back 80 yards for a score to put Notre Dame with eight, 14-6, with around nine and a half minutes to go in the first half of play.
However, the throwing abilities of Rowe proved to be too much for the Titans’ defense to handle.
On two consecutive offensive possessions, the senior found Emmons for a 56-yard touchdown on the near side of the field, then, with just under four and a half minutes to play, found Hall in a one-on-one jumpball situation that the senior wideout turned into a 92-yard touchdown reception, which turned a tight 14-6 battle into a 28-6 margin.
Then, on a third-and-20 from the Notre Dame 29, Rowe used his hands to haul in a touchdown pass as the senior caught a perfectly executed fake sweep pass from Andrew Howard, ran over a Notre Dame tackler, and fought off a second by fighting the defender off inside the pylon for a touchdown that put the Mohawks firmly in control via a 34-6 margin. Northwest proceeded to have no issues from there as the Mohawks kept the point throughout the second half en route to a 48-12 victory.
“We played hard tonight, and played well,” Northwest head coach Doug Montavon said following the affair. “Having Billy Crabtree back is a huge help, not only on the field but in his leadership skills. We played a disciplined Notre Dame team tonight and we were fortunate enough to come out on top tonight because of our execution in all facets of the game.”
In addition to the efforts of Crabtree, Emmons, Hall, and Rowe, Howard, in addition to his 29-yard touchdown pass, collected seven and a half tackles and one-half sack to head up the defensive efforts for Northwest.
With the victory, Northwest moved to 1-7 overall and 1-3 in SOC I action while establishing momentum ahead of a conference battle against Green on Friday. Notre Dame fell to 2-6 overall and 1-4 in SOC I play with the loss, and will look to bounce back in nonconference action when the Titans take on Manchester in a road contest.