PDT Sports Contributor
BEAVER — The Northwest Mohawks survived an Eastern Eagles comeback late in the game to capture their first conference win of the season, defeating the Eagles 40-34. On a chilly, wet night in Beaver the Mohawks improved their record to 3-2 (1-0 SOC), while the Eagles fell to 2-3 (0-2 SOC). The loss snapped Eastern’s two game win streak at home, and gave them a second consecutive loss on the year.
Although Mohawks Head Coach Brooks Fry was happy with the win over the Eagles, he felt the Mohawks didn’t play as good as they could.
“I don’t know what it was, we were up by a couple scores there, and it seemed like we just kind of relaxed,” said Fry. “Before we knew it, we were in a dogfight.”
The 1st quarter started off quickly as both Northwest and Eastern each scored a touchdown quickly. Eastern drew first blood when Eastern quarterback Ethan Leist ran for a 1-yard touchdown run. The scoring drive for the Eagles was set up by a Clay Martin 70-yard kickoff return, which gave the Eagles excellent field position.
Northwest needed less than 2 minutes to answer the Eagle drive as Trevan Bazler broke lose for a 51-yard score.
Northwest took the lead late in the 1st quarter thanks to a 14-yard run by running back Donnie Borens.
On Northwest third drive, Austin Jenkins scored from 22 yard out on a 3rd-and-2, giving Northwest a 21-7 with 9:49 remaining in the 1st half.
The Mohawks momentum continued to roll as Eastern’s Ethan Leist had his pass intended for WR Owen Strong was deflected, and consequently intercepted by Northwest.
Taking over on their own 38 yard line, the Mohawks continued to use their Double Tight Wing formation to move the ball down the field. Northwest’s Austin Jenkins and Donnie Borens combined for seven rushing attempts in the drive before Trevan Bazler punched the ball into the end zone with a 5-yard scoring run.
Despite trailing by 20, Eastern refused to give up, thanks in part to quarterback Ethan Leist connecting with wide receiver Evan Leist for 41 yards, and another pass to wide receiver Clay Martin for 23 yards, which landed the Eagles on the Mohawks 1-yard line. Cole Fremont would capitalize on the Eagles air attack and from a yard out.
Eastern opted to attempt a 2-point conversion, which was successful thanks to a pass from Ethan Leist to Owen Strong. With only 4:52 remaining in the half, Eastern pulled back into the game trailing Northwest 27-15.
The 3rd quarter was dominated by the Northwest. After receiving the second-half kickoff, the Mohawks offense took the field and ran a 16-play drive that nearly took 9 minutes off the clock. Although the drive eventually led to a turnover on downs on the Eastern 11-yard line, it looked like the Mohawks would easily take the rest of the game as the Eastern defense looked to be worn down after such a long drive.
The Eagles found themselves in trouble rather quickly as they faced a 4th down situation on their own 1-yard line thanks to a Mohawks sack which went for a 7-yard loss. The loss was nearly crippling for the Eagles, however Ethan Leist managed to avoid a safety before being tackled on his own 1-yard line.
Lined up to punt the ball away, Eastern’s Clay Martin only got the ball to the 20 before the Mohawks’ Michael Lajoye ran the punt back for a touchdown giving Northwest a 34-15 lead.
Eastern would respond to the punt returned for a touchdown by a 59 yard breakaway scoring run by Cole Fremont, as the 3rd quarter came to an end.
At the beginning of the 4rth, the Mohawks lead had dwindled back to 12.
Trailing 34-22, Ethan Leist scored on a 46-yard touchdown run. The point after attempt was unsuccessful, and with 5:56 remaining in the game, Eastern trailed Northwest by only six points, 34-28.
Northwest would turn the ball over to Eastern on the ensuing drive, after quarterback Garrett Rowe’s pass was intercepted by Eastern’s Jacob Cruse.
The Eagles marched down the field in a 6-point game late in the 4th, with help from a 35-yard Cole Fremont run and a late hit out of bounds by the Mohawks. Eastern capitalized on the situation and tied the game after Ethan Leist connected with Clay Martin for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
After the extra point was missed, Eastern had tied the game 34-34 with only 2:57 seconds remaining in the game.
The Mohawks refused to give up. Donnie Borens would motivate his teammates after a 26-yard run setting up an Austin Jenkins 7-yard run and another Borens run for 19-yards. The Mohawks quickly made their way into Eagles territory. Austin Jenkins answered the call of his team and broke out on a 28-yard run giving the Mohawks a first down deep into Eagles territory, and then followed that up with an 11-yard touchdown run giving the Mohawks the lead.
After another missed extra point, the Mohawks lead the Eagles 40-34 with 36.4 seconds remaining in the game.
That would prove to be enough for the Mohawks, as the Eagles were unable to answer the late 4th quarter score. Once the clock read all zeros, the Mohawks walked away as winners with a final score of Northwest 40 Eastern 34.
The Mohawks will host the East Tartans (4-1) on Friday October 2nd, with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Eas – E. Leist 1 yd rush (PAT) (7-0) (9:56)
NW – T. Bazler 51 yd rush (PAT) (7-7) (9.37)
NW – D. Borens 14 yd rush (PAT) (7-14) (1:54)
NW – A. Jenkins 22 yd rush (PAT) (7-21) (9:49)
NW –T. Bazler 5 yd rush (PAT failed) (7-27) (6:10)
Eas – C. Fremont 1 yd rush (E. Leist to O. Strong for 2 pt conversion)(15-27) (4:52)
NW – M. Lajoye 20 yd punt return (PAT) (15-34) (1:33)
Eas – C. Fremont 59 yd rush (PAT) (22-34) (0:00)
Eas – E. Leist 46 yd rush (PAT no good)(28-34) (5:56)
Eas – E. Leist 12 yd pass to C. Martin (PAT no good) (34-34) (2.57)
NW – A. Jenkins 11 yd rush (PAT no good) (34-40) (0:36)