CANAL WINCHESTER—The odds were too much against 15th-seeded Northwest in its Division V, Region 19 opening-round contest with host Canal Winchester Harvest Prep.
The second-seeded Warriors overmatched the Mohawks with an impressive first quarter and coasted to a 54-7 victory at Jack Johnson Field.
While Bowling Green commit Jalen Jennings garnered a lot of attention coming into the contest, his efforts were dwarfed by teammate Marchello Cox’s 163 yards on the ground.
“They were so much faster than us across the board and they were way more aggressive than what I thought they were on film,” Northwest coach Bill Crabtree said. “They came out and hit us in the mouth with their speed. We weren’t able to keep them contained very well.”
Harvest Prep (7-2) raced out to a 34-point lead in the first quarter, prompting both coaches to make the transition to a running clock for the remainder of the game.
The key momentum plays in the quarter came when Rashad DeBose recovered an Austin Newman fumble and the Warrior special teams unit blocked an Eli Detwiller punt.
The Mohawks (5-6) ended the shutout bid in the third quarter when Newman connected with freshman Peyton Bell on a 12-yard pitch-and-catch.
The drive was set up thanks to Northwest’s defensive stand on fourth down within the Harvest Prep 20.
Crabtree was pleased with how the program fought its way to a chance the previous week for a Southern Ohio Conference Division I crown.
Staring at a 1-4 mark heading into SOC I action, the Mohawks strung together four-straight wins and were two points away from the division title without their top back in Brayden Campbell and a defensive stalwart in Evan Lintz (triple-digit tackles in each of his first three years before an injury ended his season after two games) — and lost last year’s SOC I Back of the Year Wyatt Brackman in the defeat to Symmes Valley.
Making the playoffs for the second time in school history—and twice in as many seasons—is a major accomplishment for the program in McDermott, but Northwest will have to maintain its building infrastructure without a senior class led by a four-year signal-caller in Newman.
While Crabtree wanted to give his seniors one final chance to come off the field together as a class, Newman wanted to play to the final snap.
“He played offense, defense, and special teams,” Crabtree said, “He played all over the place tonight for us. He said it was his last game and he wanted to make the most of it.”
One bright spot returning will be in the middle of the defense — as the Mohawks, like they had done for the majority of the season, started three freshmen at linebacker.
The Warriors welcome Amanda-Clearcreek Saturday for a regional quarterfinal affair.
The seventh-seeded Aces (7-4) dispatched 10th-seeded Minford (6-4) with a 31-6 decision.
HP—J. Jennings 15 run (Harris kick) 10:50
HP—A. Jennings 24 pass from Rogers (kick failed) 6:37
HP—J. Jennings 8 pass from Rogers (Harris kick) 6:00
HP—Cox 5 run (Harris kick) 4:16
HP—Cox 12 pass from Rogers (Harris kick) 1:46
HP—J. Jennings 59 run (kick failed) 9:26
HP—Bautista 6 pass from Rogers (rush failed) 2:24
NW—Peyton Bell 12 pass from Austin Newman (Jay Jenkins kick) 4:32
HP—M. Saunders 67 pass from Lipsey (Lipsey pass to White) 1:41
RUSHING: Northwest—Alex Baer 2-3, Layne Gilley 1-0, Bryson Johnson 6-(-3), Austin Newman 7-(-12); Harvest Prep—Cox 11-163, J. Jennings 2-74, Watkins 7-21, Lipsey 4-12, Saunders 1-9
PASSING: Northwest—Austin Newman 6-11-0 33 TD; Harvest Prep—Rogers 8-13-0 132, Lipsey 2-3-0 74
RECEIVING: Northwest—Zane Gilley 3-23, Peyton Bell 1-12 TD, Aaron Penn 1-1, Bryson Johnson 1-(-1); Harvest Prep—Saunders 3-85, Bautista 2-40, Saunders 2-35, Burrell 1-26, Cox 1-12, J. Jennings 1-8