Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
September 22, 2012The Northwest Knights went about it the hard way, but in the end senior leadership would guide the program to its first ever 5-0 start as they survived a gutsy Wilmington squad, 23-21, as the US Marines Backyard Battle Series settled in at Knight Stadium.
Things started off great for the Knights, but as the game wore on there were errors along the way that allowed the Hurricane to have a couple of shots to win the game in the fourth quarter. It would be Nolan Miller, DeQuan Render, Rasheen Jones and Lynneric Mathis stepping up and make veteran plays to preserve the victory.
Jamiel Trimble fumbled the opening kickoff for Northwest (5-0, 2-0). On the very next play the Wilmington offense coughed the ball right back up. The Knights' offense would go to work from there. They ate up the next five minutes with a drive that culminated in a Cory Roberson to Brandon Thompson 22-yard touchdown pass. Three minutes later Jason Philllips found the end zone for the third time in 2011 making the score 13-0 after a missed extra point.
Wilmington (3-2, 0-2) would find some life on the next series. Hurricane running back Zach Day broke free down the left side of the field on an electrifying 65-yard run. A few plays later David Henry would finish the drive on a run to make it 13-7.
Trimble would get redemption when he caught a pass and blew past the Wilmington defense for an 82-yard touchdown. It made the score 20-7 less than 16 minutes into the contest. Roberson would finish the first half with three completions for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
With a chance to go up by 20, Trimble got behind the Hurricane secondary, but dropped what would have been a 69-yard touchdown catch. That's when the funk began for the Knights.
Day would find the end zone before intermission pulling Wilmington to within seven at 20-13. The tide had started to swing the Canes way
One snap into the third quarter and the game was shut down due to lightning for about an hour. When play resumed Northwest came out and played like they were in a haze committing turnovers and penalties. On the night the Knights would lose the football three times and commit nine infractions for 76 yards. While all this was going on for the home team Wilmington was keeping drives alive as they put themselves in a position to win on the road.
The first score after break came on a 30-yard field goal by Northwest kicker Kyle Kostoff, putting the Knights' lead back to double digits at 23-13.
Day didn't waste time getting Wilmington back in it with his second touchdown run 1:41 later. He would shoot out to his left and scamper over the goal for the two-point conversion pulling his team to within two at 23-21. Day would finish the contest with 162 yards on 28 carries and 14 total points.
Now the Hurricane offense had flipped the time of possession battle heavily into their favor. They would hold the ball almost nine minutes more than Northwest when the final stats were all tallied.
Tired and on the verge of seeing their perfect season end, the Knights' Mathis and Jones would come up with big sacks to thwart Wilmington drives in the fourth quarter. Render came up with a big interception to stymie Wilmington's comeback attempt. Roberson would add the insurance six points on a short run with 1:22 left as Northwest narrowly escaped.
Northwest will head up to Oxford and square off against Talawanda (0-5, 0-2). Wilmington tries to snap a two-game skid as they host league leader Harrison (2-3, 2-0).