Northwest beats North 43-0
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- Andover rallies for win over Emporia
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- Maize South's defense saves day
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- Carroll rolls to 21st straight victory
- How ranked teams fared (Oct. 25)
- Fridays Kansas high school football scores (Oct. 25)
- Read how Week 8 football unfolded on Twitter
- Gallery: Week 8 high school football
Northwest’s 43-0 victory over North on Friday night featured touchdowns from the usual suspects, but also from some unexpected players.
The victory secured a state playoff berth for the Grizzlies (4-4, 2-0 in Class 6A-District 7), who will play South at home next week. North (1-7, 1-1) will return to the Heights Stadium to take on Campus with state aspirations at stake.
As he has throughout his Northwest career, running back Deron Thompson led the Grizzlies in rushing, finding the end zone three times in the first half.
Northwest quarterback Erin Gaither found his passing touch in the second half, completing half of his 14 passes in the game for 123 yards and a touchdown.
But some lesser-known players also contributed.
Senior middle linebacker Jordan Bell (6-foot, 220 pounds) rumbled in from 4 yards out for a third-quarter touchdown after junior lineman Jose Hernandez had recovered a North fumble at the Redskins 34.
In the first half, junior Romello Cotman intercepted North’s Josh Bryan and returned it to the 5, setting up Thompson’s third score of the game on the next play.
And, junior defensive back Brendan Johnson recovered a Redskins fumble in the end zone.
Thompson finished with 79 yards rushing – 54 of which came on a scoring run on the Grizzlies’ second drive.
“My O-line blocked it pretty good, and I just ran,” Thompson said. “We were focused, and we stuck to our schemes and do what we needed to do.”
Northwest second-year coach Steve Martin said he had been a little nervous entering the game, but it’s a good night when your team’s middle linebacker can run in a score.
“We were in that heavy set, and we know everyone keeps on our featured guy (Thompson), no one looks to our fullback, so it was just pretty easy,” Martin said. “I don’t think anyone knew he had the ball.”
North first-year coach Joe Belden was disappointed that the momentum didn’t carry over.
“Coming off a big win last week (over South) and we had had three weeks in a row where we had gotten better each week and our kids had really started to compete, we definitely did not play to our potential,” he said. “And that’s not to take anything away from Northwest. They came out and deserved to win.”
Still, the Redskins can seal a playoff berth by beating Campus.
“We still control our own destiny,” Belden said. “We’ve got to go back and regroup, get some things fixed, and come out and go after the Colts.”
NW ��� Thompson 54 run (kick failed)
NW – Thompson 2 run (Thompson run)
NW – Johnson recovers fumble in end zone (Stephens kick)
NW – Thompson 5 run (kick failed)
NW – Bryant 44 FG
NW – Bell 4 run (kick failed)
NW – Beckner 9 pass from Gaither (Stephens kick)
RUSHING – Northwest: Thompson 11-79, Williams 4-44, Gaither 11-19, Colburn 4-5, Bell 1-4, Folsom 1-2, Brock 1-(-5). North: Robinson 12-56, McDonald 10-22, Elliott 2-7, Bernard 3-2, Bryan 3-1, Tinoco 1-0.
PASSING – Northwest: Gaither7-14-0-123. North: Bryan 2-4-1-(-1)
RECEIVING – Northwest: Williams 4-59, Beckner 2-39, Levaggi 1-25. North: Tinoco 2-(-1).