CINCINNATI - A veteran group of Northwest seniors showed their moxie Thursday evening in taking down McNicholas in convincing fashion, 37-13.
Every time McNick appeared to having something going the veteran-led Knights (1-0) answered the call.
At times it wasn’t pretty, with penalties setting the offense back on numerous occasions and the defense giving up yardage to the Rockets’ runners between the 20-yard lines. The Knights managed to grind it out and the final scoreboard reflected their efforts as they rewarded coach Nate Mahon with his first victory.
Darius Johnson helped Northwest take control early with a 14-yard touchdown reception two-and-a-half minutes into the contest. On the following possession he picked off McNicholas quarterback Luke Sullen to set the tone for Northwest.
Johnson wasn’t finished, though. He showed off his speed by pulling away from Rockets defenders on a nifty 60-yard catch and run for his second touchdown.
That score came less than a minute after the Rockets had cut the lead to 23-13 with two minutes left in the third quarter.
The Northwest offense had plenty of stars, including an offense line that sealed the outside and allowed runners like Corey McGinnis, Willie Robertson and DeVohn Jackson to get around the corners all night.
Robertson scored twice and Jackson found the end zone once. Quarterback Corey Roberson threw two touchdown passes in a game for the sixth time in his last 10 starts.
The Knights defense complimented their offensive attack. They forced five turnovers, including two fourth-quarter fumbled that sealed McNick's fate.
Juniors Julian Daniels and Shane Baldwin had interceptions to account for the other two turnovers.
Northwest will host Amelia next week before embarking on a three-game road trip that includes Tecumseh, Ross and Wilmington.
McNicholas chance at redemption comes Saturday afternoon when they play Oakridge from Ontario, Canada.
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