COLERAIN TWP, Ohio – It was only appropriate that in such a big game Northwest came up with big plays.
The Knights captured the program’s first-ever playoff victory, avenging a Week 8 loss to Harrison with a 56-35 win over Wildcats at Colerain on Friday.
Northwest (9-2) moved this game to accommodate the crowd and stay off the natural grass of their home field, which had been beaten up by the schools’ soccer teams over the past several weeks.
The fans were rewarded in what may wind up being deemed the school’s “greatest show on turf.”
Northwest star Darius Johnson was not to be denied. The senior had 14 touches for 301 all-purpose yards while finding the end zone four times.
Johnson scored on receptions of 47 and 65 yards, had a 65-yard touchdown run and a 67-yard pick six. He did his biggest damage twice after Harrison (7-4) pulled to within two scores as he squelched their comeback aspirations late in the third and early in the fourth quarter with his 65-yard touchdown run and his 65-yard scoring reception.
On the night he had seven catches for 147 yards.
It wasn’t only Johnson making dreams come true for the Knights program. Classmate Cory Roberson accounted for 314 yards of total offense (210 passing, 104 rushing) with five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing).
The quarterback has been red hot, with 20 of his 30 touchdown passes coming in the last six weeks.
To round out the rest of Northwest’s high-powered offensive attack, Tristan Snow scored on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Roberson and Will Robertson broke through for a 47-yard scoring scamper.
Even though Snow had a season-high 65 yards receiving, it marked the seventh time this year that he has had more than 50 yards receiving in a game.
In a contest that featured 934 yards of combined total offense by the two squad’s Northwest wasn’t the only group with stars.
Quarterback Jake Weber had career highs of 330 yards and four touchdowns passing for the Wildcats. He also racked up 88 yards and a score on the ground. A major beneficiary of Weber’s handy work was sophomore Mitchell Hogue, who had his best day at the varsity level with nine receptions for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
Justin Conners wound up with 181 all-purpose yards and a receiving score. A. J. Glines amassed 145 all-purpose yards with a touchdown reception.
Northwest will face top-seeded Loveland (11-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lakota West.