By Ron Nunnari – Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com
MIAMISBURG — It started ugly and ended even uglier. In the first 30 seconds of play there were three fumbles, two by Miamisburg and one by Northmont as if both teams were saying, “We don’t want it, you take it, no you take it.”
Miamisburg fumbled and turned the ball over to Northmont on its second play from scrimmage, and then Northmont fumbled on its first play to give it back to the Vikings. Miamisburg fumbled on the very next play and Northmont took over at its own 42 yard line. Insanity.
Once things settled down the Vikings running game turned Northmont’s defense into Swiss cheese as Miamisburg rolled to an easy 39-3 victory. On Northmont’s final possession and on the last play of the game the snap from center sailed past quarterback Brenden Reck on a third down and 10 at the Northmont 24. Reck chased the ball and kicked it out of the end zone for a safety. It was that kind of game.
Nothing went right for the Thunderbolts. It didn’t help that Miamisburg has a huge offensive line and pair of talented running backs. Junior Tony Clark gained 183 yards and scored two touchdowns on 17 carries and senior fullback Jake Neatherton netted 110 yards on 15 carries, also for two touchdowns.
Overall, the Vikings gained 304 rushing yards and 373 yards overall while limiting Northmont to a total of 109 total yards. Reck completed only six of 23 pass attempts for 58 yards. Running back Devin Kenerly gained 94 yards on 18 carries but got banged up and had to leave the game at one point. Several Northmont players sustained injuries and had to leave the field during the Vikings’ conquest.
The loss effectively ended Northmont’s playoff hopes as the Thunderbolts fell to 4-6 while the playoff bound Vikes conclude regular season play at 8-2. The playoff scenario for Northmont is slim to none, but depending on how things play out the Bolts have an outside shot of earning a playoff berth. Northmont Coach Tony Broering feels that his team’s chances are finished.
“It’s highly unlikely,” Broering said.
When the topic of the Miamisburg running game was discussed, Broering felt his coaching staff had a solid plan in place to keep it in check.
“We had a great defensive game plan in the first quarter,” he said. “They turned the ball over multiple times. We had shown them a new look that they had never seen and they didn’t know how to block it and our defense way playing great.”
Miamisburg scored its first points of the game with 10:22 remaining in first half on a 33 yard Blake Middleton field goal. The Vikings followed with three touchdowns; a 29 yard romp by Clark, a 38 yard run by Neatherton and 16 yard pass from Tate Vongsby to Tyler Johnson to give Miamisburg a 24-0 halftime lead.
“You are not going to keep out-smarting (Miamisburg coach) Steve Channell the whole game,” Broering said. “The defensive coaches put together a great plan, the kids executed it and we had them exactly where we wanted them. The problem was we didn’t do anything with it. They kept giving the ball to us but we couldn’t get a first down, so that makes it tough. We kept turning it back over to them and that makes it hard. We had a good plan and even when we came out in the second half the kids were fired-up. We made great halftime adjustments, we made a stop and got the ball and turned it right back over to them. You just can’t do that against good teams.”
Clark busted loose for a 37 yard touchdown run early in the third quarter to put Miamisburg up 30-0. Gabe Newburg blocked the extra-point attempt.
Northmont’s only other highlight was Nick Winchester’s 45 yard field goal with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter to make it 30-3.
Neatherton scored on a 32 yard touchdown run with 10:02 left in the game and Middleton’s kick made it 37-3. The safety on the last play of the game made the final tally 39-3.