Northwest won two football games in five days last week.
The Lions’ home opener was scheduled for Aug. 30 against Francis Howell North, but it was washed out because of rain and lightning. Northwest beat the Knights 14-13 on Labor Day when the Lions blocked the extra point after North scored a touchdown with 4:07 left in the game.
Using a running back-by-committee approach at Parkway South on Friday, nine Northwest backs combined to gain 289 yards on 47 carries as the Lions rolled 31-7.
“It’s tough playing two games in five days,” Northwest head coach Corey Toenjes said. “Wednesday (Sept. 4) we had a full practice and our JV team went to Troy Buchanan and won a thriller. By Thursday we had our legs back. We don’t think Parkway South respects us and we were locked in.”
Almost 100 players came out for football at Northwest this year. That depth helped the Lions overcome fatigue and none of their linemen played both offense and defense. Left tackle Adrian Cantu, left guard Brendan Rehkop, center Josh Kunderer, right guard Ian McPherson and right tackle Luke Vandaveer opened the holes for the diverse rushing attack.
“We play a physical style on offense and it will take its toll on you, so it’s good to have enough depth on both sides of the ball,” Toenjes said.
“They do the dirty work for us and they had a huge jump from Week 1 to Week 2. We have the depth in practice to where they’re going up against our No. 1s on defense.”
Junior Andrew Lenzen made field goals from 36 and 27 yards to give the Lions a 6-0 lead over the Patriots after the first quarter.
“Both drives stalled out in the red zone and that was frustrating and special teams early in the year can be sloppy. Everything was smooth after that,” Toenjes said.
Mali Walton gave the Patriots a 7-6 lead in the second quarter with a 4-yard TD run and extra point. But Northwest quarterback Trey Davis found senior wide receiver Jack Watson with a 20-yard scoring strike with 4:22 to play in the first half. The two-point conversion failed and the Lions led 12-7. Davis completed 8-of-10 passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns. Watson caught a team-high five passes for 75 yards.
“Trey had a great summer and he’s getting better every day,” Toenjes said. “He has good pocket awareness. His second TD was a bootleg and he cut it short. Watson gave a double move and Trey threw it to the spot he needed to.”
Senior Derrill Reed was about to cross the goal line in the third quarter when the ball was punched out of the running back’s hands. McPherson jumped on the fumble in the end zone for a Northwest TD, Lenzen booted the PAT and the Lions led 19-7.
Davis threw TD passes to Watson (7 yards) and senior Ronnie Delashmet (1 yard) later in the second half to cap the scoring. Freshman Chase Viehland led Northwest with 96 yards on 12 carries. Watson added 58 yards on the ground on just three carries. Senior Landon Kettler had 60 yards on 12 rushing attempts.
“Our offensive linemen kept wearing on them and our backs don’t have breakaway speed, but they play hard for each other,” Toenjes said.
Kettler had one of the Lions’ six sacks against Parkway South. Junior defensive lineman Johnny Daffron had three sacks on Friday and has five this season. Junior Kenny Angeles (6-7, 382) is eating up two gaps on the D-line for Northwest, helping other Lions get to the QB.
In the win over Francis Howell North, Delashmet caught a 1-yard TD pass from Davis in the second quarter and Viehland scored on a run from 6 yards. Watson caught a pass from Davis to complete the conversion after Viehland’s TD for the game-winning points. Viehland led the Lions with 65 yards on the ground against the Knights. Davis was 4-of-13 for 54 yards in the opener. Senior linebacker JoJo Camacho led Northwest with 10 tackles.
When the Lions host Riverview Gardens on Friday, they’ll honor members of the military and first responders with free admission and treats.
The Rams are 0-2 and have been outscored 88-10. Even though his team is 2-0, Toenjes said he isn’t taking any opponent lightly.
“Our margin of error is small enough we have to keep focused on every opponent,” he said.
Fox stays undefeated
Brock Inman’s DNA was all over Fox’s latest victory.
The Warriors improved to 2-0 after beating Lindbergh 21-7 on Friday in Arnold. The junior quarterback tossed a 20-yard TD pass to senior Jake Pisoni to open the scoring in the first quarter. After the Flyers tied the game at the end of the first, Inman put the Warriors back on top with an 18-yard scoring run with 10:42 left in the first half.
Up by a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, junior Ethan Phillips rushed into the end zone from 5 yards for the final score. Inman booted all three extra points and, along with junior Luke Pisoni, led Fox with 57 yards on the ground.
“We’re pretty hard on Brock because his ceiling is really high,” Fox head coach Brent Tinker said. “He is a renaissance man of sorts.”
Senior running back Carson Elwood wasn’t 100 percent so Luke Pisoni carried more of the load.
“Luke was asked to do a whole lot more and he was spectacular at fullback and linebacker,” Tinker said. “It’s the second week in a row he’s led the team in tackles.”
Tinker said if Inman masters the play-action pass, the offense will be hard to stop. Inman just escaped pressure before he threw the TD pass to Jake Pisoni.
“That ball was a split-second away from being deflected or intercepted,” Tinker said. “As a coach, I looked at it and thank goodness we scored but we’ve got to work on timing. Brock escaped the pressure and made the play.”
The Warriors have allowed 21 points over their first two games and held the Flyers to fewer than 200 yards of offense. Junior defensive back Juhaud Thompson had an interception against Lindbergh.
“(The Flyers) had some good players and we struggled to get them off the field at times. Coach (Dennis Sander) is rolling people through and keeping them fresh. He’s playing chess out there and their fullback was coming off the ball hard. Ultimately, we bent but didn’t break. (Phil Lashley) is one of the best defensive backs coaches in the area.”
Counting last season, Fox is 11-3 in its last 14 games. The Warriors travel to Rockwood Summit (2-0) on Friday. The Falcons bludgeoned Fort Zumwalt East 63-0 last week. Summit QB Andrew Klump completed five passes against the Lions, with four going for TDs.
“The kids have really grown and are doing a good job but the moment we start acting like we’re 11-3, we’ll get beat,” Tinker said. “It’s great to win against a program like Lindbergh, but Summit is just around the corner.”