East Knox does everything well in 41-0 win over Northmor
“Our motto this year has been, ‘Refuse to Lose,’ and we’re all taking it to heart.”
MOUNT GILEAD — A well-executed passing scheme, great blocking and shutdown defense, topped off by a generous supply of Caleb Gallwitz, proved to be way too much for the Northmor Golden Knights. The visiting East Knox Bulldogs hung three touchdowns on Northmor in the second quarter to pummel them, 41-0, in a battle of undefeated Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference teams.
The Bulldogs, who lost at home to Northmor last season, dominated from the very first play from scrimmage — a 56-yard touchdown run by Gallwitz.
“The score wasn’t expected,” Gallwitz said. “It was a hard-fought game the whole time. It didn’t feel like we won by that much, because both teams fight so hard.”
Gallwitz opened the second quarter with another touchdown run, this time of 12 yards. He went on to finish with 24 carries for 265 yards and four touchdowns.
With the Bulldogs on top, 13-0, Northmor got the ball back, but the Bulldogs’ defense stopped them near midfield. East Knox got the ball back on downs, working it down to the Northmor 13. From there, East Knox quarterback Kadden Lester tossed a touchdown pass to Gage Steinmetz.
“We tackled pretty well,” said East Knox coach Cody Reese. “I’m pleased with how we came off the ball. They were disciplined in the box.”
Lester had 130 yards passing, but this might be his best performance of the year. He went 18-for-22, threw for a touchdown and was picked off one time. More importantly, Lester and the offense executed extremely well and spread out the Northmor defense, which opened up the run game for Gallwitz.
“We were expecting a dogfight,” Lester said. “We really dug deep. Winning like this is an awesome feeling.”
The Bulldogs’ defense held Northmor quarterback Hunter Mariotti to 7-of-17 passing for 69 yards. Teammate Wyatt Reeder had 16 carries for 69 yards. An East Knox interception by Shane Knepp at the Bulldogs’ 25-yard line broke up a drive by the Knights in the second quarter, but later, it looked like the Knights finally caught a break when Gallwitz fumbled the ball away at the Northmor 48. The Knights, however, could not capitalize, fumbling the ball twice on that series, and the second was recovered by Steinmetz on a Luke Grosscup sack of Mariotti. The Knights and the Bulldogs each lost two fumbles in the game, but the Knights failed to convert on their fumbles or the one interception that they had, late in the first half.
“We were sloppy, offensively,” said Northmor Coach Scott Armrose. “We put ourselves and our defense in bad situations. We also need to do a better job taking care of the football and making decisions with the football.”
East Knox capped their first-half performance with a Weston Melick 3-yard touchdown run, giving the Bulldogs a 27-0 advantage that they had not been expecting.
“I had no idea it would be like this,” Melick said. “I thought it would be a one-score game. Our O-line and D-line controlled the line of scrimmage all night long.”
Gallwitz ran for another pair of touchdowns in the second half, topping it off with a 69-yard scoring romp. For Gallwitz and the rest of the Bulldogs, it is one more step as the team tries to avoid the disappointment of the past two seasons.
“It feels great, but we’re not over the hump yet,” Gallwitz said. “Our motto this year has been, ‘Refuse to Lose,’ and we’re all taking it to heart.”