COLERAIN TWP. – It came down to the wire, but Mount Healthy will take wins any way it can get them.
Northwest’s field goal attempt fell short with seconds left in the fourth quarter to seal a 27-24 win. With the triumph, the Owls have now won the Southwest Ohio Conference four years in a row.
Players donned commemorative T-shirts after the game.
“These kids deserve it,” coach Arvie Crouch said. “It was a tight one but we’ll take it any way we can. As long as it’s a “W”, we don’t care.”
After neither team scored in the first quarter, Northwest punched first early in the second quarter. Knights quarterback Brandon Shelton found a receiver for a 28-yard touchdown.
After the point after, Northwest led 7-0 with 9:32 left in the second quarter. Shelton has thrown 19 touchdowns against no interceptions this season.
Later in the quarter, the Owls responded.
On fourth-and-6 from the Northwest 40, Mount Healthy lined up in punt formation. Instead, quarterback David Montgomery flung it deep downfield to his receiver.
The Knights’ defensive back didn’t turn around and was flagged for pass interference.
Later in the drive, Montgomery, who’d been contained on a couple occasions, finally crossed the goal line. The extra point tied the game with 3:28 left in the half.
Northwest’s quick passes opened up running lanes in-between the tackles early in the second half. Shelton and running back Devonte Faulkner worked the ball downfield.
Shelton bruised into the end zone for the three-yard score.
However, the game changed quickly on the next couple possessions.
Facing a third-and-34, Montgomery found Derell Williams, setting up fourth-and-long. On the next play, Crouch gambled again, putting the ball in Montgomery’s hands.
Said ball found Tyree Roberson for the touchdown. After an extra point, the Owls tied the game at 14 with 3:49 left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing kick, Northwest fumbled the catch. Mount Healthy scooped it up for good field position.
A few plays later, Montgomery took it himself for the 21-yard score.
“We were really having some problems with that D-line but our line stepped and created the holes,” Crouch said. “You have to give them credit and David would be the first one to tell you that. “
Northwest regrouped on its next drive. The power runs of Faulkner helped move the ball deep into Owl territory. The Knights had to settle for a 27-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the third.
That set up a wild fourth quarter.
After a fourth-and-eleven pass fell incomplete, Mount Healthy regained possession.
Montgomery found a hole and took 86 yards for the touchdown. The extra point was missed but the Owls still held a 10-point lead with 2:05 left.
The Knights didn’t quit though.
Shelton worked his offense down the field before Faulkner capped the drive with a touchdown. After the extra point, The Knights trailed by three, 27-24, with 55 seconds left.
Northwest got the bounce it needed for the onside kick and took over with great field position.
After a few incompletions, Greg Jackson snared a fourth-down pass, giving the Knights new life.
After a spike, a short run by Shelton and an incomplete pass, the Knights stared at another fourth down.
They brought on kicker Matt Courter for the game-tying field goal. His kick appeared to be tipped, falling short of the crossbar.
“Nobody counted us in this year because we lost 10 guys on defense and we only had a few coming back on offense,” Crouch said. “I have to credit our coaches and our players. It started back in the summer when we through the Marine training. I can’t tell enough you how proud I am of these guys.”
Mount Healthy 0 7 14 6 – 27
Northwest 0 7 10 7- 24