COLERAIN TWP – “The Four Horsemen” was the name given to Notre Dame’s backfield during the 1924 season. Since then, there have been myriad names for a standout group on the football field.
Northwest’s defensive line of Khalil Clark, Samari Thurmond , Riley Schirmer and Michael Carter adopted the moniker during training camp.
“They started calling themselves that the entire time during training camp,” Northwest coach Nate Mahon said. “After they kept saying it, I just let it stick. They’re all playing very well and most of them are juniors.”
Clark is the only senior in that group.
In the past, the unit referred to themselves as “The Dark Side”, but Carter said the group wanted a new name. Call the players whatever comes to mind, either way, the group is still playing lights-out.
The Knights have surrendered the fewest points (53) in the Southwest Ohio Conference through week three.
“We have been giving offenses a lot of trouble, putting a lot of pressure on the offensive line and doing everything right,” Carter said. “We want to show Division III we are here and ready to play.”
Western Hills, Troy and North College Hill know that firsthand. Northwest blew out West High and NCH and came from behind to beat Troy.
Carter, whose three sacks put him among the league leaders, and fellow defensive linemen agree there are things to improve upon.
For starters, they all want to put more pressure on the quarterback and they’re willing to put the work in to be successful.
“It’s been hard work working on things like techniques,” Thurmond said. “That’s all we’ve been doing.”
Clark said the biggest keys to maintaining the momentum as the season continues are staying focused and to keep playing even when it gets hard.
Those factors will become crucial as the Knights enter their SWOC slate. They played Ross Sept. 18. The Rams entered the matchup scoring an average of 41 points a game.
After that, Northwest matches up with La Salle, a defending state champion.
Following that game are contests with Talawanda, road games at Edgewood and Little Miami and the final two home games of the regular season against Harrison and Mount Healthy.
Mahon would like to see the success continue for the guys on the D-line and the team as a whole.
“All those guys worked very hard in the offseason in the weight room,” he said. “They’ve worked their butts off and they are reaping the benefits.”