Centerville stays unbeaten while handing Northmont first loss

Drake Wells throws three touchdown passes, one on the first play of the game

CENTERVILLE — Three parachutists swooped onto the turf at Centerville Stadium before the game against Northmont on Friday. Their grand entrance was overshadowed by the Elks moments later.

Centerville quarterback Drake Wells threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Nic Bruder on the first play of the game — after 16 seconds had elapsed — to set the tone in a 37-6 victory.

“It was a big play,” Wells said. “I see the script and it’s a deep pass to Nic. That’s what I love to see. Nic loves to see it. We talked about it all day, and we hit it.”

“Great pass from Drake Wells,” Centerville coach Brent Ullery said. “Great protection from the offensive line. Nic Bruder just finished the job. That flipped the game big time right away, and I think there was a little bit of shock for (Northmont).”

Explore» PHOTOS: Centerville vs. Northmont

Wells completed 20 of 33 passes for 319 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He has six touchdown passes and two touchdown runs in five games.

The victory gives Centerville its first 5-0 record since 2017.

“It means a lot,” Wells said, “considering the stuff we heard in the preseason about how we lost some people. It’s good to prove what we can do.”

Two games into the Greater Western Ohio Conference schedule, Centerville and Springfield (4-0) are unbeaten and 2-0 in the conference. Springboro (4-1) is also 2-0 in GWOC.

Normont (4-1) suffered its first loss after three straight shutouts. This was its second straight game against an undefeated team. It knocked Fairmont from the ranks of the unbeaten in Week 4, winning 28-0. It outscored its first four opponents 164-13.

Centerville beat Northmont for the second straight season. The Elks won 38-0 last season.

“They did a really nice job,” Northmont coach Tony Broering said. “They exploited some weaknesses in our secondary, and their defense did a really good job kind of negating our weapons on offense.”

There was a scary moment in the third quarter when Northmont running back Noah McClure was put on a backboard and taken away in an ambulance. Broering said McClure his head on the turf, and they expect him to be OK.

Northmont scored its only touchdown on a 9-yard run by quarterback Cahke’ Cortner on its first possession. Then a botched punt led to a safety for Centerville and a 9-6 lead in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Wells threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Cowgill, who had five catches for 54 yards. With 57 seconds left in the half, Wells scored on a 1-yard run on fourth down to give Centerville a 23-6 halftime lead.

Bruder, who finished with four receptions for 105 yards, caught another touchdown with 1:04 left in the third quarter, this one on an 8-yard pass from Wells. That gave the Elks a 30-6 lead.

Emable Wakilongo, who rushed 19 times for 85 yards, scored Centerville’s final touchdown on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter. Jamar Montgomery added six catches for 94 yards for the Elks.

Centerville plays at Springboro in Week 6.

“There’s definitely a buzz,” Ullery said. “It’s exciting to be in our locker room. But I’ll tell you, the most exciting part is on Mondays Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we’re out there practicing and there’s energy because these guys are hungry to get better each day. They’re not resting on success right now. They’re pressing. They’re trying to be better.”

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