Wayne defeated visiting Northmont 49-20 in a Week 5 high school football game on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

GWOC football special: 5-1 Northmont braces for 6-0 Springfield

The second major test for then-undefeated Northmont didn’t go as planned. Tied at halftime, the Thunderbolts had a second-half defensive meltdown in a 49-20 loss at Wayne.

Yet another top-shelf matchup awaits Northmont (5-1) when unbeaten Springfield (6-0) visits Clayton on Friday.

That Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover contest and a pairing of all four Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North teams highlight Week 7 area high school football games.

»RELATED: 6-0 Wildcats chasing other great Springfield teams

»RELATED: Week 7 football power rankings

Northmont edged Fairmont in Week 2 and was No. 1 in the Division I area power rankings that fateful night at Wayne. Now, it’s Springfield that’s No. 1. This week the Wildcats rose to No. 8 in the Associated Press state poll.

Wayne’s Alijah Fleming (34) and Boogie Walker (5) pursue Northmont QB Miles Johnson. Wayne defeated visiting Northmont 49-20 in a Week 5 high school football game on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Springfield has been at its offensive best and the defense has been in shut-down mode, outscoring Centerville, Lebanon and Xenia a combined 112-13 the last three games. Tavion Smoot (552 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns), Jeff Tolliver (440, 6 TDs) and quarterback RaHeim Moss (888 passing yards, 357 rushing yards) provide a quick-strike Wildcats’ backfield. Nine of Springfield’s touchdowns have been for 44 or more yards.

»RELATED: Fairmont, Springfield 2-3 in computer ratings

»RELATED: Football computer ratings through Week 6

Northmont senior quarterback Miles Johnson has a combined 910 yards passing and 10 touchdowns the last three games. He’s second in GWOC passing (1,334 yards) to West Carrollton’s Tristan Dillon by just two yards.

This outcome will have a major impact on the D-I, Region 3 computer rankings. Fairmont (No. 2), Springfield (No. 3), Northmont (No. 5), Miamisburg (No. 7) and Wayne (No. 9) all are in contention for Region 3 postseason bids. Most will play each other as the regular season winds down and could be in for playoff rematches.

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

»RELATED: Week 7 football schedule

Wayne, at Beavercreek (1-5) on Friday, has the most ground to make up. The Warriors’ Week 2 opponent Columbus COF Academy is not an Ohio High School Athletic Association member. Wayne’s 42-6 blowout will not generate any computer points. Centerville, which pushed Wayne before falling 35-21 last week, is winless.

Northmont’s John Golson (with ball) eludes Fairmont’s Andrew Murray and scores on a 55-yard catch and run. Northmont defeated visiting Fairmont 24-21 in a Week 2 high school football game that was suspended on Friday due to weather delays and completed on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Wayne will make or break its playoff hopes in Weeks 8-10 against Fairmont, Springfield and Trotwood-Madison (4-2).

• The GCL North title quest will shake out somewhat on Friday when Carroll (4-2, 1-2) hosts Alter (5-1, 3-0) and Fenwick (4-2, 2-1) hosts Chaminade Julienne (6-0, 3-0). Crossover games against GCL Central teams also count in divisional standings.

»WEEK 6 REWIND: Springfield last remaining unbeaten GWOC team

»FACEBOOK: For more sports you should like Marc Pendleton

Carroll has lost two straight following a 4-0 start and Alter has won five straight. The Knights have posted three straight blowouts and haven’t scored less than 45 points in that span.

Alter’s Branden McDonald, shown against Fairmont in Week 1, had a program-record 344 yards rushing in a 49-14 win at Cincinnati Roger Bacon on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Carroll senior Fred Butts went for a season-high 155 yards rushing and two scores in a 24-21 loss at Badin last week. Alter sophomore Branden McDonald has emerged as the Knights’ go-to back with 685 yards rushing and nine touchdowns the last three weeks. He had 53 yards rushing and one score through Week 3.

»RELATED: Fairmont stuns Miamisburg late

»PHOTOS: Miamisburg at Fairmont, Week 6 football

CJ freshman Luke Chandler has succeeded celebrated QB Ryan Minor, who must sit out the remainder of the regular season and any postseason games because of the new Ohio High School Athletic Association sit-out rule for transfers.

Chandler passed for 287 yards and two scores in last week’s 35-28 dodging of Roger Bacon (2-4). CJ junior Quincy Johnson tallied that game winner in the final minutes and went for a season-high 213 yards rushing and three scores.

»RELATED: Brookville (5-1) routs Oakwood

»PHOTOS: Oakwood at Brookville, Week 6 football

CJ remains No. 2 in the state D-III poll and No. 1 in the D-III, Region 3 computer rankings.

• There were two Week 7 games scheduled for Thursday: Ponitz (0-6) at Cincinnati Gamble Montessori (2-4) and Tri-Village (3-3) at Twin Valley South (3-3).

»PHOTOS: Northmont at Wayne, Week 5 football

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