Miles Johnson didn’t know much about the Northmont football program other than the Thunderbolts were loaded with an experienced offensive line. It doesn’t get any better than that for a junior transfer quarterback.
“It’s a real blessing,” gushed Johnson, a former backup at Fairmont, after directing an impressive 48-13 knockout of visiting Vandalia-Butler in one of four area high school football games on Thursday night. “Coming in, I didn’t know anybody, but having three, three-year starters as your O-linemen has been a blessing.”
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It was the third straight win for streaking Northmont in the Week 4 Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover game between the longtime neighboring rivals. Northmont (3-1) also has beaten Fairfield and Tippecanoe.
Northmont should improve its standing in Division I, Region 3 from its current No. 9 position. Loaded with GWOC teams, including the entire National East Division, the top eight teams at the end of the regular season qualify for the playoffs.
Johnson and senior running back Devin Kenerly had career nights against the undermanned Aviators (1-3). Johnson completed 20 of 22 passes for 292 yards and produced four touchdown passes, including a 53-yard strike to Drake Hickman just before halftime.
Kenerly, a bruising slasher, had 166 yards rushing and scored twice. Both mounted most of that offensive production in the decisive first half.
So much for Northmont’s season-opening setback at unbeaten Cincinnati Winton Woods.
“It’s a new team,” assured Kenerly. “We’re all clicking together and we’ve got a new quarterback who’s doing great. We’re just brothers, now.”
That’s the kind of talk that geeks up Northmont coach Tony Broering. Kenerly was one of at least a half-dozen T-Bolt seniors who are three-year starters. Northmont lost five of its final six games to finish 4-6 last season. In 2015 Northmont was 3-7.
“Offensively, Miles is really playing well to say the least and he’s surrounded by so much,” said Broering, in his third season as Northmont’s head coach. “And when you can turn around and hand it to Devin, the kid is a special, special football player. I tell everybody how lucky I am to be their coach and I’m proud to be their coach.”
Jabari Perkins led Northmont with eight catches for 96 yards accounted for two of Johnson’s TD tosses. Logan Flatt led Butler with 124 yards rushing. Daiton Sharpe had a 9-yard TD catch from Butler QB Mason Motter. Bobby Buckler also had a 13-yard scoring run. That wasn’t near enough to counter Northmont’s 615 yards of total offense.
Northmont appears on the fast track back to the playoffs, which hasn’t happened since 2013. A major midseason test is next with mighty Wayne (2-1) visiting in a Week 5 showdown. Wayne hosts unbeaten Miamisburg (3-0) on Friday.
Northmont (3-1), Miamisburg (3-0), Lebanon (2-2) and Springboro (1-2) make up the GWOC National West. If Northmont is to contend for a divisional title, credit Johnson for a bonus lineup bump.
“He’s got a lot of pressure on him,” admitted Broering. “Anytime you’re playing quarterback at Northmont High School, it’s a pressure situation.”
Beavercreek 41, Lebanon 35, double OT: Kaden Wenger rumbled for what could be a program-record 319 yards rushing and scored twice but it was Drew Nanda’s 4-yard TD run in the second OT that was the difference for the unbeaten Beavers.
Beavercreek (4-0) was last undefeated through Week 4 in 2008. Lebanon (2-2) tallied 21 points in the second quarter.
Dunbar 60, Cin. Shroder 21: Tavion Thomas had 162 yards rushing and ran for three touchdowns to carry Dunbar also on Thursday at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium. The Wolverines improve to 3-1 and like Northmont have won three straight.
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