NEW MARKET — North Montgomery set the tone early and won the battle in the trenches, beating rival Southmont 28-6 on Friday night to earn bragging rights and Journal Review County Chase points.
The Class 3A No. 15 ranked Chargers, who move to 3-0 on the season, ran the ball 53 times for 290 yards.
“Obviously if you can establish the run game that is always a good thing,” North Montgomery coach Josh Thompson said. “You can control the ball and control the clock. I thought our kids did really well. Proud of the O-line tonight, they opened up some gaps and allowed our backs to run hard.”
Zak Searle carried the biggest load for the Chargers, cashing in 35 rushes for 187 yards. The senior tailback gave the Chargers an early 6-0 lead with a 6-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter. Donavan Haworth connected on a trio of touchdowns, including a pair to Logan Kelly to break the game wide open.
Nothing stopped the Chargers as they outgained the Mounties 398-85 in total yards.
“I’ve said it before and I’m going to keep saying it,” Thompson added. “These kids keep bouncing back. I think on one drive we scored three times and it kept getting called back because of penalties, but they kept fighting and kept battling.”
Southmont had its chances early, blocking a punt on the Chargers’ first drive, but turned the ball over on downs twice and lost a fumble on its first three possessions.
“They wanted to come out and establish a physical tone tonight and that’s what they did on both sides of the ball,” Southmont coach Desson Hannum said. “We held for a little while and just couldn’t continue to hold. We made some plays early in the game. We had some momentum there, we just couldn’t capitalize in those situations.”
Carson Chadd put the Mounties (1-1, 0-1 SAC) on the board with a 67-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 6-6 at the 4:53 mark in the second quarter, but Haworth found Kelly from 14-yards out just before the half to give the Chargers the lead for good.
Southmont had just 4 net yards in the second half. Chadd led the Mounties with 87 rushes on eight carries.
“We knew going into the game they were going to bring pressure,” Hannum said. “We held up early, we were able to get some things on the outside and they made some adjustments to try and counter what we were trying to do. We just weren’t good enough tonight, and we have to be better.”
Haworth completed 8-of-15 passes for 108 yards and ran the ball four times for 31 times for the Chargers. Kolton Scrimager caught four passes for 33 yars, while Nick Norman snagged a pass for 45 yards. Jacob Braun added 31 rushing yards, while Gage Galloway came off the bench and ran the ball five times for 49 yards.
North Montgomery is 3-0 for the first time since 2012, and Thompson is excited for what the future holds after shortened summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thought our kids have handled everything great, considering we didn’t get started until July and the summer was messed up,” he said. “The kids have handled it great, they’ve responded well and have done the things we are asking.”
The Chargers are scheduled to host Lebanon on Friday, while Southmont travels to Frankfort.
North Montgomery 28, Southmont 6
N. Montgomery 0 12 8 8 — 28
Southmont 0 6 0 0 — 6
NM Zak Searle 6-yd. run, conversion failed 6:38
S Carson Chadd 67-yd. run, kick failed, 4:53
NM Kelly 14 yd pass from Donavan Haworth, pass failed, 1:35
NM Kelly 10-yd. pass from Haworth, Nathan Hood 2-pt conversion, 7:57
NM Searle 6-yd. pass from Haworth, Haworth 2-pt conversion, 8:45
Team Stats N S
First Downs 25 5
Rushes-yds 53-290 24-75
Comp-Att- Int 8-15-0 1-10-0
Pass yds 108 10
Total yds 398 85
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-1
Penalty yds 9-70 4-32
NM: Searle 35-187, Galloway 5-49, Braun 6-31, Haworth 4-31, Campbell 1-1, Norman 2-(-9)
S: Chadd 8-87, McMasters 7-5, Woodall 3-5, Scott 6-(-22).
NM: Haworth 8-15-108
S: Scott 1-10-10
NM: N. Norman 1-45, Scrimager 4-33, Kelly 2-24, Searle 1-6
S: McMasters 1-10