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Southwood routs North Miami

THE HIGHLIGHT: North Miami’s Braxton Beall (44) skips away from a Southwood defender before completing a 55-yard pass reception for a touchdown during Friday night’s TRC football clash. Beall’s score put the Warriors up 7-0 but from there it was all about the Knights, who crushed the hosts 45-7.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

What was expected to be a high-profile matchup between two early unbeaten and Class A ranked teams in No. 7 Southwood and No. 13 North Miami turned into a mauling Friday night as the visitors put up 35 points in the second quarter of a 45-7 win.

The two teams exchanged three-and-outs to start the game but the Warriors used a fake punt play to strike first as Tristan Working hit Braxton Beall for a 55-yard score and a 7-0 lead.

The Knights would turn the ball over on downs on their next possession but Memphis Hiner blocked a North Miami punt near midfield and Logan Barley would start the second quarter with an eight-yard scramble to tie the game at 7-7.

Darien Hanley would then fumble the kickoff and Dawson Filip recovered for the visitors, who saw Barley score again, this time from 12 yards out to give Southwood a 14-7 lead.

“The wheels fell off the wagon starting with the blocked punt,” North Miami head coach Joe Grant said. “Southwood scored off that, we dropped the kickoff, they scored again and within five plays we went from ahead 7-0 to behind 14-7.

“We then had turnovers on offense, gave them a couple of short fields inside our own 20-yard line and couldn’t catch a darn kickoff.”

After forcing a punt, the Knights doubled the lead when Barley hit Filip for a 27-yard score before Connor Rich intercepted Working to set up a Gabe Lloyd six-yard score for a 28-7 advantage.

Following another Warrior punt, Lloyd wrapped up a tremendous second quarter with a one-yard run on 4th-and-Goal to cement the visitors’ dominance with a 35-7 lead.

Such was the complete control Southwood had that it ran four offensive plays in its own half of the field during the first half and only allowed one North Miami play to be run past the 50-yard line, a sack of Working on the last snap before halftime.

Another aspect that helped curtail the hosts was the work of Jackson Simons on special teams as the kicker repeatedly pinned North Miami deep in their own half, creating spin on the ball that forced the Warriors to cover the ball twice without gaining a yard along with six misplays trying to field the ball.

“We whiffed on six of them, had four possessions start inside the 20-yard line and fumbled another one,” Grant said about the special teams woes. “(Southwood) kicked it hard, on the ground and was not scared to kick it to our guys, instead challenging them to make a play and we didn’t.”

Carson Rich added a 38-yard field goal in the third quarter while Tristin Hayslett capped the scoring for the visitors with a six-yard run in the final period.

The Knights’ control of the game was born out by several notable stats, including running a total of seven offensive snaps on their own side of the field, three of which came in the final four minutes, going 42:01 between snaps on their own side of the field and allowing only eight total snaps for North Miami past midfield, six coming in the fourth quarter.

As a result of the lopsided field position, the visitors only gained 233 yards of total offense but held the Warriors to 215 yards, only 82 of which came on the ground on 25 carries.

“Our offensive line created some spaces but the backs were all over the place,” Grant said about the low rushing total. “They weren’t hitting gaps or making the right reads.

“When we looked at the film, we thought our offensive line played better but our backs didn’t look so great, so we have a lot to clean up offensively.”

Southwood also recorded five turnovers, four of them interceptions of Working.

North Miami, who drops to 2-1 and 1-1 in TRC play, travels to Tippecanoe Valley, who defeated Peru 32-18, Friday at 7 p.m. with Grant wanting the team to figure out what went wrong against the Knights in order to be ready for another physical challenge against the Vikings.

“The message is that you could take the approach of putting the Southwood game behind us but I want us to watch it and figure things out,” Grant said. “Tippecanoe Valley is going to strap it up, run power and move people while the have a good defensive group.

“We have to clean things up, especially on offense, work on technique and not allow things to snowball on the next play or the next drive.”

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Maconaquah 43, Northfield 7

It took some time for the Braves to get on the board but they managed to do so first, taking the lead on a nine-yard Nolan Kelly run for a 7-0 advantage with 1:37 left in the opening quarter of play.

The Norsemen would level the score with just under four minutes left in the first half when Levi Fulkerson hit Graydon Homes for a 12-yard touchdown.

Maconaquah would get one more score before halftime to take the lead for good, however, as Bryce Smyth scored from a yard out with :35 remaining before halftime to hand the visitors a 14-7 edge heading into the break.

The Braves poured it on after halftime as Carter Little scored from three yards out in the opening four minutes of the third quarter before Jared Blake added a two-yard touchdown run with under three minutes remaining in the period and Little finished things up with a 38-yard pick-six.

“When we play with discipline and practice the way we’re supposed to, Friday outcomes are better,” Maconaquah head coach Austin Colby said. “We’re a young team and we had some growing pains at the beginning of the year.

"With the first two teams we faced being who they were, we couldn’t afford those but that’s how it worked out. Friday, once we got to the second half, we started to hit our offensive stride and never looked back.”

Blake would get his second score a little over two minutes into the fourth quarter on a four-yard run to cement the visitors’ first win of the year.

“To have the running clock put on you a week ago and to then put the running clock on someone the following week is a testament to the guys in the way they prepared for this week,” Colby said about the swing of results between Lewis Cass and Northfield. “It was good to get a shutout in the second half.”

Maconaquah, now 1-2 and 1-1 in TRC play, hosts Whitko, who lost to Rochester 21-7, Friday at 7 p.m. with Colby expecting the Wildcats to begin settling fully in to their new scheme.

“When you have a new coach, it might take a team two to four weeks to get their feet under them and it’s now week four,” Colby said. “We have to prepare for Whitko like they’re 0-0, not 0-3, as they’re going to be desperate to get a win.

“Phil Jensen is a veteran coach who knows how to win and we have to take them seriously as we always respect our opponents. If we make sure we’re playing assignment football, we can get things taken care of this week.”

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Tippecanoe Valley 32, Peru 18

Daunte Majors got the Tigers off to a flying start with a 61-yard run around the left side of the formation within the first two minutes of the game for a 7-0 lead.

The Vikings responded with a five-yard Jaydin Conley score midway through the period to tie the game at 7-7.

Zach Johnson hit a 31-yard field goal to give the hosts a 10-7 lead in the second quarter but Tippecanoe Valley would rally with three scores before halftime.

Dakota Gaff rattled off a 54-yard touchdown run with just under four minute until the break while an interception set up Jalen Potter to hit Tanner Trippiedi for a 13-yard score and six more points.

“Valley did a fantastic job,” Peru head coach Romison Saint-Louis said. “The biggest thing that hurt us was their physicality and us not being able to respond to that, specifically on the perimeter with our blocking and trying to get outside.

“Coverage-wise, they did a good job. We had guys open but we keyed too much on Daunte as they were keying on Daunte and just threw it up there.”

A Majors fumble in the final seconds of the half allowed the Vikings to add a late Domingo Santiago 37-yard field goal to take a 23-10 lead into the break.

An interception would lead to Conley getting a second touchdown from nine yards out with just under two minutes left of the third quarter before Levi Strong, in at quarterback after Michael Chandler left injured in the third quarter, hit Kade Townsend on 4th-and-5 for a 43-yard score, trimming the gap to 29-18 with 8:34 left in the game.

Santiago would add a second field goal from 31 yards out to help secure the points as Tippecanoe Valley moved to 3-0 on the year.

“(Tippecanoe Valley) has a good offense with some big kids and we were definitely outsized,” Saint-Louis noted about the result. “At the end of the day, could the defense do better? Yes, but when you give a team four extra possessions, it’s going to be a problem and you could see the results of that.”

Peru, falling to 2-1 on the season and 1-1 in TRC play, hosts Wabash, who lost to Manchester 21-14, Friday at 7 p.m. with Saint-Louis saying the team was quickly putting the loss behind them. 

“The kids responded well (Saturday) morning and they’ll respond well Monday,” Saint-Louis said. “We’ve got a good group of kids and we’ll take care of business this week, trying to get better while fixing things we need to fix.

“We know Wabash is going to be ready to come in this week and try to ruin things. It’s homecoming this week so there are a lot of distractions going on.

“We have to play our game and not hurt ourselves,” Saint-Louis added. “If we do that each week, we can have a high chance of being successful.”