TUNKHANNOCK — Northwest took one step closer to the District 2 playoffs by churning out a 43-6 victory over host Tunkhannock Friday night.
The Rangers (7-2) led 28-0 by halftime led by quarterback Jeremy Walsh’s two touchdown passes. Walsh also added 115 yards, leading the Rangers on the ground, on just 13 carries.
“We came to play tonight. We have a motto: Anybody Anytime, Anywhere,” Northwest coach Lon Hazlet said.
Tunkhannock (2-7) got an early jolt after senior linebacker Ricky Stevens recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage.
Northwest used a halfback pass midway through the first quarter from Garrett Reese to Hayden Stancavage to make it 7-0.
Then after forcing a three and out, Northwest’s Ezra Judge boosted the Rangers to 14-0 just two minutes later behind a 70-yard kick return.
Senior Neno Agnello added to that momentum eight plays later when he picked off a Tiger pass.
Tunkhannock responded with a 36-yard play as Brian Muckin hauled in a pass which bounced off a Northwest defender’s helmet, taking the Tigers down to the Ranger 14.
But Northwest’s defense stepped up on the next two plays to stall Tunkhannock’s momentum. Carl Graziano and Doug Campbell jammed the running back then hurried the quarterback to force a turnover on downs.
Walsh then found Dylan Womelsdorf, who reeled in a circus catch 41 yards to end zone. Three plays later, Womelsdorf sacked the quarterback for a 10-yard loss on defense.
“Our special teams played well tonight, which is really the first time this year that our special teams have excelled,” Hazlet said. “That was a real focus for us this week. Last week we gave up a kick return that hurt us early in the game against Meyers.”
A high point for Tunkhannock came in the third quarter when senior lineman-turned fullback Brad Webb barreled up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown. That made it 28-6 after Northwest blocked the kick.
Walsh responded with a 1-yard run to increase Northwest’s lead to 35-6.
Northwest sophomore Jake Anderson closed out the scoring on a 73-yard run straight up the middle.
The Rangers will close out the season next week at home when they host Holy Redeemer.
“We told our kids three weeks ago after the Lehman game that we had to win out to get into the playoffs and we have one more,” Hazlet said. “We like our chances with anybody. These guys are excited to get there so we’ll just have to see what happens from there.”
Northwest 43, Tunkhannock 6
Northwest `21`7`7`8`—` 43
NW — Reese 32 yard pass to Stancavage (Walsh kick) 7:48
NW — Judge 70 yard kick return (Walsh kick) 5:42
NW — Walsh 4 yard pass to Harrison (Walsh kick) 1:05
NW — Walsh 41 yard pass to Womelsdorf (Walsh kick) 6:25
TUNK — Webb 2 yard run ( Kick blocked) 7:17
NW — Walsh 1 yard run (Mazonkey kick) 2:44
NW — Anderson 73 run (Stancavage run) 11:46