Northwest scores 20 unanswered, headed to 3rd straight 5A title game
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Wichita Northwest is headed to its third straight Class 5A state championship game following a 41-21 win over rival Bishop Carroll.
“We’re not done yet, we’re sick of being the bridesmaid,” Northwest Head Coach Steve Martin said. “But to get there with every roller coaster we faced this year, it’ll hit me tonight later on when no one is around. I’m just so proud of our seniors that stuck with us.”
The Grizzlies trailed 14-0 early in the game, after Bishop Carroll senior running back Hunter Trail rushed for back-to-back touchdowns.
“Martin reminded us to hop off the train,” Northwest senior defensive end Zac Daher said. “When momentum is going the other way, hop off, turn it around and keep going.”
The Grizzlies responded to the 14-point deficit almost immediately, with senior running back Julius Bolden capping off Northwest’s scoring drive on a short run just a minute later to make it a 14-7 game at the end of the first quarter.
Northwest would score the next 14 points to take a 21-14 lead.
“We stayed focused, we stayed who we are,” Bolden said. “We didn’t flinch when it came down to it.”
The Golden Eagles tied the game at 21 all with 5:24 left in the half after Bishop Carroll senior quarterback Aiden Niedens found junior wide receiver Matt Hothusen wide open on 4th and 13 for the touchdown.
The second half would be a different story though, as Northwest junior Geremiah Moore gave the Grizzlies a 28-21 lead with a 54-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the second half.
“They came out and threw haymakers to get us down early,” Martin said. “I think we trusted what we did and we run the football here and they took away some play action stuff but that’s fine our offensive line decided to go out and win the football game.”
Bolden would score two more rushing touchdowns to give the Grizzlies a 41-21 lead. The Northwest defense held the Golden Eagles scoreless in the second half.
“Our defense is playing very good football,” Martin said. “That’s a team that averages 40 points a game and for these guys to hold them scoreless in the second half, that’s a great job by Coach Marinelli and the defensive guys. Our defensive line played great.”
The Grizzlies will face Mill Valley (9-2) in a 5A state title rematch in Pittsburg on Saturday. The Jaguars beat Northwest in last year’s championship game 40-31.
With the loss, Bishop Carroll ends its season at the 8-3 mark.
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