Northeastern displays full arsenal in 32-point quarter
Northeastern bulled its way into the District 3 Class AAA playoffs Friday night with a second quarter in which every facet of the team was utilized to light up the scoreboard.
The Bobcats scored a safety, a field goal, a defensive touchdown, plus scores through the air and on the ground in a 32-point stanza that led them to a 45-7 home victory over New Oxford to cap off the regular season.
Northeastern moved to 8-2 overall on the season and 5-2 in YAIAA Division I, setting a school record for single-season wins. Quarterback Shannon Valenti, out last week because of concussion symptoms, got the start and threw three touchdowns.
"It's nice to have Shannon back," Northeastern coach Jon Scepanski said. "He brings multiple aspects to our offense and he played a great game tonight."
Valenti began the second-quarter explosion on the first play, firing to Jordan Zirkle from 7-yards out to push the Bobcats advantage to 19-7.
Northeastern came up empty on its next drive, but pinned the Colonials at their own 2-yard line. Penalties set New Oxford back even further, and punter Benjamin Rivera was tackled in the end zone by Tate Lau for a safety that made it 21-7.
Then it was the kick returner's turn to chip in, as Kody Reeser rounded the corner and took the free kick 59 yards down to the New Oxford 6. Running back Anu Johnson promptly scored his second touchdown of the game and Northeastern was in charge, 28-7.
"It was a big momentum swing for us," Scepanski said. "We got in a pinch early, but the kids did an outstanding job in rebounding and played well."
Valenti's 30-yard TD pass to David Ankney on the next drive made it a 35-7 game. The defensive score came courtesy of Coby Motley, who returned a fumble 22 yards to paydirt at the 5:04 mark.
Cameron Artman's 39-yard field goal capped the scoring for the second quarter and the contest.
New Oxford (2-8, 1-6) actually led 7-0 thanks to Corban Czap's opening-drive TD toss to Trevon Brown, but Valenti avoided the rush on third down on the next Northeastern drive and heaved it to wide receiver Dezmend Wigginton. The senior broke tackles at his own 40 and 47 en route to an 87-yard score.
"Those plays don't happen without the other 10 guys on the field, so we're very proud of the team effort there," Scepanski said.
New Oxford — Trevon Brown 34 pass from Corban Czap (Luis Partida kick), 7:57
Northeastern — Dezmend Wigginton 87 pass from Shannon Valenti (Cameron Artman kick), 6:16
Northeastern — Anu Johnson 2 run (kick failed), 3:03
Northeastern — Jordan Zirkle 7 pass from Valenti (kick failed), 11:5
Northeastern — Benjamin Rivera tackled in end zone by Tate Lau for safety, 8:46
Northeastern — Johnson 6 run (Artman kick), 8:27
Northeastern — David Ankney 30 pass from Valenti (Artman kick), 5:17
Northeastern — Coby Motley 22 fumble return (Artman kick), 5:04
Northeastern — Artman 39 FG, 2:38
Rushing — New Oxford, Corban Czap 9-35, Kyle West 3-12, Elijah Myers 4-10, Ferrious Ashford 12-2, Benjamin Rivera 1-(1), Trevon Brown 1-(12). Northeastern, Anu Johnson 13-50, Shannon Valenti 1-30, Fred Mulbah 1-20, Jonathen Butler 3-16, Alex Seaforth 4-10, Wyatt Hughes 5-8, Daniel Thomas 1-4, David Ankney 1-(-2)
Passing — New Oxford, Czap 8-18-74-2, Tanner Miller 0-0-0-0. Northeastern, Valenti 6-13-168-0, Butler 1-2-14-0.
Receiving — New Oxford, Brown 5-65, Bret Saveleski 1-10, Aaron Becker 1-1, Ashford 1-(-1). Northeastern, Dezmend Wigginton 1-87, Ankney 2-50, Jordan Zirkle 3-31, Seaforth 1-14.