After taking slipping by Shawnee Mission South in the season opener, the Cougars fall to Olathe North 41-12.
When Olathe North was put on the schedule, it was clear that this would be one of the toughest test for Northwest football this season.
” Olathe North is very good football team, there’s no doubt about that,” Head Coach Aaron Barnett said following the game, “unfortunately I think our kids read a lot of the articles about how good Olathe North was heading into the game.”
However, the Cougars opened the game with a 95 yard kickoff return by Senior Chris Mansker giving Northwest a very early 6-0 lead.
The Eagles quickly countered with a 99 yard kickoff return of their own by Junior Adonis Saunders to put the Olathe North up 7-6.
Later in the quarter the Eagles extended their lead with a seven yard touchdown run by their star running back senior James Franklin. The drive took over five minutes wearing down the Cougar defense.
Franklin finished the game with 22 carries, 154 yards, and three touchdowns.
” We played a little bit tentative, and maybe a little bit scared at the beginning of the game and it cost us,” Barnett said.
Throughout the rest of the game Northwest struggled to gain any moment on offense. On back to back possessions Senior quarterback Matt Nowak through interceptions with one of them ending in a touchdown.
Northwest finished the game with three turnovers, but struggled to handle exchanges between Nowak and the group of running backs was a major concern for the coaching staff.
” Uncharacteristic football for Northwest I felt. That’s not typical of us to make those mistakes,” Barnett said.
Along with the disappointing loss came another injury to the Northwest backfield. Junior Frankie Hernandez left the game with an ankle injury. Senior running backs Trey Jacobson and Jon Hauk also missed the game with injuries.
” Everybody gets hurt in football, its apart of the game,” Barnett said, ” that’s not an excuse it will never be an excuse for us.”
With all these injuries, Junior KC Waterman has stepped up to become one of the featured backs in the rotation. Waterman finished the game with 20 carries, 115 yards, and a touchdown.
” KC is just one piece of our puzzle on offense,” Barnett said, ” he’s got to continue to work hard and get better.”
Northwest will travel to Lawrence next week to take on the Lions in their new stadium. The game will start at 7 p.m. on Friday September 18.
SMNW: TD Chris Mansker 95 yard kickoff return (PAT missed) 11:48 (6-0 SMNW)
ON: TD Adonis Saunders 99 yard kickoff return ( Jared Morss kick) 11:30 (7-6 ON)
ON: TD James Franklin 7 yard run (Morss kick) 3:20 (14-6 ON)
ON: TD David Blazevic 1 yard run (Morss kick) 8:17 (21-6 ON)
ON: TD James Franklin 27 yard run (PAT missed) 2:08 (27-6 ON)
ON: TD James Franklin 28 yard run ( Morss kick) 4:57 ( 34-6 ON)
ON: TD Victor Simmons 4 yard run (Morss kick) 1:32 (41-6 ON)
SMNW: TD KC Waterman 1 yard run (PAT missed) 10:06 (41-12 ON)