SHICKSHINNY — From the first snap, Northwest’s offensive gameplan was clear. Give the ball to Austin Mazonkey and let him lead the team to a 4-0 start.
Thirty-seven carries, 352 yards and four touchdowns later, the Rangers remained undefeated with a 26-20 victory over GAR at home on Friday.
“He’s a great workhorse and he plays both sides of the ball,” Northwest coach Carl Majer said. “He has the ability to break it, he runs hard and he has good vision.”
Mazonkey took his first carry to the house on a 72-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game to give the Rangers a 6-0 advantage.
On the ensuing Northwest possession, the Rangers called on Mazonkey six times, leading to another touchdown.
GAR fought back in the second quarter when Rashaun Mathis found Rashaun Jackson streaking down the left side of the field for a 27-yard touchdown reception.
Rich Sickler then scurried for a 45-yard touchdown run before the end of the half to tie the game at 13. Sickler finished the game with 117 yards rushing on 19 carries.
The game remained scoreless in the second half until Mazonkey ended the defensive struggle in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Rangers a 20-13 lead.
Mazonkey added his fourth touchdown with 3:39 remaining in the game to give Northwest a 26-13 advantage.
With the game almost out of reach the Grenadiers (0-4) continued to battle. Facing fourth down and under tremendous pressure, Mathis delivered a strike to Kyle Merth for the first down. Mathis followed it up with another strike to the streaking Merth, who scampered in for the score.
“We faced some adversity and guys stepped up,” GAR coach Paul Wiedlich Jr. said. “I proud of these guys. They didn’t quit and I think we really became a football team tonight.”
The Rangers corralled the ensuing onside kick, and on fourth down Northwest caused the defense to jump offsides to secure the victory.
“We’ve been going into this game for five years now and haven’t beaten them,” Mazonkey said. “We wanted to beat this team bad and we knew this was the year we could do it.”
Northwest 26, GAR 20
NW — Austin Mazonkey 72 run (kick failed), 11:40
NW — Mazonkey 6 run (Jeremy Walsh kick), 1:46
GAR — Rashaun Jackson 27 pass from Rashaun Mathis (Dawin Reyes kick), 9:29
GAR — Rich Sickler 45 run (kick failed), 4:50
NW — Mazonkey 1 run (Walsh kick), 8:46
NW — Mazonkey 10 run (kick no good), 3:39
GAR — Kyle Merth 41 pass from Mathis (Reyes kick good), 2:44
RUSHING — GAR, Rich Sickler 19-117, Anthony Maurent 4-20, Rashaun Mathis 3-(minus-2), Marqahn Kemp 1-7, Justin Crosby 1-(minus-9), TEAM 1-(minus-13); NW, Austin Mazonkey 37-352, Logan Womelsdorf 4-(minus-14), Adam Schecterly 4-26, Tyler Burger 1-(minus-2), TEAM 1-(minus-10).
PASSING — GAR, Mathis 5-15-1-128; NW, Womelsdorf 1-5-1-12.
RECEIVING — GAR, Kyle Merth 3-81, Rashaun Jackson 1-27, Kemp 1-20; NW, Nick Long 1-12.
INTERCEPTIONS — GAR, Jackson; NW, Long.
MISSED FGS — None.