SHICKSHINNY — With full back Adam Schechterly banged up and running back Austin Mazonkey not feeling well throughout the week, Nick Long took it upon himself to lead the Northwest football team.
The junior corralled two receiving touchdowns and two interceptions in a 33-14 victory over Meyers at home Friday.
“We wanted to make a statement this game that the Rangers are not just a team that everybody is better than,” Long said. “We know in our hearts that we’ve got to make a statement to show them that we’re a good team and we could beat anybody out there.”
Out of the opening kickoff, the Rangers went to the passing attack. Quarterback Logan Womelsdorf found Long on two touchdown passes in the first quarter of more than 40 yards to put Meyers in an early 14-0 hole.
“He’s a great receiver,” Northwest coach Carl Majer said. “He shows he could make plays when he has to, he’s crisp with his patterns and he catches the ball when he needs to.”
The Mohawks answered in the second quarter when Carlo Telesco rumbled for a 27-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 14-6.
At the start of the third quarter, the Mohawks went three-and-out before mishitting their second punt of the game to give the Rangers good field position. Meyers also struggled throwing the ball without starting quarterback Matt DeMarco as the Mohawks didn’t complete a pass.
“He’s one of the best athletes in the conference and without him it’s a game changer,” Meyers coach Corry Hanson said. “We had to go to a whole new offense and it’s tough to do in a week.”
Northwest capitalized on the short field as Womelsdorf hit Gray Godfrey along the sideline to give the Rangers a 21-6 advantage. Womelsdorf finished with 162 yards passing and three touchdowns.
“Our quarterback has been throwing the ball well over the past three weeks,” Majer said. “He’s starting to become one of the top quarterbacks in the Wyoming Valley Conference.”
When the Rangers gained a comfortable lead, Long shut down the Mohawks’ passing game, intercepting two passes. His first interception resulted in a Tyler Burger touchdown run. Long returned his second pick for a touchdown to end any chance of a Meyers comeback.
“I knew we only had three games left and we’ve got to start stepping up our game to let people know we’re out there and we’re ready to play,” Long said.
Northwest 33, Meyers 14
NW — Nick Long 43 pass from Logan Womelsdorf (Jeremy Walsh kick), 9:10
NW — Long 41 pass from Womelsdorf (Walsh kick), 6:14
MEY — Carlo Telesco 27 run (Telesco run fail), 10:02
NW — Gray Godfrey 35 pass from Womelsdorf (Walsh kick good), 7:57
NW — Tyler Burger 1 run (Womelsdorf pass fail), 11:55
NW — Long 50 interception (Womelsdorf pass fail), 11:39
MEY — Zahir Dunell 93 run (Nate Mahalak run), 6:25
RUSHING — MEY Mahalak 9-24, Dunell 2-90, Mark Robinson 16-70, Carlo Telesco 3-33, T.J. Cistrunk 2-(-2); NW Austin Mazonkey 18-100, Burger 14-71, Womelsdorf 11-(-23), Matt Zawatski 1-5.
PASSING — MEY Cistrunk 0-7-2-0, Dunell 0-2-0-0; NW Womelsdorf 6-10-0-162
RECEIVING — NW Long 3-103, Matt Mitchell 1-10, Godfrey 2-49.
INTERCEPTIONS — NW Long 2.