PDT Sports Editor
MCDERMOTT-Notre Dame improved its record to 4-0 with a road victory over Northwest who dropped to 2-2 on the season.
The Mohawks won the coin toss, received the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards on six plays for the game’s first score.
“That opening drive, they just punched us in the mouth,” Notre Dame coach Bob Ashley said. “Our kids did a good job responding. It’s hard to simulate their size in practice.”
Ashley knew it would be an adjustment once the game started.
“We knew it was going to take an adjustment period for us,” Ashley said. “Their overall size and physicality, you can’t prepare for that Monday through Thursday.”
The Titans responded on their opening possession with the game-tying touchdown. After an onside kick, Notre Dame started on its own 49-yard line. After 13 plays and two conversions on fourth down, the Titans capped of the 51-yard drive with a Dakota Smith two-yard touchdown run.
After a Northwest three-and-out, and a 24-yard punt from Micah Campbell, Notre Dame began its second scoring drive of the night. This scoring drive took three minutes off the clock, covered 59 yards on seven plays and ended with a 23-yard touchdown run by Smith, which gave Notre Dame a 14-0 lead.
The Titans began their third drive with excellent field position after another three-and-out by the Mohawks, followed by a nine yard punt from Campbell.
Notre Dame’s next possession began with promise because of field position but ended with a punt after a holding penalty and a negative pass play. On the pass attempt, Jonathan Major had the ball batted by a Northwest defensive lineman. Major caught the tipped pass for a loss of eight yards.
The Mohawks went three-and-out for the third consecutive drive, giving the Titans great field position after Campbell’s punt traveled four yards.
After a penalty negated a Kayser run, Notre Dame faced a first and 16 on Northwest’s 30-yard line. Four plays later, facing a 4-and-5 on the 19-yard line, Major handed the ball to Kayser who found the endzone with 1:20 left before the break. The Titans led the Mohawks 21-7.
Notre Dame got the ball to begin the second half and needed all of two plays to cover 66 yards. The drive was capped off by a Smith 49-yard touchdown scamper.
Northwest began the second half with another three-and-out. The Titans took over at the Mohawks 34-yard line after a 15-yard punt from Campbell.
Notre Dame went 3-3 on fourth down on its next drive to cover the 34 yards on 13 plays. The drive was capped off by a major one-yard touchdown run. After the blocked extra point, the Titans led 34-7.
Notre Dame went 7-7 on fourth-down conversions in the contest. A major reason for the fourth-down success rate was the rushing attack of Kayser and Smith.
Smith had 18 carries for 166 yards while Kayser carried the ball 21 times for 122 yards. Smith scored three touchdowns while Kasyer added one of his own.
“You tip your hat to them, they just flat whipped our butts tonight,” Northwest coach Brooks Fry said.
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or email@example.com. For breaking sports news, follow Chris on Twiiter @crslone.
Notre Dame 7 14 13 13—47
NorthWest 7 0 0 0—7
NW—Lajoye 40 run (Amburgey kick) 9:34
ND—Smith 2 run (Collins kick) 3:12
ND—Smith 23 run (Collins kick) 10:02
ND—Kayser 19 run (Collins kick) 1:20
ND—Smith 49 run (Collins kick) 11:14
ND—Major 1 run (kick failed) 2:07
ND—Smith 47 run (Toleman kick)
ND—Harrell 6 run (failed kick)
Rush Att-Yds. 51-342 32-294
Pass Att.-Comp.-Int 2-2 2-5
Pass Yds.-5 4
Total Yds. 337 298
Penalties-Yds 16 25
Rushing: Notre Dame—Smith 18-166, Kayser 21-122, Major 5-25, Haney 5-12; Harrell 2-17; Northwest—Lajoye 11-116, Campbell 5-22, Burton 5-9, Slack 3-15, Mankin 3-11, Brigner 2-10, Bazler 1-5, Silhavy 1-4, Jenkins 1-2.
Passing: Notre Dame—Major 2-2 -5; Northwest—Scarberry 2-5 4.
Receiving: Notre Dame—Phillips 1-3, Major 1 -8; Northwest—Lajoye 1-9, Miller 1—5.
Records: Notre Dame 4-0; Northwest 2-2