When it rains, Northwestern pours it on.
Thats how Fridays Class 4A-Division II first-round playoff game played out. No. 2 seed Northwestern scored on its first six possessions en route to a 52-22 blowout against No. 15 West Florence at District Three Stadium. The Trojans won their 12th consecutive playoff game at home, a streak that dates back to 2007.
Northwestern (12-0) hosts rival York (10-2) in the second round next Friday. The Trojans beat the Cougars 45-15 on Oct. 25.
Our kids just got off the bus ready to play tonight, Northwestern coach Kyle Richardson said. We told them to come out and play fast, and we scored quick. Thats all it was.
Richardson couldnt have scripted a better first quarter. Everything clicked against the shell-shocked Knights. Mason Rudolph finished 7-of-7 passing for 138 yards and three TDs. Dupree Hart scored on two of those passes, the second a 23-yard catch and run set up by down-field blocks by Quadariuous Fair and Logan Rudolph. Fair added an over-the-shoulder catch for a 21-0 lead with 1:03 left in the first quarter.
They were playing a lot of man coverage in the first and second quarters, Hart said. We were able to beat our men off the line of scrimmage, and the coaches called great plays to counteract that man coverage.
Yet Richardson was most pleased about the opening drive, a nine-play, 78-yard march in which the Trojans had seven run plays for 50 yards. Julian Shockley impressed with eight carries for 101 yards on the night.
Rudolph added a six-yard run for a score and short TD passes to Hart and Fair in the second quarter, and the defense had an answer for West Florence (6-6), which managed just 53 total yards in the first half.
Rudolph lead one more scoring drive to start the third quarter, capped with a three-yard TD pass to Davion Blake. The Trojans reserves finished the night. West Florence finally scored a TD with 5:18 remaining on a three-yard run by Dexter Fulmore, but the game was long past decided at that point.
Our first-team defense had the shutout before our backups gave up a few scores, Richardson said. That was something for us coaches. We challenged the backups to play like the first team, because thats what youre coached to do.
Now Northwestern gets a rematch with York, which defeated the defending state champion Greenwood.
Its a completely different ballgame this time, Richardson said. Theyre a different team. Theyre doing some things differently personnel-wise, and theyve had success with it. Were going to have our work cut out for us this week.
Northwestern 52, West Florence 22
NW-Mason Rudolph 2 pass to Dupree Hart (Sully Foy kick)
NW-Rudolph 23 pass to Hart (Foy kick)
NW-Rudolph 12 pass to Quadariuous Fair (Foy kick)
NW-Rudolph 6 run (Foy kick)
NW-Rudolph 6 pass to Hart (Foy kick)
NW-Rudolph 7 pass to Fair (Foy kick)
NW-Rudolph 3 pass to Davion Blake (Foy kick)
WF-Safety, ball rolled out of end zone
WF-Alex Spence 29 field goal
NW-Foy 29 field goal
WF-Spence 25 field goal
WF-Dexter Fulmore 3 run (Spence kick)
WF-Dustin Lee 44 pass to Christian Manning (Spence kick)
RUSHING: WEST FLORENCE: Fulmore 17-29, Eron Darby 8-42, Marquane Goodman 10-45, Matt Lowery 2-11, Malik Eaddy 1-2, Lee 2-0, Team 1-(-27). NORTHWESTERN: Julian Shockley 8-101, Tori Adams 6-62, Hart 4-24, Mason Rudolph 5-33, Harper Woods 2-0, Team 1-(-25).
PASSING: WEST FLORENCE: Goodman 9-19-0, 71 yards; Lee 1-1-0, 44 yards. NORTHWESTERN: Mason Rudolph 20-26-0, 274 yards; Matthew Worley 2-2-0, 13 yards; Harper Woods 2-5-0, 8 yards.
RECEIVING: WEST FLORENCE: Manning 3-46, Romel Hatcher 2-39, Tyrell Dixon 1-17, Darby 3-13, Lee 1-0. NORTHWESTERN: Quadariuous Fair 5-76, Hart 6-76, Davion Blake 5-55, Logan Rudolph 2-24, Shockley 3-43, Cory McCoy 1-13, Chris Bowler 1-7, Grant Kirk 1-1, Ahmad Dewese 1-0.
RECORDS: West Florence 6-6, Northwestern 12-0.