They came at Southeast in waves.
First, Skyler Krehbiel, bursting up the middle for a 27-yard touchdown run.
Deron Thompson was next, running for a game-high 118 yards and a score.
Then, finally, there was Cory Cuda, going airborne at the 3-yard line to cap his 13-yard touchdown run — the first of back-to-back scores for Cuda — as Northwest rolled to a 35-14 win over Southeast on Friday night.
"We've got plenty of running backs," Northwest coach Weston Schartz said. "Without the first two guys, Cuda is pretty good, too."
Being without the first two guys might be the key as the Grizzlies head into district play. Krehbiel hurt his ankle in the first half and did not return. Thompson left the game late with an ankle injury of his own. Schartz didn't know the extent of the injuries after the game.
T.J. Thurman added 92 rushing yards for the Grizzlies and quarterback Jordan Wiedemann chipped in with 70 yards on the ground. Wiedemann also his Seth Simpson for a 26-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter on a fourth-and-9.
"We challenged our guys this week," Schartz said. "We didn't play well the last two weeks. We've had great practices but it just wasn't translating into games."
Coming off back-to-back losses to Bishop Carroll and Heights, Northwest got an early lead on Krehbiel's score, but Southeast answered in the second quarter, tying the score on a 46-yard run from Bradan Smith.
When Krehbiel went down, the Grizzlies turned to Thompson, who ground down the Southeast defense and scored from three yards out to give Northwest a 14-7 lead headed into halftime.
"When (Krehbiel) went down I knew I would have to carry some more of the load," Thompson said. "My line blocked really well tonight, blocked to the whistle and made a lot of nice holes for me."
The Grizzlies were as efficient on defense as they were running the ball, holding Smith, the City League's leading rusher, to 108 yards.
"I thought we did a good job preparing for (Smith)," Northwest defensive end Bennett Moore said. "A lot of us have played with or against him since we were kids so we know what kind of a back he is, really shifty and likes to try and cut back a lot."
Southeast quarterback Tevin Parks threw for 97 yards, but was constantly harassed by the Grizzlies' defensive front.
"In the second half, (Northwest) really started coming with the blitzes," Parks said. "There was so much pressure that it made it hard for us to do a whole lot offensively."
Southeast (2-4, 2-3) 0 7 0 7 — 14 Northwest (4-2, 3-2) 7 7 14 7 — 35
NW—Krehbiel 27 run (Mills kick)
SE—Smith 46 run (Fox kick)
NW—D. Thompson 3 run (Mills kick)
NW—Cuda 13 run (Mills kick)
NW—Cuda 3 run (Mills kick)
NW—Simpson 26 pass from Wiedemann (Mills kick)
SE—Smith run (Fox kick)
Rushing—Southeast, Smith 15-108, Moore 5-26, Dawson 4-14, Parks 9-(-6). Northwest, Krehbiel 4-43, D. Thompson 17-118, Thurman 13-92, Wiedemann 7-70, Davis 3-16, Cuda 5-33, L. Thompson 2-5, Gaither 3-9, Sanders 3-4.
Passing—Southeast, Parks 4-9-97-0. Northwest, Wiedemann 3-6-53-0, Gaither 0-0-0-0.
Receiving—Southeast, Bluma 2-39, Marks 1-10, Callaway 1-48. Northwest, Franklin 1-17, Cuda 1-10, Simpson 1-26.