Varsity Kansas

Grizzlies use split duty to beat South

Northwest's James Rhone runs for a TD in the 1st quarter agaisnt South Thursday night.
Northwest's James Rhone runs for a TD in the 1st quarter agaisnt South Thursday night. The Wichita Eagle

The Northwest football team was supposed to be a one-back show Thursday night. That solo performance was replaced with a quartet.

The Grizzlies had four running backs score touchdowns against South, winnings 41-19.

With the win, Northwest (7-2, 3-0 Class 6A-District 7) will host a first-round playoff game next Friday. South (5-4, 2-1) is also in the playoffs, but will have a road game.

Northwest senior Demarcus Robinson needed 210 yards to break Bryce Brown's single-season City League rushing record of 1,873 yards.

Robinson injured his ankle last week against North, and despite appearing in the first series, did not play the rest of the way. He finished with nine carries for 47 yards.

All season, the Northwest senior and Kansas State commitment acknowledged that the record meant nothing to him. And with the possibility of the injury becoming worse, the decision was a no-brainer, he said.

'I could have went, but I want to be healthy for a playoff run," Robinson said.

Despite not having Robinson for most of the game, the Grizzlies rushed for 344 yards.

"We have a lot of talent in the backfield," Northwest coach Weston Schartz said. "We have other players who can step up when we need them to."

Senior Andrew Etheridge led the Grizzlies with 140 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Etheridge was one of four Northwest backs to find the end zone. Teammates James Rhone, Brock Heithaus, and Jeremy Love also had rushing touchdowns as the Grizzlies scored on six of seven drives at one point.

"We knew tonight was a big game and we all came out ready to play," Etheridge said. "(Robinson) wasn't 100 percent, so it was on all of us to do our part."

After falling behind by two scores, South cut its deficit on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Monte Campbell from Zack Villarreal. However, offensive highlights were few.

The Titans were outscored 27-12 in the second half.

"We have to refocus," South coach Cory Brack said. "We were playing for a district title and our pride got hurt a little bit. We have to remember that our season isn't over, though. We have to prepare for another big game."

DuWayne Kelly led South with 77 rushing yards and one touchdown on nine carries.

South (5-4, 2-1) 0 6 6 7 — 19 Northwest (7-2, 3-0) 6 8 21 6 — 41

NW—Rhone 16 run (kick failed)

NW—Rohone 9 run (Moore pass from Chadick)

S—Campbell 26 pass Villarreal (kick failed)

NW—Etheridge 4 run (Heithaus kick)

S—Kelly 7 run (pass failed)

NW—Heithaus 2 run (Heithaus kick)

NW—Etheridge 11 run (Heithaus kick)

NW—Love 2 run (kick failed)

S—Smallwood 13 run (Brandon kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing—South, Kelly 9-77, Villarreal 9-53, Smallwood 5-42, Lassley 2-5, Brandon 1-4. Northwest, Etheridge 21-140, Rhone 8-68, Robinson 9-47, A. Thurman 7-56, Heithaus 3-23, Love 3-2, T. Thurman 2-4, Chadick 2-4.

Passing—South, Villarreal 5-13-108-0. Northwest, Chadick 4-9-40-0.

Receiving—South, Kelly 1-50, Campbell 1-26, Lassley 1-18, Richardson 1-12, Smallwood 1-2. Northwest, Oliver 2-18, Hubbard 1-9, Rhone 1-13.

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