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Carter Hontz leads Northwest Area to 62–14 win over Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech

Written by: on Sunday, September 4th, 2022. Follow Matt Beltz on Twitter.


ALMEIDA – Just a week removed from snapping a 19-game losing streak and picking up its first win since 2019, Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech did a complete 180 Saturday afternoon.

After having just about everything go right for it a week ago, the Rams had nearly everything that could go wrong do just that this week against Northwest. The Rangers raced out to a 55-0 halftime lead, including 34 in the first quarter, and came away with a 62-14 win over the Rams.

Adding insult to injury, the Rams also lost their feature back Toby Zajac to a knee injury in the first half. His status for next week and beyond is unknown.

“We had a lot of missed opportunities,” said CMVT coach Mark Varner. “We had a bunch of dropped balls that would have extended series and moved the sticks. When you have a dropped ball, you’re putting yourself behind the chains. We had a touchdown called back for a play that shouldn’t have happened, and the next play, Toby gets hurt.

“When you don’t take care of the opportunities you have, you miss other opportunities and bad things happen. That was basically what happened today. It’s a shame because the play where he got hurt never should have happened.”

That play happened when CMVT was already down 27-0 late in the first quarter. On a fourth-and-3 play, Zajac burst around the right end and went 58 yards to the end zone. However, the play was called back due to an illegal block, and instead of cutting Northwest’s lead to three touchdowns, the Rams were back at the Northwest 37.

Zajac was tackled for a three-yard loss on the ensuing play in which he hurt his knee, and two plays later, CMVT fumbled the ball away, one of six turnovers on the game for the Rams. Two plays later, Northwest made it a 34-0 game as Carter Hontz tossed one of his six touchdowns in the game.

Hontz had a career game, as he completed 15-of-23 passes for 305 yards and six touchdowns – all in the first half. He also ran 29 yards on five carries and a touchdown, giving him 344 yards of total offense and responsibility for seven touchdowns.

“Carter works very hard, he listens well. Last year, he was a good runner, but wasn’t as much of a threat throwing the football,” said Northwest coach Carl Majer. “We worked hard in the offseason throwing a lot of balls, he’s matured a lot, he understands our system. He has some good receivers to throw to, makes good decisions, and has a good arm along with a threat of running, so you have to respect him back there, and he’s making some good choices.”

The game was never close, as Northwest scored on seven of nine first-half possessions, not including a kneel down at the end of the half. The Rangers took a 48-0 lead midway through the second quarter before the Rams were able to put it in the end zone. The only blemish on Hontz’s afternoon was an interception midway through the first quarter in which he threw off his back foot due to pressure.

But sandwiched in between that pick were four touchdown passes in the first quarter alone. Hontz found Derek Dietz for a 21-yard scoring reception at the 9:18 mark of the opening quarter, then Jacob Bobersky from 24 yards out less than two minutes later after Bobersky picked up an interception, the first of four picks on the afternoon for the Ranger defense.

Hontz ran it in himself from 29 yards out with 3:59 left in the first quarter, and then just:14 later, after CMVT fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, found Adam Chonko for a 26-yard touchdown reception. He hooked up with Chonko again from 21 yards out in the waning seconds of the first quarter to make it 34-0. Chonko led the way receiving for the Rangers with 93 yards on five receptions to go with his two touchdown grabs.

“We have some good talent and are explosive, but we still have to work on little things – little better timing, little better blocking,” said Majer. “When you go where we want to go, you can’t make mistakes and you’ve got to get better every week, and we’re doing that. We just need to keep executing, playing hard, and keeping everyone healthy. We played without four of our studs not playing today, so hopefully, they’re back next week.”

“Northwest is a good team, they’re aggressive, and we reacted to them instead of coming out and being aggressive,” said Varner. “They just have pure athletes, they can put four or five athletes at wide receiver and just do what they want. We blew some coverages and some things we should have done a bit better, but give Northwest credit. They have a very skilled team right now.”

The second quarter was opened by Hunter Gmiter picking off a pass and returning it 15 yards for a touchdown to put the Rangers in front 41-0. Hontz later tossed his second touchdown of the day to Dietz, this one a 35-yarder, to make it 48-0 with 6:32 left in the half.

The Rams got on the scoreboard on their next drive, in part thanks to a 55-yard kickoff return by Chase Koncsler, and Caden Long found Shane Tomlinson in the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown.

But the Rangers answered right back as Hontz threw his sixth touchdown of the half, this one a 17-yard connection to Thomas Bierly with 3:59 left in the half.

Bobersky later ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run for his second score of the day on Northwest’s first offensive play of the second half, which capped the scoring on the day for the Rangers.

Braxtyn Brown, who filled in for Zajac after his injury and ended up leading the Rams in rushing on the day, had an 87-yard touchdown run later in the third quarter. He finished with 118 rushing yards, almost all in the second half.

Northwest 62, Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech 14
Northwest (2-0)                                       34   21    7    0  – 62
Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech (1-1)    0     8    6    0  – 14

First quarter
9:18 – (N) Derek Dietz 21-yard pass from Carter Hontz (Foley kick), 5-47, :57
7:00 – (N) Jacob Bobersky 24-yard pass from Carter Hontz (kick failed), 5-40, 2:09
3:59 – (N) Carter Hontz 29-yard run (Foley kick), 4-57, 1:01
3:45 – (N) Adam Chonko 26-yard pass from Carter Hontz (Foley kick), 1-26, :07
:44 – (N) Adam Chonko 21-yard pass from Carter Hontz (Foley kick), 2-37, :28

Second quarter
11:52 – (N) Hunter Gmiter 15-yard interception return (Foley kick)
6:32 – (N) Derek Dietz 35-yard pass from Carter Hontz (Foley kick), 5-64, 1:26
5:28 – (VT) Shane Tomlinson 27-yard pass from Caden Long (Tomlinson pass from Long), 2-25, 1:04
3:59 – (N) Thomas Bierly 17-yard pass from Carter Hontz (Foley kick), 7-72, 1:29

Third quarter
11:05 – (N) Jacob Bobersky 60-yard run (Foley kick), 1-65, :55
7:15 – (VT) Braxtyn Brown 87-yard run (pass failed), 1-87, :39

                                        NW                     VT

First downs                       20                      13

Rushes-net yards          22-163               35-170

Passing yardage              309                     66

Passing                       16-27-6-1            3-23-1-4

Fumbles-lost                    1-1                    2-2

Penalties-yards               8-55                  5-40

RUSHING — Northwest: Cole Hudack (7-57), Carter Hontz (5-29-1), Brady Thomas (5-5), Jacob Bobersky (2-63-1), TEAM (2-(-2)), Andrew Bonczewski (1-11); CMVT: Braxtyn Brown (15-118-1), Toby Zajac (7-45), Mason Haught (7-31), Ashton Smith (4-(-24)), Caden Long (2-0)

PASSING — Northwest: Carter Hontz (15-23-305-6-1), Jace McCoy (1-4-4-0-0); CMVT: Caden Long (2-13-42-1-1), Ashton Smith (1-10-24-0-3)

RECEIVING — Northwest: Adam Chonko (5-93-2), Derek Dietz (3-81-2), Thomas Bierly (3-63-1), Andrew Bonczewski (2-41), Jacob Bobersky (1-24-1), Hunter Gmiter (1-24-1); CMVT: Shane Tomlinson (1-27-1), Tommy Bond (1-24), Chase Koncsler (1-15)

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