SHICKSHINNY — Carl Majer is not a patient man, by any means.
But it was the week proceeding his first game back, not the two weeks he was forced to miss due to suspension, that really made him tense.
The Northwest coach’s return to the sideline came with a victory as Northwest shut out Holy Cross 42-0 Friday in Shickshinny.
“Actually it was a long seven days,” Majer said. “The kids came out, played like they should. We saw break downs that show we have the capability of playing with anybody.”
Northwest gutted out 413 rushing yards on a depleted Crusader defense. Defensively, the Rangers’ front seven pushed back Holy Cross and kept it to 89 yards on 32 carries (2.78 per rush).
“We have a big play capability when we’re healthy and playing four quarters of football,” Majer said.
The Rangers scored early and often, posting three touchdowns of 40-plus yards in the first quarter. Austin Mazonkey burst open for a 64-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage, 46 seconds into the game. On the Crusaders’ ensuing punt, Nick Long returned the ball for 45 yards for a touchdown. After Holy Cross seemed to finally contain Northwest, holding it to a 4th-and-16, Majer went for it and saw Mazonkey catch a 46-yard touchdown pass from Logan Womelsdorf to go ahead 21-0 with 3:55 left in the first quarter.
“I wanted to make a statement,” Majer said. “We have one of the biggest lines, and no one understands it. So I wanted to challenge them. We haven’t been playing to our capability. We haven’t been beating people around like we should be.”
Mazonkey led the game with 200 yards on 11 carries and three touchdowns. He posted his third long score of the game in the second quarter — a 45-yard-dash past the Holy Cross offensive line.
Backup quarterback Jeremy Walsh made ground as well, gaining 101 yards on five carries. He burst open for a 70-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Northwest quarterback Womelsdorf completed 3-of-9 throws for 86 yards.
Northwest allowed just six yards more than it yielded in penalty yards. The Rangers were flagged 12 times for 111 yards.
“We’re like the Raiders, baby,” Majer said. “Of course you can’t have that many penalties and expect to win football games.”
Northwest 42, Holy Cross 0
NW — Austin Mazonkey 64 run (Jeremy Walsh kick), 11:14
NW — Nick Long 45 punt return (Walsh kick), 9:25
NW — Mazonkey 46 pass from Logan Womelsdorf (Walsh kick), 3:55
NW — Mazonkey 45 run (Walsh kick), 9:52
NW — Eric Gurzynski 12 pass from Womelsdorf (Walsh kick), 6:16
NW — Walsh 70 run (Walsh kick), 10:19
RUSHING — HC, Robbie Torre 16-47, Tom Ware 7-27, Marcus Purdy 3-3, Zach Zaluski 5-11, Eric Gatto 2-11, TEAM 1-0. NW, Mazonkey 11-200, Tyler Burger 1-33, Bowman 4-40, Adam Schechterly 1-6, Walsh 5-101, Brendan Riley 2-9, Garrett Reese 3-26, TEAM 2-(minus-2).
PASSING — HC, Torre 1-1-0-(minus-3), Gatto 3-20-2-31. NW, Womelsdorf 3-9-1-86
RECEIVING — HC, Gatto 1-(minus-3), Torre 3-10, RJ Kline 1-21. NW, Mazonkey 1-46, Matt Mitchell 1-28, Gurzynski 1-12.
INTERCEPTIONS — HC, Kline 1-0. NW, Walsh 1-0, Long 1-28.
MISSED FGs — None