MOROCCO - The last two years the Midwest Conference Championship has been decided by the final game of the year with Tri-County taking on North Newton. The Cavaliers won the first meeting for the conference title, while the Spartans came out on top last year.
This year, North Newton had already secured a share of the title coming into the final game, but they wanted to win it outright with a perfect conference record.
The Spartans impressively did exactly that with a 50-0 win over Tri-County.
North Newton scored four touchdowns in the first quarter and led 43-0 at the end of the first half.
"It feels good to be back-to-back conference champs," said North Newton coach Scott Rouch. "We were able to do what we wanted to do — come out early and really set the tone. We figured if we jumped on them early we could discourage them, and they wouldn't play near as good as if they were in the game. We are pleased to get this win, but now we have to move our focus to the sectional. We have the bye week, but it's not really a week off for us. We have to get stuff done Monday through Thursday, then get ourselves ready for whoever we play Wheeler or Rensselaer."
It didn't take the Spartans long to get going Friday night. On the second play from scrimmage, North Newton junior Austin Goddard picked off a deflected Korbin Lawson screen pass and returned it 16 yards for the score. Elijah Duranleau added the PAT and the Spartans were up 7-0 just 23 seconds into the game.
Just over a minute later another Lawson pass was intercepted, this time by North Newton junior Bryce Shedrow. Shedrow took the interception to the house for a pick-six, but it was called back due to a block in the back. However, North Newton still took possession of the ball inside Tri-County territory.
Three plays later North Newton senior Colin Wagner broke through the Cavalier defense for a 24-yard touchdown run. Goddard ran in the 2-point conversion and the Spartans led 15-0.
Wagner added a 34-yard touchdown run just two and a half minutes later. Goddard then connected with Cade Ehlinger on the 2-point conversion and North Newton was up 23-0.
Late in the first quarter, Goddard struck again, this time as he faked the swing pass and went up top for an 83-yard touchdown pass to senior Vince Taylor. At the end of the first quarter, North Newton led 29-0.
The Spartans wouldn't need much more offense as the Spartan defense had the game on lock. Tri-County was only able to manage 27 yards of total offense in the first half and was held to just two first downs, which both came via penalty. The Cavaliers didn't pick up their first, first down via an offensive play until the 5:40 mark of the third quarter.
North Newton rounded out the first-half scoring with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Goddard to Taylor, and a 43-yard touchdown run by Wagner.
Braydon Schoon finished out the game's scoring with a 38-yard touchdown run for the Spartans with three minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
North Newton improved to 7-2 overall and went 5-0 in the Midwest Conference. Tri-County dropped to 1-8 overall and 1-4 in the MWC.