HUGHESVILLE — At one point in Friday’s 8-man game between Sacred Heart and Northwest, there were a combined 36 points scored in a two and a half minute period.
The Mustangs had many comeback attempts, but the Gremlins outlasted Northwest for a 62-52 win.
Sacred Heart got the second half started strong, getting a 22-yard score from Trent Lyles, a RaeQuan Williams interception and a 9-yard TD run from Lyles to give the Gremlins a 56-40 lead in the third quarter.
The Mustangs quickly came back.
The Gremlins recovered an onside kick, but Ryan Chamberlin recovered a fumble and Garren Powell scored a 39-yard touchdown down the sideline.
A turnover on downs and a 27-yard score for Powell got the Mustangs within four points late in the third quarter.
Northwest had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but a Nick Cashman interception allowed Sacred Heart to run out some clock and Lyles to score from two yards out with 46 seconds remaining to put the Gremlins up 62-52.
“They threw a lot of different formations and looks at us that were pretty new and we had a tough time getting out and adjusting to it and Nick did a really good job there at the end to spy on that inside screen and jumped it,” said Sacred Heart coach Ben Lyles.
The first two quarters were complete opposites.
Sacred Heart was scoring at will and led 36-22 after the first quarter.
The Mustangs started wrapping up the ball carrier and limited the Gremlins to six points in the second quarter.
Those six points came on the first play of the quarter when Cashman ran it in from three yards out to extend Sacred Heart’s lead to 42-22.
Northwest’s first-half comeback started shortly after.
Powell ran down the left sideline for a 45-yard score on the second play of the ensuing drive, cutting Sacred Heart’s lead to 42-28. Powell ended up with five rushing touchdowns and a kickoff return TD.
The Gremlins only got one first down on its next drive.
On a fourth-and-10, Tyler Harper tipped a Lyles pass and Chandler Crosswhite intercepted it to set the Mustangs up at the Sacred Heart 16-yard line.
Powell ended up taking a direct snap and scoring from four yards out on the drive to get Northwest within eight points with 6:04 remaining in the first half.
Northwest’s defense once again came up strong and forced a turnover on downs and Daniel Blaylock ended up scoring a 13-yard touchdown with only 7.6 second remaining in the first half.
The two-point conversion was no good, keeping the Gremlins up 42-40 at halftime.
Neither team could be stopped in the final 2:29 of the first quarter, with a combined 36 points being scored.
The Gremlins took a 22-0 lead with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter when Lyles completed a 46-yard pass to Cashman, who was wide open in the middle of the field.
Powell started the 36-point barrage with a kickoff return touchdown to put Northwest on the board.
Crosswhite recovered an onside kick and Powell scored from 40 yards out and the two-point conversion got Northwest within 22-14.
“Chandler had the game of his life,” said Northwest coach Garry Walker. “He had at least 12 tackles. He played great.”
A Lyles 65-yard TD run, a Crosswhite TD reception and a Lyles kickoff return score capped off the first-quarter scoring.
“(Lyles) has so much speed it’s hard to stop him,” Walker said. “They played great and their staff did a good job at preparing for us.”
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.