SPRINGHILL – The last time John Ware’s North Webster Knights allowed an opposing team to cross the goal line, people were still picking out their Halloween costumes.
That was Oct. 21, against the Mansfield Wolverines. Flash forward to Friday night, and it was the Richwood Rams struggling to gain ground against a ferocious Knights’ front seven.
North Webster (7-4) kept their state title dreams in tact with an 18-0 victory over Richwood Friday night with the same formula Ware’s been using for half a decade as head coach of the Knights.
“First of all, we were playing a very good team,” Ware said. “We played well enough on offense and great on defense and just kind of wore on them in the fourth quarter.”
The Knights opened the scoring with a 60-yard touchdown run from Sam Modisette.
From there, the scoring stopped, as the Knights dug in defensively.
“It’s our third shutout in a row,” Ware said. “I realize the offenses we’ve played aren’t the most high-powered, but success breeds confidence and that’s where we’re at right now. Guys like Rico Gonzalez, Keither Holmes, Jaylon Bonton; they had great games, and that unit is on fire right now.”
TJ Hawthorne carried 19 times for 127 yards and 2 TDs, while Modisette had 15 carries for 106 yards and his score.
Next up for the Knights is a road trip to 3A’s No. 3 seed, Kaplan, who are undefeated and haven’t scored less than 30 points all season.
For a team playing on house money after no one gave them a shot to reach this point, Ware said his team has already given him a better season than he could’ve imagined.
“I’m so proud of this team and where we’re at right now,” Ware said. “No one would have thought we’d make it this far the way we’ve done it all year, but here we are because of how these guys have kept pushing and grinding.”