POMEROY - It was 36-6 Pomeroy over the Northport here Friday night - midway in the first quarter - and it didn't get any closer as the Pirates cruised to a 72-28 victory over the Mustangs in a District 7/9 8-man prep football crossover playoff game.
The game was stopped at halftime on the 40-point mercy rule.
The big-play Pirates scored on touchdowns runs of 90 and 92 yards, kickoff returns of 90 and 91 yards, a 70-yard punt return plus pass interception and fumble recovery returns - all in a 58-point first quarter explosion.
Pirates' senior Tory Knebel led the charge with a touchdown run of 92 yards and both long kickoff returns for TDs.
"That is a first for me," Knebel said, "Three touches and three touchdowns. I've brought back two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a game, but nothing like this."
Sandwiched between the Knebel touchdowns was another kickoff return for a score by Jacob Moore of 70 yards. Also in the mix were two Austin Reisdorph touchdowns, one of them on a 90-yard run and the other on a 46-yard fumble recovery and return.
"A 90-yard touchdown is my longest of the year," Reisdorph said, "And it came in the playoffs, the best time. If wasn't for my lineman, the fumble never would have occurred for the return.
"We also definitely have some studs on our special teams," Reisdorph added. "Tory and Jacob have some wheels."
The Pomeroy defense wasn't too shabby, either. The Pirates' defense stopped the Mustangs offense on five of the first six Northport drives.
The Mustangs turned the ball over on downs three times out of their first six possessions, all deep in Pirate territory, twice in the red zone. The Mustangs also punted and fumbled in the early goings, while being successful on one touchdown kickoff return.
"Our defense helped us out early," Pomeroy coach Sanford Bates said. "Especially when we give up a kickoff return or two for touchdowns. Our defense kept them (Mustangs) thinking that they were out of the game. Having those stops on our side of the field gives us the ball back and gets our offense ready to go down the field for another score."
The lead ballooned to 58-6 late in the first quarter and allowed Pomeroy to begin sending its younger, less experienced players into the game.
Pirates junior Ryan Smith of Pomeroy had a 49-yard pass interception return and backup running back Brendan Lueck took a run 62 yards for the score that pushed Pomeroy's point total to 58 before the first quarter expired.
"One of our goals," Bates said, "is to get turnovers. And to score on defense is a big plus."
At the end of the first quarter, the Mustangs took advantage of a 39-yard kickoff return and drove 31 yards for a touchdown that cut the lead to 58-12 going into the second period.
Early in the second quarter, cornerback Lueck intercepted Northport quarterback Jeremiah Johnson and took it to the house from 73 yards away. The Mustangs QB tossed three interceptions in the game while completing 8-of-20 passes for 105 yards.
The Pirates offense didn't attempt a single pass. And the plethora of big touchdown plays also limited the Pomeroy offense to three first downs.
Pomeroy now advances to the Washington Class B-8 state quarterfinals where the Pirates will meet Wellpinit, either Friday or Saturday in the Tri-Cities. Wellpinit advanced Friday night with a 62-40 victory over Garfield-Palouse in another crossover game.
"It will be a much more competitive game against them," Bates said of the Redskins. "We will prepare like we normally do, and hopefully not make any mistakes and play well. We'll see how it turns out."
Pomeroy 72, North Port 28
Northport 6 22 X X - 28
Pomeroy 58 14 X X - 72
Pom - Knebel 90 kickoff return (run failed).
Pom - Reisdorph 90 run (Knebel run).
Pom - Reisdorph 46 fumble recovry return (Smith run).
NP - Higgins 74 kickoff return (pass failed).
Pom - Knebel 91 kickoff return (run failed).
Pom - Moore 70 punt return (Knebel run).
Pom - Knebel 92 run (Lueck run).
Pom - Smith 49 pass interception return (pass failed).
Pom - Lueck 62 run (Smith run).
NP - Johnson 12 run (run failed).
Pom - Lueck 73 pass interception return (run failed).
NP - Short 72 kickoff return (Short run).
NP - Visser-Rios 4 run (Visser-Rios run).
Pom - Smith 8 run (Lueck run).
First downs 8 3
Rushes/yards 21-124 12-310
Passing yards 126 0
Passes (att-comp-int) 25-10-3 0-0-0
Punts 1-42 1-47
Fumbles-lost 4-1 3-1
Penalties-yards 5-35 2-30
RUSHING - Northport: Johnson 5-51, Higgins 3-(-5), Masters 1-(-12), Visser-Rios 10-51, Plourd 1-6, Short 2-33; Pomeroy: Knebel 1-92, Reisdorph 1-90, Smith 2-50, Lueck 2-59, Hyer 6-29.
PASSING - Northport: Johnson 8-20 -3, 105 yards; Higgins 1-1-0, 3 yards; Masters 1-4-0, 18 yards. Pomeroy: no attempts.
RECEIVING - Northport: Johnson 2-11-0, Higgins 2-21-0, Masters 2-34-0, Short, B. 2-4-0, Konkler 1-41-0. Verhaeghe 1-15-0; Pomeroy: no receptions.