Novi — Since losing its opener Northville has been playing like one of the best teams in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association and Friday’s game against its archrival was a prime example.
Northville (6-1, 5-0) clicked in all phases of the game and rolled past Novi, 40-13, to clinch the Central Division title outright.
Northville, which has either shared or won the title outright the last four years, also clinched a state playoff spot with the victory. Northville was 5-4 last season and did not qualify.
The game is played for the Baseline Jug and it’s been stored in Northville the last five years.
“Beating Novi means more to this community than you really know,” Northville coach Matt Ladach said.
Northville owned the first half, scoring on all five possessions to take a 30-0 lead. It outgained Novi, 260 yards to 68. Quarterback Joey Hewlett passed for two touchdowns and his 6-yard touchdown run was set up by a blocked punt recovered by Justin Morgan at the Novi 6. Northville had an interception in the end zone to end the half.
Hewlett rushed for 83 yards in each half and had a total of 21 carries. He was 9-of-15 passing in the first half for 132 yards. He missed on all three attempts in the second.
“Joey Hewlett’s the man,” Ladach said. “He’s a great leader. He’s very well respected in the school. He’s a very charismatic young man.”
Northville enjoyed a significant size advantage and controlled the offensive and defensive lines.
Junior right tackle David Moorman (6-foot-5, 283 pounds) is a Division I recruit and heads a powerful offensive line that averages 260 pounds and has but one senior, left guard Dimitri Angelas (6-5, 285). Tight end Ryan Roberts is a 6-7, 225-pound junior.
“The offensive line did a great job,” Hewlett said. “They gave me great protection. We executed our offense to perfection in the first half. We really wanted to establish our run early. We wanted to catch them off-guard.”
It took Northville just 3:37 to take a 7-0 lead. Hewlett’s 36-yard run helped set up Patrick Hannah’s 1-yard touchdown run.
Zach Wilds’ 27-yard field goal gave Northville a 10-0 advantage with 9:45 left in the half and Hewlett followed with his touchdown run to increase the lead to 16 points.
Hewlett then threw scoring passers of 52 and 8 yards to Evan Wieland and Nick Stegmeyer, respectively, to close out the half.
“(Hewlett) is a dual-threat guy,” Novi coach Jeff Burnside said. “We didn’t tackle him in space. We hang our hats on our defense and we didn’t get the job done.”
Emanuel Jackson scored on a 39-yard touchdown run and Rohit Mogalayapalli threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Devontez Jones for Novi (4-3, 3-2).