Noxon made some big noise in 6-man football in the season opener last Friday at home, steamrolling the Lincoln Lynx 70-0 in Western Division play.
The Red Devils will have plenty of time to prepare for their next game Sept. 7 at home against White Sulphur Springs. That’s because Noxon gets a forfeit win over Lima, which is not able to field a team this season.
Noxon got off to a shaky start, however, losing a fumble inside the Red Devils’ 30-yard line on their first possession. However, Lincoln went four-and-out.
“That kind of got the jitters out,” Noxon head coach Bart Haflich said. “It was nice to bounce back and get the ball back.”
THE RED DEVILS then scored four first-quarter touchdowns and build an early 30-0 lead. Kade VanVleet darted 35 yards for the first score, and Levi Brubaker scored on runs of 52 and 35 yards before Jericho Smith hit Rylan Weltz with a 10-yard scoring pass. Two conversions meant a 30-0 Noxon lead.
VanVleet dived in from three yards out and Weltz caught a 19-yard TD pass from Smith and Noxon led 43-0 at halftime.
Second-half scores were on a 62-yard Brubaker run, 10-yard pass from Smith to Edison “Eddie” VanVleet, 22-yard aerial from Smith to Weltz, and Edison VanVleet’s 17-yard run.
“YOU NEVER really know where you’re gonna be until you hit someone else,” Haflich said. “There are tough games looming, for sure. The young kids stepped it up.
“Lincoln is learning a little bit. They’re a bit younger and inexperienced (than Noxon). It was good to get our guys in the end zone and spread the ball around.”
Blocking was also a plus for the Red Devils.
“I was really happy with how the boys got off the football for the first time out,” Haflich said. “The same thing on defense. Tackling has been better than it has been in years past. Hopefully, we keep getting better.”
Edison VanVleet led the Noxon defense with 10 tackles and an interception. Brody Hill had two pickoffs, and freshman Shane Reishus also had an interception.
Lincoln had five turnovers in the contest.
LAST YEAR, Noxon finished with a 5-4 record, making the state playoffs for the first time in 18 years, according to Haflich. The Red Devils lost in the first round to Winnett-Grass Range.
“We’d love to get back to the playoffs and see what happens,” Haflich said.
In a change, there are nine teams in the Western Division this year. St. Regis exited while Hot Springs and Gardiner came into the division. It’s an all-Western Division schedule for Noxon during the regular season.