Weekly Feature

2018-09-12 / Sports

North Tonawanda gets dramatic win over Sweet Home


The North Tonawanda football team got its first win of the second Eric Jantzi era in dramatic fashion Friday night. Connor DeVantier kicked a game-winning field goal with eight seconds left in the game to give the Lumberjacks a 20-17 victory over Sweet Home.

After a 48-0 loss to Niagara-Wheatfield in week one, Friday night’s effort marked a major and swift turnaround for the Lumberjacks. The team did not give up or lose confidence when they got behind against Sweet Home, a noticeable difference from week one.

“I think we crossed a few milestones in terms of attitude and stuff like that, getting things done on the field,” North Tonawanda coach Eric Jantzi said. “Last week we kind of, I don’t want to say we folded, but it was a lot different outcome this week.”

The Panthers actually led the game early, as a blocked North Tonawanda punt went into the end zone and caused a safety. Sweet Home led 2-0 until the second quarter, when Matthew Monge ran the ball in from 2 yards out to give North Tonawanda a 7-2 lead. Sweet Home would make it 10-7 later in the quarter and went up 17-7 soon after. They would go into halftime with that lead.

North Tonawanda opened the second half with a long drive to cut the deficit to 17-14, punctuated by a 9-yard Monge run. Two more DeVantier field goals would give the Lumberjacks a win in a dominant second-half effort.

“We are what we are,” Jantzi said. “We are just trying to fix the little things that have come into place over the past few years. I think we took care of that this week, to be honest with you. The kids have really improved in terms of their attitude.”

The defense played a strong game, especially in the second half when they shut out the Panthers.

“Our defense was probably the biggest point of the whole game,” Jantzi said. “James Holler and some of those guys were great. It was nice to have Jake Myers back.”

The Lumberjacks will next take on Kenmore East Friday at home at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs are 0-2, but have played two strong games against Class A teams. They’re not the same team they have been the past two years. They feature dangerous athletes in D’Anzo Young and Nate Murdie.

“They’re a spread, no-huddle team that tries to throw the ball around,” Jantzi said. “They’re pretty athletic, so we’re going to have to prepare for that. They’re a lot better than they’ve been in the past. We’re going to work all week at trying to get to their pace.”

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