The Pickerington High School North football team continued its hot start by closing the non-league schedule with a 33-0 victory over visiting Northland on Friday, Sept. 9.
While improving to 3-0 for the first time since 2004, the Panthers posted their first shutout since Week 7 of the 2009 season.
Their defense held the Vikings to minus-5 yards in the first half and recovered three fumbles.
"We've got guys at linebacker who can fill the gaps, and when we open things up we all fly to the ball," said senior two-way lineman Luke Carothers, who had two fumble recoveries.
The Panthers scored their first touchdown after a miscue by Northland, which fell to 0-3.
Carothers recovered a fumble on a bad snap on the second play of the second quarter. On the next play, Panthers quarterback Zach Olszewski connected with Godwin Igwebuike for a 23-yard touchdown pass to make it 6-0.
North went up 13-0 with 3:37 to go before halftime on a 3-yard touchdown run by Stephon Goodwin. That completed a 12-play, 84-yard drive.
The Panthers took a 20-0 lead when Goodwin ran in from 2 yards with 1:49 to go in the third quarter.
A fumble recovery by P.J. Cleary with 54.8 seconds left in the third gave North possession at the Northland 30. Three plays later, Olszewski connected with Seth Gamby to make it 27-0.
Olszewski also hit Deion Williams for a 7-yard touchdown with 3:30 to go in the final period.
Olszewski finished 14-for-21 for 183 yards and three touchdowns.
Northland was held to three first downs, all in the second half.
"On offense it's a matter of taking better care of the ball and blocking to the whistle," Vikings coach Kevin Tooson said. "We pretty much controlled their running game but they hurt us on screens."
NORTHLAND 0 0 0 0 -- 0
PICKERINGTON NORTH 0 13 7 13 -- 33
PN--Igwebuike 23 pass from Olszewski (kick failed)
PN--Goodwin 3 run (Monhollen kick)
PN--Goodwin 2 run (Monhollen kick)
PN--Gamby 11 pass from Olszewski (Monhollen kick)
PN--Williams 7 pass from Olszewski (kick failed)