Tonawanda News — After 24 minutes in the 104th annual T-NT Classic, Tonawanda and North Tonawanda were in a close game for the second straight season. Both teams made big plays in the first half, and the back and forth contest seemed destined for a memorable finish.
But the Lumberjacks scored 27 points in the second half and finished the game with over 400 yards rushing en route to a 45-21 win over Tonawanda, extending their win streak to 13 games.
Jacks senior running back Christian Mahoe finished with 151 yards rushing and two touchdowns, junior Nehemiah Stone had 116 yards rushing, 45 receiving and three touchdowns (two rushing), junior Tyjier Brandy had 56 yards and senior Jon Zellner chipped in with 46. Every NT ball carrier found some running room Friday night.
NT coach Tony Truilzio was proud of his team's effort, especially on offense and in the run game.
"You start with the seniors — Christian had an absolutely amazing game and you could tell he came to play," Truilzio said. "You go down the line and the offensive line came in and did just a stellar job. We knew basically what we could do and not do against them, and it's not taking anything away to them, but our game plan was solid."
Mahoe totaled over 100 yards in the first half and after leaving the game briefly due to injury, returned to help the Jacks keep up the pressure on the ground.
NT looked in control from the start of the game, when it was threatening deep in THS territory on the opening drive. But after the Jacks marched all the way down inside the Tonawanda 20, Warriors defensive back Brandon Frye jumped a crossing route near his own end zone and intercepted a NT QB Chris Woodard pass. He took it 87 yards for a score to give Tonawanda the first lead of the game, sending a jolt of fear into the NT contingent in the stands and on the sidelines.