Saintly performance by Nemitz propels North Wake over Chatham Central

Posted 9/27/19

North Wake 42, Chatham Central 20

BEAR CREEK — Sherman Howze noticed. The Chatham Central coach could sense the strong bond that the North Wake Saints quarterback had with his coach.

“You …

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Saintly performance by Nemitz propels North Wake over Chatham Central

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North Wake 42, Chatham Central 20

BEAR CREEK — Sherman Howze noticed. The Chatham Central coach could sense the strong bond that the North Wake Saints quarterback had with his coach.

“You can tell if a dad’s coaching a kid,” Howze said. “He’s probably worked with that kid for so long.”

Ryan Nemitz has, in fact, coached his son Ian’s teams for 10 years running. So the elder Nemitz wasn’t surprised when Ian torched the Bears defense in a 42-20 Saints win at Chatham Central on Friday night.

Nemitz piled up 210 passing yards and two touchdowns to go along with 77 yards and a touchdown on the ground as North Wake improved to 2-2 with the win, while the Bears dropped to 0-5.

“We’ve been improving and improving,” Ryan Nemitz said. “I think this week just showed that we are playing the way we’re supposed to play.”

The Saints offense began clicking quickly, as Ian Nemitz led a 12-play, 75-yard drive, culminating in a 14-yard floated pass to Joshua Pryor in the back of the end zone to make it 7-0 with 7:50 remaining in the first quarter.

Chatham Central struck back just under five minutes later when quarterback Michael Moore found Hunter Strickland on a 29-yard strike down the sideline, bringing the score to 7-6. But that was as close as the Bears would get, as North Wake scored four unanswered touchdowns in a 7-minute span to put the game firmly out of reach.

The first score came as Nemitz, smoothly operating the offense as one would expect from a coach’s son, directed the Saints down the field again and pitched to Jerron Harper on a 2-yard sweep to bring the score to 14-6 with 9:46 to go in the second quarter.

North Wake’s next possession saw the Saints march 80 yards in just five plays, scoring on a 33-yard slant from Nemitz to Jackson White to extend the lead to 21-6.

“The short passes were there, long passes, run, all of it was sort of opened up,” Ian Nemitz said.

Moore was intercepted by Van Jackson on the ensuing drive, setting up North Wake with great field position. Three plays later, the Saints capitalized when Jonathan Nichols busted through the left side of the line for a 35-yard rushing touchdown with 3:16 to go before the half.

Jackson kicked the extra point, then recovered his own onside kick, which set up White for a 34-yard touchdown run just 41 seconds after the previous score to boost the lead to 35-6.

Chatham Central committed seven penalties in the first half, largely stifling its attack. But the Bears managed one more score before the break when Moore found Strickland again, this time from 24 yards out on a skinny post. Tailback Riley Lagenor, who led Chatham Central with 12 carries for 79 yards, forced his way into the end zone for the 2-point conversion to make it 35-14 at the half.

“Riley is a great kid,” Howze said. “We ask him to do a lot. He’s just a strong kid. He’s got a big heart and he loves the game.”

Moore threw another interception coming out of the half, giving North Wake great field position once again. On third down, Nemitz made a cutback and broke several tackles for a 23-yard touchdown run.

“There was absolutely nothing going through my head,” the quarterback said. “I was really confused when I bounced off my own teammate. When you’re playing a game and people are trying to hit you your instincts kind of kick in and you just go.”

Howze called Nemiz a “very shifty kid.”

“That’s what we talked about all week, that he would pull it and run it,” the Chatham Central coach said. “He made plays.”

Moore led a long drive on the ensuing series and found the end zone on a 1-yard quarterback sneak for the final score of the game with 4:10 remaining in the third quarter.

Chatham Central has now been outscored by a combined 136 points in five games this season.

“It’s all about effort,” Howze said. “Right now we’re struggling. We’ve just got to get it together.”

Ian Nemitz, meanwhile, is proving he belongs as the quarterback of the defending Homeschool Football League champions.

“It’s just a joy coaching Ian and I enjoyed seeing him do so well in the game,” Ryan Nemitz said. “I’m very proud of him.”

As a homeschool program, the Saints have no team bus. So Ryan and Ian Nemitz, no longer coach and quarterback, but now just father and son, left the field together and walked out to their car.

“We’re going to eat,” the father said of the Nemitzs’ postgame plans. “We’re going to stop to eat because he’s always hungry.”


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