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NORTH HUNTINGTON, Pa. — Norwin’s running game got rolling in a big way on Friday as the Knights earned their first win of the season in a 28-12 victory over Baldwin at Norwin High School.
The Knights used a three-headed monster to move the ball on the ground, spearheaded by senior quarterback Nick Fleming, who did a lot of running himself, in addition to direction the offense and running the option with to backs Dom Barca and Hayden O’Bryon.
It was Barca that struck first on a swing pass from Fleming in the first quarter, after Norwin was given another shot at scoring in the red zone. Baldwin had bottled up a Knights rushing play on third down at about the Highlanders’ 11. But there was a holding penalty on the play, and in hopes of leaving the Knights with a longer field goal attempt, Baldwin coach Tim Sweeney accepted the penalty, giving Baldwin another shot at the end zone and Fleming and Barca took advantage.
Fleming did the hard work himself on Baldwin’s scoring drive in the second quarter, converted on a 4th and 1 in the red zone and then taking it himself two more times to cover the final 10 yards to pay dirt.
Baldwin responded, with quarterback Connor Brain connecting with Connor Lavelle from 20 yards out, but the Highlanders missed the extra point.
Norwin responded one play later with the biggest pass play of the game for either side, as Fleming hit Connor Christman on a tunnel screen and he took it 60 yards to the end zone.
The Highlanders missed yet another opportunity late in the first half, when they were driving with under a minute to play, but couldn’t get the ball spiked after gaining a first down at the Norwin 10 with 5 seconds left on the clock.
In the third quarter, O’Bryon completed the rushing touchdown hat track, extending the Norwin lead on a five-yard sweep.
Baldwin answered once more with a Brain scramble, but the Norwin offense was able to kill the final eight minutes with the strong running game.
Norwin (1-3) will visit North Allegheny next week. Baldwin (1-1) hosts Hempfield.