Hunter Mariotti

Northmor junior quarterback Hunter Mariotti threw 16-of-26 for 128 yards in the Golden Knights' 15-14 win over East Knox at Chet Looney Stadium on Friday night. 

HOWARD – East Knox and Northmor aren’t rivals.

Maybe it’s due to proximity, as the two schools are nearly an hour apart. Maybe there was never enough on the line; before last year, when the two current head coaches took over, neither team had experienced this level of success – at least not in recent memory.

They might not have been rivals then. They sure are now.

What unfolded on Friday night in Howard was nothing short of a classic, a spectacle that, could the hills and trees that surround Chet Looney Stadium talk, would be discussed for eternity.

Northmor (7-0, 4-0 KMAC) edged East Knox (6-1 3-1 KMAC) 15-14 in a game that will play a pivotal role in deciding this year’s KMAC champion. It will also heavily impact each teams' playoff hopes, as both hail from Division VI Region 23.

The rivalry, which really began last season when East Knox won in Galion by four points, came to a slow boil over the first two quarters on Friday night. For two teams that had scored a combined 562 points over the first six weeks of the season, the mood began (and stayed) rather defensive.

Northmor scored on its first drive of the game, as junior tailback Conor Becker punched in a touchdown on fourth down from 10 yards out. He then ran in the two-point conversion, capping off a drive that started at the East Knox 46-yard line, as the Golden Knights took advantage of precious field positioning.