DENVER – It had to be one long, but very happy bus ride home for the Whitko football team Friday night.
The Wildcats took over sole possession atop the Three Rivers Conference after whipping host North Miami 49-35 in league play.
Whitko notched its’ fifth straight win to improve to 5-2 overall and 5-0 in TRC action.
Valley and Rochester are tied for second in the TRC at 4-1 after Valley’s 42-21 win at Rochester Friday night.
The Wildcats used their tried and true formula for success again Friday night.
Whitko rushed for 291 yards and had no turnovers in the victory.
North Miami, which drops to 1-6 overall and 1-4 in the TRC, had three turnovers in the contest.
The Wildcats led 14-0 after the first quarter and 28-13 at halftime en route to the win.
The duo of tailback Devin Gerding and quarterback Ethan Nicodemus both had huge nights for the Wildcats. Gerding rushed for 116 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown run of 43 yards. Gerding also caught touchdown passes of 26 and 61 yards from Nicodemus.
Nicodemus finished 4-9 passing in Whitko’s option attack for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He also broke free for a 63-yard touchdown jaunt in the victory. Nicodemus rushed for 77 yards on 12 carries.
Tanner Hughes had touchdown runs of eight and 15 yards for Whitko and finished with 79 yards on 16 carries.
Keith Rouch ran for 154 yards on nine carries with three touchdowns to lead North Miami, whose only win this season was against winless Wabash.
Whitko hosts Rochester next Friday night. The Wildcats then host Tippecanoe Valley in the regular-season and TRC finale Oct. 18.