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Rush of points before half doom Cougars

October 09, 2019
Silver Creek, unbeaten during the football season thus far, needed a flurry of touchdowns before halftime to put some distance between themselves and North Harrison.

The Cougars, seeking an upset, weren't able to bounce back from giving up a pair of touchdowns inside the final four minutes of the second quarter, eventually falling 40-7 in Ramsey. To that point in the second quarter, the match-up was locked up at 7-all.

"Silver Creek is as good as advertised," said North Harrison coach Mark Williamson. "We knew they were very fast, and we know that we are not very fast. From a match-up standpoint, we knew we could be in trouble."

Controlling the clock, North Harrison was able to grind through much of the first half with the Dragons. After a scoreless opening 12 minutes, Silver Creek got on the board first with a 33-yard touchdown run via Ben Landers.

North Harrison moved the ball on its next drive. Facing a fourth down, the Cougars lined up for a field-goal try, but an offsides on the Dragons advanced the ball beyond the first-down marker. With momentum, the Cougars evened the score at 7 when quarterback Jarrett Fenn rushed in from the 1-yard line.

The score came with four minutes to go before halftime, but Silver Creek turned the game around in a snap with two quick TDs.

Easton Messer had a lengthy return on the next kick-off, prompting a short Silver Creek touchdown drive. Landers punched it in with 3:15 to go until the break.

On North Harrison's next possession, the Cougars failed to pick up a first down, and a short punt gave Silver Creek great field position once again. Quickly moving the ball, Messer scored from 14 yards out to turn a 7-all game to 21-7 in favor of the Dragons in a blink.

"We competed for a while, holding it to 7-7 with four minutes to go before half," said Williamson. "It seems when things get out of hand, we quit competing. It snowballs from there. There is nobody stepping up and trying to make plays. Those last four minutes of the half was the game. If we came in (at halftime) at 14-7, we might have been able to regroup a bit, but they went bang-bang, two touchdowns in four minutes."

North Harrison's offense never really got going in the second half either. For the game, Aaron Nevil led the Cougars with 45 rushing yards while Fenn had 20.

The Cougars also lost defensive back/wide receiver Colby Whittaker in the first half due to injury. Facing a team with more speed than the Cougars, the loss was a key one.

"When Colby went down early, that put us down a receiver and we were already thin there anyways," said Williamson. "We had a small group to start the year with our defensive backs, too. Normally, we have 30 DB/receivers, and this year we have 10 in the whole program ... From a skill standpoint, we got out-skilled to the max."

Silver Creek added a touchdown in the third when Landers rushed in from the 13. Two more scores were added in the fourth: a 23-yard run from Heath Knight and a 35-yard run from Wyatt Hoffman.

"I've challenged them all year, but it hasn't been consistent," said Williamson. "We did compete for 20 minutes tonight and. when things went bad for four minutes, it was over. We don't have any players that are stepping up to be the dude by action. We have guys that talk, but we need action."

Williamson said the team and program will grind through as it dropped to a 3-4 record.

"You'd like to think we'd be a program like Brownstown that never goes through these kind of years," said Williamson. "Heritage Hills went through a 2-8 season not long ago, but look at them now (7-0 this season). We will get through it."

Williamson said he's eager to see the Cougars compete at a higher level during the final two weeks of the regular season. They will host rival Crawford County on Friday.

"We will have our staff meeting and figure out where to go from here," said Williamson. "The schedule is favorable next week. We may make some changes or we may not, but it'll be decided Sunday."

Silver Creek 0 21 7 12 40

North Harrison 0 7 0 0 7

SC Ben Landers 33 run (Jonathan McIntyre kick); NH Jarrett Fenn 1 run (Landon McIntire kick); SC Landers 7 run (J. McIntire kick); SC Easton Messer 14 run (J. McIntire kick); SC Landers 13 run (J. McIntire kick); SC Heath Knight 23 run (kick failed); SC Wyatt Hoffman 35 run (kick failed).

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