SV splish-splashes past Cougs
The cloud that’s hung over North Harrison’s football team materialized into a five-hour storm Friday night that turned the sidelines into a wading pool and the previously-pristine field into a squishy sludge.
The weather would have been great for a duck, and the Blackhawks (of the Springs Valley genre) took to the precipitation like … well … like a duck to water.
Valley rushed for 293 yards and 14 first downs and held the host Cougars to just 53 yards of total offense and two first downs in their 44-0 shutout of North Harrison.
If there was a bright spot for the Cougars, it was that the 44 points they gave up were the fewest this season. Before they played Valley, they had given up 52, 46, 48 and 49, and, sorry to say, they will likely give up quite a bit more in this Friday’s Mid-Southern Conference matchup at conference-leader Brownstown (5-0, 3-0 M.S.C.).
“It’s very frustrating,” admitted Cougars Coach Dan Haskell. “We’re not playing our positions. It’s that simple. We’ve worked real hard the last two weeks on attitude, on getting out here and getting a jump on things, and it just didn’t happen tonight.
“It’s just very frustrating to prepare like we have all week and then come out and play as flat as we played. We’ll have to go back and gear up the coaching staff again and go another week.”
Valley (3-2) got all the points it would need with 9:06 left in the first period as Blake Allen capped a seven-play, 64-yard drive with a two-yard dive. Quarterback Adam Mills connected with Joe Estrada for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead. After swapping possessions, Valley scored again just as time expired on a 15-yard run by Allen around right end. Trevor Hall added the two-point run.
The Blackhawks forced one of seven punts and hit paydirt again midway through the second quarter on a one-yard dive by Josh Gonya. The club elected to kick for the extra point; however, the snap sailed over the holder’s head. Allen alertly scooped up the loose ball and rambled around left end for the conversion.
“We have learned that you’ve got to learn from these mistakes and not hang your head,” said Haskell. “I’m sure they were disappointed. I was disappointed. I couldn’t believe that one. I stood there and watched it. I was dumbstruck watching him running around the end and getting in. We should have nailed him. Most of that is just in seeing what’s going on and reacting to it. Tonight we didn’t react very well.”
North had a nice return on the ensuing kickoff — returning the ball to midfield — but fumbled the pigskin and the Blackhawks recovered. One play later Allen took the ball in from 52 yards out and added the PAT kick for a 31-0 lead.
Valley scored two more times in the game to seal the victory.
Haskell said his team approached the contest like any other, but their success in practice doesn’t translate into success on Friday nights.
“For some reason, I’m not sure, we’re not playing positions at night. I can’t answer it right now. I don’t know. If I did we wouldn’t be playing like this.”
Defensively for the Cougars, Lance Mitchell and Kay Brose each had nine tackles; Kyle Fluhr, Tony Frederick and Allen Hutson added eight tackles each. Rusty Hobble had a sack, and Hobble and Brose each recorded tackles for loss. Cory Beckman blocked an extra point attempt.
Lance Mitchell had the Cougars’ longest run of the night: 32 yards.