NH’s hopes turn to mud in 34-0 loss to Generals
Clarksville came into Ramsey on Friday winless on the season and hoping to gain some much-needed momentum heading into a pair of parochial games against Holy Cross and Providence. North Harrison was also winless and wanted to ensure at least one victory before playing two of the toughest teams in the Mid-Southern Conference in Corydon and Salem.
Mud dominated the game thanks to a 30-minute visit by remnants of Tropical Storm Lili. The downpour turned the sidelines into wading pools and the field into a dingy muck. After that, it was Clarksville’s turn to rain on North in a 34-0 shutout.
The Cougars (0-7, 0-3 M.S.C.) have been blanked five times this season and have been outscored 331-19.
“It’s the same thing that’s been happening all year,” said North Harrison Coach Dan Haskell. “We just aren’t playing a hundred percent all the time. We lost a fumble when we were driving it well that first drive. That seems to be the story. You can’t let up for any amount of time.
“It’s the same thing it’s been. We have some really take charge, get in there, doing the job, and then I think we get a little big deflated in our attitudes because of that. Clarksville played harder on defense most of the game than we did. We couldn’t really move the ball real well.”
One of the reasons North couldn’t move the ball was because it didn’t have the ball: the team coughed up the pigskin six times, with Clarksville’s Ryan Bobay pulling down two interceptions and covering a fumble.
The first of North’s miscues came three plays into the game, when Cory Beckman fumbled after a sizable gain. Bobay recovered to set up an 11-play, 69-yard drive that was capped by an 8-yard reception by Richard Brown from Brad Daily. The pass was intended for Brandon Oakes, but sailed high over his head and into the arms of Brown.
After punting the ball away on its next possession, North’s defense provided it’s highlight of the night with a goal-line stand at the 4-yard line. Unfortunately, the Cougars’ offense wasn’t as dazzling as the team was forced to kick away the ball four plays later.
Clarksville (1-6, 1-4 M.S.C.) took advantage of its good field position with a quick four-play drive that resulted in a 15-yard run by Ben Camilotto, who rushed for a whopping 203 yards on the night.
The host’s next offensive play resulted in an interception by Clarksville’s Drake Greishaw and four plays later the team found paydirt again on a 26-yard romp by Trent Ball for a 22-0 lead by the Generals at the half.
“Tonight we started off right,” Haskell said. “Things were pumping, guys were running. Then the fumble and the couple of scores just took the air out of things. (The halftime talk was) about playing football and not going out and getting pushed around like we were. It just takes us too long to get warmed up.”
Any hopes North Harrison had of getting back into the game were quickly extinguished as Camilotto took the opening handoff of the half 63 yards for a score.
Clarksville scored again with :26 left in the third as Daily ran an option left for the final score of the night.
North gained five first downs, rushed for 70 yards and threw for 24. Clarksville ran for 340 yards, threw for seven and gained 12 first downs (10 in the first half). The hosts were whistled for three infractions for a total of 14 yards while the Generals were hit with six penalties for 70 yards.
Beckman rushed for 44 yards to lead the Cougar offense while Allen Hutson led the air attack with one catch for 11 yards.
Haskell said quarterback Cody Mitchell gave up more than anybody throughout the game but was concerned about his quarterback’s condition with the number of hits taken to the head.
“I thought Cody (Mitchell) stepped up,” said Haskell. “He took too many hits, I’m afraid. He was dazed. He seemed to come out of it every time but you’ve got to spread that attitude a little bit. Last week and this week Cody was definitely the heart and soul of the team with the way he was playing, or trying to play.
“Overall, I saw positives,” Haskell said. “But it’s the same positives I’ve seen. It’s individual positives. It’s not so much team positives.”