Springs Valley jars North Harrison, 41-7
After getting their first win of the season last week at Paoli, the North Harrison Cougars hit a brick wall Friday night, being thumped by Springs Valley, 41-7, in a game dominated by the Blackhawks from beginning to end.
‘You’ve got to give Springs Valley a lot of credit,’ said North Harrison coach Dan Haskell. ‘We knew from the film they were going to play hard and they always do. They’ve got some quick kids. Their line is tough. Their defensive ends are relentless. They played very well.’
North Harrison received the ball first, but went three-and-out, giving possession to Valley. The Blackhawks then worked quickly to establish a ground game, and Blake Allen took the ball in for a touchdown after eight Valley plays. The kick failed, but the Blackhawks took a 6-0 lead with 7:21 to go in the first quarter.
North Harrison had a big gainer on the fourth play of their second drive, as Cody Mitchell pulled the Valley defense back and then fired a short pass to Cory Beckman. Beckman then ran the ball down to the 11-yard-line, to complete a 65-yard gain before stepping out of bounds. The Cougars, however, failed to get into the end zone, gaining one yard, then losing three. Two pass attempts were unsuccessful, and the Cougars handed the ball over on downs.
‘I thought we should have (scored),’ Haskell said of the drive. ‘I was watching down the sidelines, and he stepped out of bounds about 10 yards before the goal. He was being pursued, but he wasn’t in any immediate threat of being tackled. I think that’s more of focusing more on who’s behind you instead of that goal line. I think that would have been somewhat of a turning point. It would have given us some momentum and a little bit more confidence. That was a big play.’
Springs Valley answered with a big play that was called back due to a penalty. Blake Allen ran for what he thought was an 89-yard touchdown run, but a penalty on the Blackhawks brought the ball back to the 45-yard-line. Valley still kept the ground game going, moving the ball down to the 11 after a 21-yard gain by Allen on third down. On the next play, Trevor Hall got the call, driving into the end zone for the score. Hall also got the conversion, and Valley was on top 14-0.
North Harrison punted again on it next possession, and Derek Smith returned the ball 28 yards. The Blackhawks again kept the ball on the ground, with Broc Warner and Allen combining on the drive. Allen finally went in from one yard out for a touchdown. The extra point gave Valley a 21-0 lead.
The Blackhawks scored again just over five minutes later, as Adam Mills connected with Smith on a 28-yard pass with 2:49 left in the half for a 28-0 lead.
Springs Valley didn’t wait long to get its next touchdown in the third quarter, as Broc Warner took the ball 73 yards into the end zone for a 35-0 lead.
The Blackhawks’ next drive included a 24-yard gain by Derek Smith. Springs Valley needed five plays to get into the end zone, as Blake Allen stepped in from three yards out. Allen’s extra point kicked failed, however, leaving the score at 41-0.
The Cougars held on to the ball until Trevor Hall intercepted a Cody Mitchell pass in the end zone and brought it out to the 30-yard-line. Valley then began another drive, but saw two losses, leading to fourth-and-eighteen. The snap on Valley’s next play went over Blake Allen’s head, and Allen fell on the ball at the 17-yard-line, putting the Cougars in scoring position.
Cody Mitchell got three yards on the first play, then Tony Frederick added five for third and one. Mitchell then drew the Blackhawks offside again for a first down before he took the ball to the three on the next play. The Cougars finally got on the board on the next play, when Mitchell hit Lance Mitchell for the touchdown. After Devin Williams’ extra-point kick, the final score was set, 41-7.
Blake Allen led the winners with 190 yards on 22 carries. Broc Warner and Trevor Hall each had 53 yards on nine carries. Derek Smith ran for 28 yards on four carries. Valley finished with 367 yards on the ground and 46 yards in the air for a total offense of 413 yards.
North Harrison gained just 54 yards rushing, with Cory Beckman carrying the ball nine times for 30 yards and Lance Mitchell twice for 18 yards. The Cougars’ passing game put up 160 yards, but Cody Mitchell’s night was less than desirable, connecting just seven times on 23 attempts for 124 yards. Beckman had three receptions for 71 yards, and Fluhr and Lance Mitchell had two receptions for 31 yards each. North finished with 204 total yards.
Springs Valley had eight penalties for 60 yards, while the Cougars were penalized four times for 25 yards. The Blackhawks got 18 first downs compare to just eight for North.
Haskell said the loss wasn’t a setback from last week’s win. Instead, he said, it was a good test for upcoming games.
‘There’s still some bright spots,’ said the Cougar coach. ‘We made some plays where we said, ‘We’ll throw it out there and see if it works.’ ‘
‘I think we had some breakdowns. I think, physically, Valley is the best team we’ve played so far. They played Brownstown closer than any scorewise, so we knew they were going to be a very physical team. I just think Valley played an extremely good game and very aggressive and that set us back.’