Schroeder motors for 367 yards, 6 TDs
North Harrison sophomore Bryan Schroeder had his second record-breaking game of the season Friday night, running for 367 yards and scoring six touchdowns as the Cougars ripped the Rams of Paoli, 56-6.
‘We wish we wouldn’t have let them score,’ smiled North Harrison coach Jason Mullis. ‘We had some breakdowns there. We fixed it at halftime and played well defensively after that. I thought we started hitting again and that’s great. The offensive line played a heck of a game tonight. They (Paoli) were bringing a lot of people and blitzing a lot of people, and we were picking it up, and Bryan was getting loose.’
‘He just really demonstrated the quality back he is,’ said Paoli coach Jeff Scalf of Schroeder. ‘He broke four of five where we had people in position. Not only is he fast, but he’s very athletic. He had two fine backs in front of him in the backfield tonight, so you have to compliment their total group for their effort.’
It took less than three minutes for Schroeder and the Cougars to get their first score on the board. North moved the ball on the ground to the seven-yard-line before Schroeder punched it in for six points. Dustin Robertson booted in the first of eight extra points.
Paoli tightened up the game up on its next drive. Two North Harrison penalties helped the Rams move to the Cougar 16. On their next three plays the Rams failed to gain any ground, but on fourth down Garret Hutslar found Zach Patton in the end zone. The Cougars stopped the conversion and led, 7-6.
North acted quickly to stop Paoli’s momentum. The Cougars started on their own 27, then Chris Rawert got a first down with an 11-yard run to the 38-yard-line. Schroeder then exploded for his first big run of the night with a 62-yard touchdown sprint. The extra point gave the Cougars a 14-6 advantage.
The big sophomore had another big run in the second quarter, this time 65 yards up the middle for his third TD of the half. North led 21-6.
Mullis said his team’s only dark spot of the half was trying to get a handle on Paoli’s passing game. ‘They were getting any pass they wanted to,’ he said.
‘We adjusted at halftime and we got guys out there coming a little better. The first half it was like nobody was out there. Bryan, we were giving him a break on defense. He’s a linebacker. We put a freshman, Josh Cheatham, in there, and I thought he did a nice job. It took him till halftime till he knew what he had to do. Once he did that we were fine.’
Paoli coach Scalf complimented North for its aggressiveness, but he said was ‘very disappointed in our performance up front tonight. The first quarter it was still 7-6, and you still have the ability in your offense to mix the run and pass. All of a sudden you get down three or four scores. Everybody comes after you, which is a lot tougher for your offensive line to block.’
The Cougar defense stepped up its game on Paoli’s first possession of the second half. The Rams ran six plays but on the last one North Harrison junior Ryan Doss intercepted a pass. It took the Cougars only five plays to score again as Michael Dean threw to Isaac Davis for a 48-yard touchdown. Davis got some help from Wes Kirk on a block that opened up the hole for the score.
Schroeder scored three more touchdowns in the second half on runs of 45, 5, and 53 yards. Jacob Snook also scored on a 17-yard scamper, for the lopsided 56-6 final.
Mullis said one of the big pluses for his team was the return of senior Brendan Zellars, who played most of the game on defense. ‘You could see the confidence in the defense when he’s out there,’ Mullis said. ‘They know he’s back, and I think that meant a lot. We had three or four sacks, which we haven’t done in a while. We got them in a situation where we stopped the run and made them have to pass. We have to get up on people and make them play catch-up. Our speed on defense allows us to do a lot of things with them.’
Scalf gave credit to sophomore Dylan Long who stepped in when senior running back Matt Smith suffered a heavy blow to the head on a tackle and had to leave the game. Scalf said Smith saw a lot of stars but was doing fine.
‘He hit his head on the ground and the ground won,’ said Scalf. ‘He was a little woozy so we took him off.
‘Dylan stepped up. He didn’t have much choice really. He was the main back tonight and getting some carries. That’s a load to give a sophomore but he was our best.
‘Derick Eslick stepped in at fullback and got some quality runs for us tonight. All in all, it’s going to make us a deeper team … it will make us a stronger football team.’
Schroeder’s 367 yards and sixtouchdowns came on only 16 carries. Isaac Davis had 54 yards on six carries and 49 yards on two pass receptions. Davis had nine solo tackles, four assists and a sack. Chris Rawert had 11 yards rushing and a catch for 15 yards.
On defense, Rawert had six tackles and two assists. Michael Dean finished with 64 yards passing on three of eight attempts. Jacob Snook had two carries for 21 yards, and Gino Hedgespeth had four tackles and three assists. North Harrison finished with 511 yards of offense with 462 yards of that rushing.
* * *
Schroeder set a new school record when he rushed for 352 yards on only 12 carries in the Cougars’ season opening 44-22 win, at West Washington. He scored five touchdowns in that contest, Aug. 19. He now has 974 yards this season in four games.
The Indiana state high school individual record for rushing yards in a game is 489, set by Indianapolis Cathedral’s Otis Shannon, Oct. 15, 1999. Shannon carried 48 times and scored four touchdowns in that game versus Cincinnati’s LaSalle High School.
Shannon posted the state’s second-highest, single season rushing total that season, when he amassed 3,252 yards. He concluded his career in 2000, as the state’s career rushing leader with 7,560 yards.