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Braves keep Cougars winless

Braves keep Cougars winless
Braves keep Cougars winless
North Harrison quarterback Matt Bruderle attempts a pass against Brownstown Central Friday. Photo by Ross Schulz (click for larger version)

The North Harrison football team remained winless after a 29-7 loss Friday night in Ramsey at the hands of Mid-Southern Conference foe Brownstown Central, but the Cougars showed enough grit and fight for fans and coaches to harness a little optimism for the remainder of the season.
‘Last week (61-7 loss at Paoli), we took a step back; tonight we took a step forward,’ coach Jason Mullis said. We’re playing better. Our defense stepped up.’
North Harrison (0-5, 0-3) held Brownstown (3-2, 2-2) to just two scores in the first half, and the Cougars were knocking on the door at the Brownstown Central 3-yard-line behind big runs from quarterback Matt Bruderle before a delay of game penalty and a sack ended the half.
Jimmy Slucher opened the second half with a nice kick-off return to the Cougar 40-yard-line, but an interception ended the drive. North Harrison’s defense, led by junior Paul Roberts, then forced a three-and-out to give the offense another chance to cut into to the Brownstown lead.
The Cougars managed a first down with a completion to freshman Mitch Bolin before being forced to punt.
On the ensuing possession, Caleb Silvers scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run to put the Braves ahead 21-0.
Brownstown scored again early in the fourth quarter on a Jordan Turpin 2-yard run.
North Harrison again put together a solid drive, including a Bruderle run in which he leveled a Brownstown defender before being forced out of bounds after a gain of 10 yards, but the Cougars ended up turning the ball over on downs near midfield.
The Cougar defense again held strong, forcing Brownstown to turn the ball back over on downs inside the Cougar 5-yard-line.
The defensive stand set up the Cougars for one of the longest plays in school history, a 95-yard touchdown reception from Bruderle to Michael Cox. Cox caught the perfectly thrown ball near the Cougar 35-yard-line and outraced the Braves secondary the rest of the way. Zack Stephenson added the extra point.
The touchdown broke a streak of seven consecutive quarters without an offensive touchdown for the Cougars.
Bruderle finished 12 of 18 for 178 yards and 100 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Mullis lauded his team’s effort after the final second ticked off the clock.
‘Our guys aren’t pointing any fingers at each other; they’re just tired of losing,’ he said. ‘We started seven freshmen tonight. It’s not that I’m not happy with my juniors and seniors; it’s just the numbers aren’t there. The upperclassmen are doing a good job.’
The Cougars will travel to Clarksville Friday night in search of their first win of the season.