Charlestown sinks North Harrison, 47-13
The Pirates of Charlestown raided the North Harrison football field Friday night and took away a Mid-Southern Conference win in a 47-13 rout. With two of the Cougars’ top players, Derrick Harter and Ryan Rennirt, out because of concussions the week before, it made for a rough night for the hosts.
Quarterback Aaron Daniel did just about all of the damage for the Pirates in the first quarter. Daniel kept the ball for 36 yards on fourth-and-5 for Charlestown’s first touchdown of the night. The extra-point kick, however, failed.
The Cougars were quick to respond, tying things when Wyatt Faith threw to Michael Cox just inside the end zone. North Harrison also failed on its conversion attempt, leaving the score at 6-all.
Daniel then struck again, this time on a pass to Wesley Sexton with 3:22 to go in the quarter for a 13-6 Pirates lead.
After North Harrison gave up the ball on downs, Charlestown struck again with 13 seconds on the clock when Seth McCutcheon ran in from six yards for a 19-6 lead.
North Harrison continued to struggle and had to give up the ball on its first possession of the second quarter.
Charlestown hit the end zone with 7:52 to go in the half when Daniel connected with Tyler Odle for a 5-yard touchdown pass. Daniel then threw to Sexton for the two-point conversion, and the Pirates lead ballooned to 27-6.
Daniel wasn’t finished, as he later ran a keeper for a touchdown with a second left on the clock, taking the Pirates to a 34-6 lead at halftime.
‘The last two weeks, we have come out slow for some reason,’ North Harrison coach Greg Burton said. ‘I don’t know what it is. We just come out the first quarter almost relaxed and happy to be there. Last week, in the second half, we were able to overcome that and just run the ball.’
North Harrison tried an onside kick to begin the second half and looked like it had recovered the ball, but the officials said possession belonged to the Pirates. Three plays later, Daniel kept the ball, punching holes in the Cougars defense for a 65-yard touchdown run and a 41-6 lead.
Charlestown later scored again when McCutcheon ran in from 20 yards.
‘We game-planned all week to take (Daniel) out of the game,’ Burton said. ‘They beat us deep. We were supposed to be in a cover-three, and I think our DBs got a little confused and got ran by. They continued to cover-three and man a little bit, but they threw it deep. We hadn’t seen that on film, but they did it tonight, so that got us.’
North Harrison scored late in the third quarter when Cox broke loose to run 45 yards into the end zone. It was the last touchdown of the night for either team as the Pirates went on for the 47-13 win.
‘Our goal was to keep (Daniel) to under a hundred yards,’ Burton said. ‘We thought they would win the game ‘ (McCutcheon) really hurt us. From the sidelines, it seemed like we got him pinned in and then he gets through. Maybe not pinned in, but we had enough guys there, and maybe they just had more blockers than we had guys. I don’t know.’
The Cougars finished with 170 yards of offense, including 130 rushing yards on 38 attempts. North Harrison completed just 3 of 17 passes for 40 yards.
Burton praised running back Michael Cox for keeping North Harrison’s ground game alive.
‘Michael, no matter what the score is, Michael Cox runs hard,’ Burton said. ‘If it’s a pass, if it’s a kickoff, if it’s a punt, if it’s a run, he gives it everything he’s got. That’s why I took him out there at the end. I was hesitant about taking him out a little bit early, but I didn’t want him to get hurt. He gives it all.’
Burton said he was disappointed in his team’s passing game, saying the Cougars pass protection needs to get better to get Mitch Bolin the ball more on a regular basis.
‘They were blitzing a couple of guys, and we just couldn’t protect Wyatt,’ Burton said. ‘We had it in the game to get Mitch eight or 10 catches. He had eight catches last week, and we were hoping to do the same thing, and we just couldn’t get the pass protection.’
Charlestown finished with 541 yards of offense (293 on 60 rushes and 248 on 11 of 12 pass attempts). Daniel rushed for 124 yards and completed 10 of 11 throws for 238 yards.
‘It’s frustrating,’ Burton said. ‘I thought and I think we’re better than that ‘ This week, we just dug ourselves too big of a hole. Next week we’ve got to come out of the gate.’