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Pirates spin away from Cougars

Pirates spin away from Cougars
Pirates spin away from Cougars
North Harrison quarterback Avery Blocker dives over Charlestown's Garrett Woods (5) for a first down in the first half of the Cougar's 48-14 loss to the Pirates. Photo by Wade Bell

Like a battle between two tall sailing ships, Charlestown put a broadside into North Harrison Friday night in a Mid-Southern Conference match-up, with the Pirates running away early for a 48-14 win. For the Cougars, it was an embarrassing loss but one coach Mark Williamson said his team could learn from.
‘We’re not going to browbeat our kids,’ Williamson said after the game. ‘We’re going to learn from this and, like I’ve said every week, we’re a team that’s going to get better every week. … Just to experience something like this, I know we’re not a bad football team, but they certainly made us look like one.’
The Cougars had to give the ball up on their first possession with Ben Waynescott booting it into the end zone for a touchback to the Charlestown 20-yard line.
The Pirates just needed one play to get on the board as Antonyo Gaddie avoided tackle after tackle and ran the full 80 yards into the end zone. North Harrison did stop the two-point conversion attempt, but Charlestown had the first lead of the game at 6-0.
North Harrison had a better result on its second possession. Javien Peake ran the ball to the 35-yard line to put the Cougars in good field position. Brett Rudolph ran nine of the 15 plays on the drive as the Cougars moved the ball to the 1-yard line. Quarterback Avery Blocker ran a keeper to put the ball in the end zone. Waynescott followed with the extra-point kick, and North Harrison had a 7-6 edge.
The Cougars went for the onside kick, but Charlestown’s Simpson Wooldridge immediately fell on the ball on the 46-yard line. Charlestown crossed midfield to the 49-yard line. Lawler kept the ball and ran all the way, spinning out of one tackle after another to score with four seconds left in the period. Lawler also got the two-point conversion, and the Pirates were back on top, 14-7, after one quarter.
‘You can’t simulate their speed in practice,’ Williamson said. ‘My, are they fast. That’s the fastest Charlestown team I’ve seen. They’ve actually got more weapons. We’ve been playing well, and they made us look like a bad football team.’
After North Harrison was forced to give up the ball on downs, Charlestown’s Anthony Malone ran a big gainer back to the Cougars’ 26-yard line. After the Pirates gained six more yards on their next play, Malone got the call again, covering the 20 yards to score. Lawler ran in the two-point conversion, and Charlestown’s lead ballooned to 22-7.
The Pirates put another broadside into the Cougars before the half. On the eighth play of the next Cougars’ drive, North Harrison fumbled the ball. As the ball bounced wildly on the North Harrison 40-yard line, Bradley Laffoon scooped up the ball and took off downfield. Nobody touched the Charlestown senior as he ran 60 yards for another score. Lawler again put in the two-point conversion, and the Pirates had a 30-7 lead at the break.
‘We’ve put a lot of things in this week on both sides of the ball,’ Williamson said. ‘I know it looks like what we do is simple. We have a lot of different formations where Avery (Blocker) basically calls the play and the line has different blocking situations. That confused us offensively.’
Charlestown’s big plays continued in the third quarter. The Pirates brought the ball back to their own 34-yard line following North Harrison’s kickoff. The Pirates gained 11 yards on their next two plays. From there, Lawler kept the ball again and ran the full 55 yards into the end zone. The conversion attempt failed, however, leaving the Pirates with a 36-7 lead.
The Cougars fought to get back in the game, and Rudolph was literally ripping his shirt apart to move North Harrison down the field. Rudolph ran five plays on the North Harrison drive, finally having to retire his torn No. 28 shirt for the 24. Halfway through the period, Blocker found Jake Troxell for 33 yards and the end zone. Waynescott followed with another extra-point kick, and the Cougars had cut the lead to 36-14.
Charlestown, however, got two more scores in the period. Malone had another big play with just less than five minutes to go in the period with a 43-yard run for a 42-14 Pirate lead. North Harrison fumbled away the ball on its next possession, and, with 32 seconds left, Lawler scored again for a 48-14 lead.
Both teams put their JV players in for the fourth quarter, and the Pirates went on to get the 48-14 win.
‘We over-coached it,’ Williamson said, taking responsibility for the loss. ‘We did not help our players. We were playing on our heels because of our coaching, and that’s on me. But the thing I’m happy about is we didn’t stop playing. … I didn’t see a lack of effort, and that’s the bright side. That’s what we’re going to build on. We’re going to get better from this.’
Lawler finished with three touchdowns for the Pirates and took in three two-point conversions, while Malone put two into the end zone. Williamson said Charlestown’s spinning running backs made it difficult for his team.
‘We can’t simulate that in practice,’ the North Harrison coach said. ‘We don’t have anybody like that. Hats off to Charlestown. Their execution I didn’t think was very good against Brownstown (in a 52-48 loss on Aug. 26), but that’s on tape, and a lot of times tape fools you. It looked pretty sharp tonight. … They’re a really, really good 3A football team.’
Williamson said his team would have to refocus quickly with Mid-Southern Conference-opponent Brownstown Central coming up this Friday night.
‘We have to (refocus),’ he said. ‘We’ve got Brownstown. Like I said, we’re a team that’s going to get better every week, and Charlestown certainly helped us get better tonight.’

North Harrison ‘ ‘ 7 0 7 0 ‘ 14
Charlestown’ ‘ ‘ 14 16 18 0 ‘ 48
C ‘ Brendan Lawler 80 run (conversion failed); NH ‘ Avery Blocker 1 run (Ben Waynescott kick); C ‘ Antonyo Gaddie 49 run (Lawler run); C ‘ Anthony Malone 20 run (Lawler run); C ‘ Bradley Laffoon 60 fumble return (Lawler run); C ‘ Malone 55 pass from Lawler (conversion failed); NH ‘ Jake Troxell 33 pass from Blocker (Waynescott kick); C ‘ Malone 43 run (conversion failed); C ‘ Lawler 6 run (conversion failed).