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Quick adjustment sends Cougars past Scottsburg

Delays plague second half
Quick adjustment sends Cougars past Scottsburg
Quick adjustment sends Cougars past Scottsburg
North Harrison’s Zachary Taylor (7) upends Scottsburg’s Traven Crawford for a tackle in the first quarter. The Cougars’ Colby Whittaker (37) was in on the play as well. Photo by Brian Smith
Brian Smith, Sports Editor, [email protected]

For a run-dominant team like North Harrison, near three-hour contests on the gridiron are rare.

Friday night, one could have sat through nearly the entirety of the “Titanic” as the Cougars pushed to the finish line at Scottsburg for a 49-28 Mid-Southern Conference victory.

“I’m happy with a win with our young team,” North Harrison coach Mark Williamson said.

The Cougars had to adjust after the Warriors went on an opening drive of nine plays and 57 yards to score a touchdown. As the Cougars tinkered with the defense, offensively, North Harrison handed the ball to power back Aaron Nevil. To close the first half, the Cougars posted 28 points while the defense limited Scottsburg to just eight more plays for a 21-point half-time lead.

“It was great,” Williamson said of the positive response after the Warriors’ Traven Crawford scored the first touchdown. “They showed some resolve. With a young team we have, they really came back, bowed their neck and locked their jaw.”

After a one-hour first half, the second half took nearly twice as long to complete due to injuries on and off the field.

“Once we started getting the injuries, the game stoppages, it was a gaggle from there,” Williamson said.

To begin the second half, Nevil reached the 100-yard mark rushing with a 15-yarder. Isaiah Lawson had carries of four and six yards, while quarterback Jarrett Fenn had a 6-yard gain. Facing a fourth-and-2, Nevil popped shoulder pads with a defender, shedding the tackle to break free for a 29-yard touchdown and a 35-6 North Harrison lead.

“He’s a beast,” Williamson said of Nevil, who finished with 137 yards and three touchdowns. “We are going to hand that dude the ball and you’re going to stop him, then we’re going to hand it to him again. He’s that kind of back. I thought Lawson ran hard when he got some carries too.”

Lawson rushed for 65 yards on 11 carries but left the field on Scottsburg’s first possession of the second half. A 13-play Warriors’ drive ended with Crawford rushing in from the 2. After the Warriors made the extra point, Lawson fell to the ground near the Cougars’ sideline. Play was then delayed while Lawson left via ambulance as a precaution. It was one of three second-half delays that needed an ambulance. The others were for a Scottsburg spectator and a Scottsburg player.

“It was tough,” Williamson said. “When Lawson went down, I think the game stopped real time, about 15 minutes. He’s one of our dudes. We are hopeful everything is OK.”

Fenn added two scores in the final quarter with runs of 2 and 38 yards. He finished with 73 yards and three TDs. The Cougars also forced two turnovers, a Dawson Howell interception in the end zone and a fumble forced by Colby Whittaker that was recovered by Colt Beach.

Fenn also scored the Cougars’ first TD. Once the North Harrison defense honed in, the Cougars added touchdowns before halftime to establish control.

“We widened out a little more and made some defensive adjustments,” Williamson said. “Scottsburg is so stinking big, they will swallow you up. That’s where we had to make some adjustments.”

The first half also featured Nevil breaking off a 40-yard score on a fourth-down carry. He added a second score of the half, while Lawson took a toss in from 11 yards out for a 28-6 lead.

“We are still young on defense and making mistakes,” Williamson said. “Offensively, we scaled it back a lot from four plays to two plays. We did that and executed better offensively. We didn’t know what kind of front they would give us, which we are OK with adjusting on the fly. They did a lot better job this week on the offensive side. They were better. We didn’t put the ball on the ground, and they did a couple of times.”

The Cougars moved to 1-1 and will host rival Corydon Central on Friday.

“We have to work to get better before next week,” Williamson said.

North Harrison   7  21  7  14 – 49

Scottsburg         6   0   8  14 – 28

S – Traven Crawford 10 run (kick failed); NH – Jarrett Fenn 1 run (Matt Nealy kick); NH – Aaron Nevil 40 run (Nevil run); NH – Nevil 2 run (kick failed); NH – Isaiah Lawson 11 run (Nealy kick); NH – Nevil 29 run (Nealy kick); S – Crawford 10 run (Crawford run); NH – Fenn 2 run (Nealy kick); S – Crawford 2 run (Brantley Deaton pass from Javis Roush); NH – Fenn 38 run (Nealy kick); S – Deaton 5 pass from Roush (pass failed).

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