Cougars crush Wolfpack, 55-0
Wade Bell, Contributing Writer
In what was the last football game of the series between visiting North Harrison and Crawford County, the Cougars overpowered the Wolfpack in a 55-0 mauling Friday night on Breeden Field.
Crawford County will now have to search for a new team to play on week eight as the two teams will no longer meet.
“I don’t like games like this,” said North Harrison coach Mark Williamson. “Nobody does. What are you going to do? You play who you’re scheduled to play. This is our last meeting. From what I understand, we have Providence for week eight from here on out.”
Crawford County coach Tony Bell said the Cougars are at just too high of level right now for his team to be playing, hence the disconnect between the two teams.
“The frustration definitely was there,” Bell said of his players. “We were up against a team that we had no business being against. We had no business playing that team. They’re a much more superior team than we are. I’m a realistic kind of person when it comes to competition. Our guys came out and played as hard as they could, but they were outmatched in every situation.”
“Kudos to North Harrison; they’ve got a good ball club over there, but I do know the mentality of my kids is still the same,” he said. “They (the Wolfpack) are still strong. They’re going to fight. They’re going to continue to fight, but they were up against some pretty unsurmountable odds this evening.”
North Harrison had four touchdowns in the first quarter, and Aaron Nevil put the first one down the pipe just two minutes into the game as he bulldozed through the Wolfpack defense. The second touchdown came midway through the period when Colby Whittaker scored on a 49-yard run. Matt Nealy drilled the extra point, and the Cougars’ lead was 14-0.
Crawford County failed to get to midfield on its next possession and was forced to give up the ball on downs. On the next play, Nick Gunter ran 38 yards to score for a 21-0 lead. The Cougars got another six from Nevil from 12 yards with 11.9 seconds left in the quarter. North Harrison led 28-0 after one quarter.
Bell said the intimidation factor was there early in the game.
“There was no doubt that intimidation was the major factor,” he said. “It’s hard to get a group of boys like this that has not had any real success and look across the field at a team that has quadruple amount of players, first of all, and the size of guys. I’m not making any excuses for my guys other than the fact that that’s not the level of competition they can compete with right now.”
The Cougars scored twice in the second period. With 9:15 left in the half, Whittaker got his second TD of the night with a 23-yard run. Max Grangier’s kick failed, leaving the score at 34-0. On its next possession, Crawford County fumbled and North Harrison recovered the ball. That led to another Cougars’ score with Colt Beach throwing to Kaleb Kellems for six and a 41-0 lead at halftime.
“We just wanted to get the starters out as soon as possible,” Williamson said. “We wanted to make sure we played hard because it is a football game. We did those things, and everybody was out by the end of the first quarter pretty much.”
With a running clock counting down in the second half, the Cougars scored two more times. At 5:19, Owen Whittaker ran 11 yards for six and a 48-0 lead.
At one point, it looked like the Wolfpack had scored when Keith Brooks threw to Noah Adams in the end zone. That score was negated, however, on a holding penalty.
Early in the fourth quarter, Chance Allen scored on a one-yard run for a 55-0 lead. The clock ran out on the Wolfpack, leaving the score at 55-0.
“I’m working diligently to rectify some of those problems that we’re facing,” Bell said. “I know this program has a lot of potential, but we have to be realistic in some aspects of the game … I’m going to give it everything that I’ve got but, if we can’t make some commitments and changes that’s in the best interest of the whole program, we’re going to continue to see these kinds of outcomes.”
Nevil had seven carries for 142 yards rushing for the Cougars, and Colby Whittaker carried three times for 51 yards. Gunter had seven carries for 38 yards. North Harrison had 392 total yards for the game, while Crawford County managed just 80. Turnovers were a big factor, with Crawford County giving up the ball five times on errors compared to North Harrison’s one.
“I wish them luck with their program,” Williamson said of Crawford County. “I know they’ve wanted to have football here, and they’ve invested a lot. Hopefully, things will turn around. I think this new coach might be the guy who can do it eventually.”
“I really wanted to keep the momentum going from last week with Paoli with our physicality of the game,” Bell said. “I know last week we did a much better job even though the score didn’t show it. We came out and played physical for four quarters against them. We were not able to sustain that. We had a much bigger, stronger opponent.
“I hoped that we could have maintained our composure more. We had some setbacks on that side of the ball, that side of the game,” he said. “Those are things I was hoping we could continue to improve in, but every team has their downfalls. These guys will pick themselves up.”
North Harrison is scheduled to meet Clarksville Friday night in an important Mid-Southern Conference match-up.
“It’s a must-win game for us,” said Williamson. “That’s who we’ve prepared for most of the week, against Clarksville.”
Crawford County’s final regular season home game is set to take place Friday against Tecumseh. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
North Harrison 28 13 7 7 – 55
Crawford County 0 0 0 0 – 0
North Harrison – Aaron Nevil, 8, run (Matt Nealy kick); North Harrison – Colby Whittaker, 49, run (Nealy kick); North Harrison – Nick Gunter, 38, run (Nealy kick); North Harrison – Nevil, 12, run (Nealy kick); North Harrison – Whittaker, 23, run (kick failed); North Harrison – Kaleb Kellems, 15, pass from Colt Beach (Nealy kick); North Harrison – Owen Whittaker, 11, run (Nealy kick); North Harrison – Chance Allen, 1, run (Nealy kick).