North Harrison climbs into the driver’s seat in the MSC PDF Print E-mail

By Dennis Dunn
Special Correspondent

On Friday, Sept. 15 two of the top three Mid-Southern Conference teams done battle at Brownstown as North Harrison battled the home-steading Braves. Both teams came into the contest with undefeated records, but when the final buzzer sounded it was the Cougars who stayed unblemished with a 17-14 win over the Braves.


With the win, the Cougars improved to 5-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference, while the Braves fell to 4-1 overall and in the conference.

This game was a tale of two halves as the Cougars won the first half and the Braves were winning the second half as they tied the game at 14-all on a Matthew Bell three-yard run at the 9:43 mark. Once the Cougars got the ball back, they never relinquished it as they ran the rest of the time off of the clock as they called a timeout with .8 seconds left in the game.

Cougars Coach Mark Williamson, who has all of the faith in the world in his senior kicker Ben Waynescott, as the ball was placed on the left hash mark he came through in a big way by nailing the 24-yard field goal as time expired to give his team the 3-point win over their conference rivals.

“Each day after practice I kick a field goal from a different spot on the field,” Waynescott said after getting the winning kick. “Being from the left hash mark worried me a little bit, but after I kicked it I knew it was going in. I had the leg and everything and I know what a good kick feels like and it just felt right.

“It feels incredible to get a win at Brownstown and I am not sure if we ever won here. I thought the guys would get me in field goal range and I knew I had to kick it good.”

The Cougars got off to a good start to the game, as 5’10, 165 pound junior Jake Harley took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a quick 6-0 lead and Waynescott made it 7-0 with the PAT as 12 seconds ticked off the clock.

“The guys on the field done a good job of blocking for me and got me a hole to run through,” Harley said. “They got the two wings and go in motion so you have to follow them to prevent the outside run.

“It was a little nerve racking to watch the final 9-minutes, but Coach Williamson is known to play the clock pretty well. On the final kick by Waynescott, I was 10 yards behind him crouched down praying it goes in, but I trusted him to kick it in. It feels good to come in here and beat a team that good.”

Both teams buckled down on defense as neither team could get anything going or get any good field position the rest of the first quarter and even in the second quarter, but the Cougars found the end zone again as junior Skyler Wetzel caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Avery Blocker and Waynescott added another PAT with one second left on the clock in the second quarter to give them the two-touchdown lead at halftime.

“I got an email on Monday saying this was one of the top games in the state from the IFCA,” Williamson said. “This game lived up to it and it was an exciting game. It went back-and-forth and looking at it statistically, I think they were better than us or maybe it was quite even, I just don’t know.

“I think we threw for over 100 yards passing and that hasn’t happened since I have been here. We are not the team that’s going to bust a 60-yard run. I wasn’t thinking touchdown but was knowing we had to get to at least the 15-yard line to give him a good shot at it.”

At the half, quarterback Blocker had 101 passing yards and finished the game 8-for-12 for 128 yards and one touchdown.

In the second half, the Braves came out of the locker room feeling like a different team as they also made adjustments. With 7:53 to go in the third quarter, senior quarterback Gus Hogan found senior Karl Pence in the end zone for their first score of the game as Ethan Sevakis PAT kick made it 14-7. The Braves were able to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

During the Cougars final drive of the game, Blocker completed the only pass he threw on third-and-11 from the 35-yard line then Kohana Wilks kept the drive alive with a 4-yard run. The Cougars also converted six third down conversions on that last drive.

“I am just really proud of these guys to come in here and just play hard,” Williamson said. “We are a scheme team on defense and we don’t change. We have just gotten better over the years with Brownstown and to hold them under 30 points is great.

“If you look at their tape they are usually three-and-out or two-and-touchdown, but we are the only one to defend them seven in a box. Also, anytime you can score before the half is huge, but it was a downer for the other team.”

Jaylen Peake led the Cougars on the ground with 20 carries for 77 yards, while Colton Ritz had nine carries for 79 yards to lead the Braves.

The Cougars will travel to Eastern (Pekin) (2-3, 2-2) on Friday, Sept. 22, while the Braves will travel to Seymour for the annual Jackson Bowl.

Friday, Sept. 15,

at Brownstown

NH      7    7     0    3 – 17

BC       0    0    7     7 – 14

First Quarter

NH: Jake Harley, 90-kickoff return (Ben Waynescott kick) 11:48

Second Quarter

NH: Skyler Wetzel, 20-pass from Avery Blocker (Waynescott kick) :01

Third Quarter

BC: Karl Pence, 2-pass from Gus Hogan (Ethan Sevakis kick) 7:53

Fourth Quarter

BC: Matthew Bell, 3-run (Sevakis kick) 9:43

NH: Waynescott, 24-FG :00

Individual Statistics

Rushing: NH – Jaylen Peake 20-77, Kohana Wilks 6-24, Blocker 11-8, Harley 2-(-1); BCHS – Colton Ritz 9-79, Bollinger 6-58, Bell 6-46, Hogan 11-28, Braeden Walker 4-10, Grant Stuckwisch 1-5, Derek Thompson 2-1; Passing: NH – Blocker 8-12-128-1-0; BC – Hogan 2-3-12-1-0; Receiving: NH – Harley 3-44, Wetzel 3-44, Brett Rudolph 1-20, Tate Griffin 1-20; BCHS – Thompson 1-10, Pence 1-2.

Other Mid-Southern Conference games

(2-3, 2-2) Eastern (Pekin) 28, Corydon Central 19 (0-5, 0-4)

Providence 17, Charlestown 12 (1-4, 1-3)

(2-3, 2-3) Salem 49, Clarksville 0 (0-5, 0-4)

(5-0, 4-0) Silver Creek 35, Scottsburg 7 (2-3, 2-3)

Upcoming Mid-Southern Conference games

Friday, Sept. 22

Brownstown Central at Seymour

Clarksville at Silver Creek

Corydon Central at Salem

North Harrison at Eastern (Pekin)

Scottsburg at Charlestown

Other Patoka Lake Athletic Conference games

(4-1, 3-0) Mitchell 68, Crawford County 8 (1-4, 0-3)

(4-1, 3-0) Paoli 48, West Washington 0 (3-2, 2-2)

(2-3, 1-1) Perry Central 28, Tecumseh 7

(1-4, 0-3) Springs Valley 56, Trinity Lutheran 6

Upcoming Patoka Lake Athletic Conference games

Friday, Sept. 22

Crawford County at Springs Valley

Paoli at Greenwood

Rock Creek Academy at Mitchell

Tecumseh at West Washington

Saturday, Sept. 23

Eastern Greene at Perry Central

Other Hoosier Hills Conference games

(4-1, 3-0) Columbus East 77, New Albany 34 (2-3, 1-2)

(4-1, 3-0) Floyd Central 34, Jeffersonville 14 (2-3, 2-2)

(2-3, 1-2) Jennings County 36, Madison 15 (1-4, 0-3)

(2-3, 1-3) Seymour 21, Bedford North Lawrence 17 (4-1, 2-1)

Upcoming Hoosier Hills Conference games

Friday, Sept. 22

Brownstown Central at Seymour

Floyd Central at Columbus East

Jeffersonville at Indianapolis Cathedral

Jennings County at Bedford North Lawrence

Madison at New Albany