1971 NHS Season Statistics
Evansville Courier & Press Newspapers ALL CITY/METRO Selections
|Sanders||Steve||DE||6-3||194||Jr.||Courier & Press||Courier-2nd team Press-1st team|
|Sep. 11||Evansville Harrison||Loss 14-35|
|Sep. 18||Vincennes Lincoln||Loss 14-27|
|Sep. 25||TH South||Loss 7-32|
|Oct. 1||Evansville Rex Mundi||Win 3-0|
|Oct. 9||Evansville Memorial||Win 27-0|
|Oct. 15||Evansville Mater Dei||Win 13-6|
|Oct. 22||TH North||Win 37-0|
|Oct. 30||Evansville Bosse||Win 10-7|
|Nov. 4||Evansville Central||Win 31-0|
|Nov. 13||Evansville Reitz||Loss 6-14|
|player||first||pts||TD||PAT 1||XPM||PAT 2||FG||S|
Individual stats for rushing and receiving are unavailable at this time.
Highlights included: Along with the 1963 club, the 1971 edition of the Huskies will be remembered as one of the finest defensive units the school has ever produced. When the season got off to a slow start with the team mired at 0-3 entering the month of October, most folks had written off North as a city contender.
Entering the season's fourth contest, North had yet to settle on a quarterback and turnovers had put the team in a position of defending short fields. Facing Rex Mundi in game four, the defense provided the spark that would turn the season around. Holding the Monarchs to fewer than 100 yards on the ground or through the air, K Mike Lawson nailed a 25 yard field goal the lone time that the Huskies approached the goal line and the defense made the three points hold up. Winning 3 - 0, North neither fumbled nor was intercepted and the defense stopped the opponent.
Week five brought Memorial on the schedule and the Tigers were off to a hot start. When the game entered the fourth quarter as a scoreless tie, it was apparent the Husky defense was once again on track to keep their opponent at bay. Given the slow start to the season on offense, what happened in the next five minutes was nothing short of miraculous. The defense forced a short punt and newly installed starting QB, sophomore Don Bernhardt handed off to RB Bill Riat, Riat found daylight, and 54 yards later scored North's second rushing touchdown of the season. Over the next four possessions, RB Tom Simms bested Riat's 54 yard scramble with a 55 yarder of his own. Riat then topped that effort with a 64 yard score. Bernhardt hit SE Kim Myrick with a 29 yard scoring toss. Before heavy favorite Memorial knew what hit them they were down 27-0.
Entering week 6, Mater Dei was a 16 point favorite in the newspapers despite North's defense having posted back to back shut outs. On a muddy field, it was the most unlikely of players that would provide the points that would bring down the Wildcats. Standing 5' 7" and weighing only 140 lbs., Dave Schuler was the return specialist for the '71 Huskies. 2 minutes and 10 seconds into the game, the defense held on Mater Dei's first possession and forced them to punt. Forced to run backwards to field a long spiraling punt over his shoulder on his own 30 yard line, Schuler reversed directions, shook a tackler, and broke open at midfield. Less than 2 1/2 minutes into the game, his 70 yard return had the Huskies leading by a touch down.
As the game wound into the fourth quarter, DE's Jeff Gore and Steve Sanders had bottled up the Wildcats explosive passing offense and kept them from having sufficient time to throw deep. With the score knotted at 6-6, the Husky offense was suffering thru a dismal night. Unable to complete a pass, they would run for only 38 yards on the ground. With 9:02 remaining in the game, the Big Green Defensive Machine forced yet another Mater Dei punt.
Under a heavy rush, the Wildcat punter failed to get good foot on the ball and Schuler hauled in the kick at the Mater Dei 44. Breaking straight up the field through traffic, he emerged 44 yards later in the end zone. Staked to a 13-6 lead thanks to the diminutive but fleet footed and fearless punt returner, the Huskies defense would make the lead stand until the final gun.
With a three game winning streak under their belt, the Huskies took on Terre Haute North in week 7. When the game was over, the Huskies emerged as a serious contender for both the City and SIAC Conference crowns. Steve Sanders would recover one blocked punt and force a safety on a second one. He then proceeded to pick off not one but two Terre Haute passes from his defensive end position. DB Brian Lauer would swipe a total of three passes over the course of the game and two-way man Kim Myrick would intercept another. The offense made good use of the defensive thievery and RB Roger Barnett ran for two TD's, Bernhardt would throw for over 100 yards and two long touchdowns--a 36 yarder to Dennis Racster and a 31 yard toss to Ben Brown. With Bill Riat adding a 5th score, the Huskies were on a roll.
Having shut out three of their last four opponents, it was hard to believe the Huskies were still an underdog when they visited Bosse in week 8. It appeared lightning would strike again when Dave Schuler took a punt and galloped 60 yards for a score to get the offense started. A penalty flag marred the play, however, and it was called back. On the next snap, QB Don Bernhardt handed the ball to Bill Riat and he found enough room to rumble 34 yards deep into Bulldog territory. With momentum gaining behind them, the Huskies finished the drive a few plays later when Bernhardt ran five yards to paydirt.
The Bosse defense stiffened after that possession and the game went into the fourth quarter tied at 7-7. The next time the Huskies could get close the end zone, less than 2 minutes remained in the game. All City kicker Mike Lawson drove through a 20 yard field goal to give North a 10-7 lead against the favored Bulldogs. When Bosse took the ensuing kickoff and drove to the North 15 yard line with less than a minute to play, it once again fell to the defense to make a stand. As the clock wound down below 15 seconds, DB Denny Racster stepped in front of a Bulldog pass on the North one yard line and assured the victory.
Finally feeling the satisfaction of being favored in a game, North responded versus Central with a 31-0 win for their sixth consecutive victory, their fourth shut out in 6 games, and a chance to tie for the city title. WR Kim Myrick caught TD passes of 57, 5, and 1 yards from Don Bernhardt, Steve Sanders ran 52 yards with a fumble for one score, and Mike Lawson was perfect on four extra points and boomed a 38 yard FG.
In a dramatic season ending tilt with #1 ranked Reitz, the Huskies weren't given much chance in spite of their mid-season success. The Panthers featured a talent laden backfield, huge tackles, and an all-state line backer. Their #1 ranking was well deserved having routinely defeated clubs by three and four touchdowns or more throughout the season. Thousands of fans were on hand just to watch Reitz cement their #1 ranking against the lightly regarded Huskies.
When Dave Schuler pounced on a Reitz fumble on the opening kickoff of the game, the Huskies handed the ball to big Bill Riat and 8 yards later, North led 6-0 with the game barely under way. The defense rose to the occasion and held the high powered Panther offense to only a single TD in the first half.
Entering the second half, everyone in the stands knew North had a chance to pull off the upset and grab a share of the City title. The second half was made up of continuing big defensive plays on critical fourth downs by the Big Green defense. Unfortunately, the North offense could make no headway against the Panther defense and Reitz routinely received punts in Husky territory.
LB Jeff Wilkie made a big stop at the six yard line on a screen pass in the flat to save a touch down and then intercepted the next pass to stall one Reitz threat. DT Paul Dimmett came up big on fourth and goal at the one yard line and stopped the Panther RB cold. DE Jeff Gore sacked Reitz's QB for a 13 yard loss on one critical 3rd down deep in North territory.
Eventually, however, spending so much time in their own end of the field caught up with North and Reitz scored what proved to be the decisive touchdown with 4:13 remaining in the game. The Huskies dreams of upset ended with a 14-6 loss, but it was a narrow loss to a team that will be forever ranked as one of Evansville's finest.
DEFENSE--2 pts each for solo, cause or recover fumble, sack, int, blk kick; 1 pt each for assist and tackle for loss
No Defensive Statistics are available at this time.