1993 NHS Season Statistics
Evansville Courier & Press Newspapers ALL CITY/METRO Selections
|Ames||Brad||OG||5-11||210||Sr.||Courier & Press||Both papers|
|Aug. 27||Evansville Bosse||Loss 14-24|
|Sep. 4||Evansville Harrison||Loss 21-28|
|Sep. 10||Evansville Mater Dei||Win 21-7|
|Sep. 17||Castle||Loss 14-21|
|Sep. 24||Evansville Memorial||Loss 6-41|
|Oct. 1||Evansville Reitz||Loss 15-37|
|Oct. 8||Mt. Vernon||Loss 12-19|
|Oct. 15||Evansville Central||Win 28-0|
|Oct. 23||Seymour||Win 27-7|
|Oct. 29||Vincennes Lincoln||Loss 21-27|
|player||first||pts||TD||PAT 1||XPM||PAT 2||FG||S|
After graduating most of his starters from the ’92 season, Coach Mike Wilson was staring at a very young roster to start the ’93 season. Not a single returning player had scored a point in the previous Sectional Championship season. The sophomore class, however, possessed a nucleus of young, explosive players who showed great potential. WR Deke Cooper, RB Kareem Neighbors, and OT Bart Blaylock would all start for the club and become the core of a Husky class that would go down in history as second-to-none who came before or after.
Before the youngsters could grow, however, they had to endure North’s twelfth consecutive loss at the hands of Bosse’s Bulldogs. With Bosse favored to contend for a City Title, the season got off to a slow start in a 14-24 loss. The night’s lone bright spot was junior quarterback Andy Cuprisin throwing for 233 yards and two scores in his first varsity appearance. Sophomore WR Deke Cooper impressed the local papers with his touchdown reception and fellow soph Kareem Neighbors turned a short pass into a 62 yard touchdown jaunt.
The following week against a solid Harrison club, Cooper again impressed the papers with his hard nosed play on defense, shutting down the Warriors’ top receiver, and his 25 yard touchdown reception. Neither were enough, however, to avert a 21-28 defeat.
The young Huskies got in the win column the following week versus Mater Dei. RB Tim Broach carried most of the load with 124 yards on 17 carries and a 53 yard score. Broach had to shoulder most of the second half load when RB Kareem Neighbors (who had gained over 100 yards on just 10 carries in the first half of play) was ejected for fighting. Neighbors complained that Mater Dei players were punching him during pileups, but was ejected nonetheless. It fell to DB Deke Cooper to seal the 21-7 victory in the 4th quarter when he picked off a pass and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown—the second longest at that time in school history.
Against Castle, North displayed all the signs of a young team that was still learning how to win. After holding the Knights without a first down in the first half of play, the Huskies blew a late lead when they allowed a 4th quarter interception to be returned for a touchdown. Cooper’s 55 yard punt return had provided a spark for the offense and QB Cuprisin’s 9 of 18 passing for 150 yards and a score were offset by the interception return.
The next week, the young Huskies were forced to play in their first rain game when the Memorial game was contested during a downpour. North could only manage -3 yards rushing in the first half and only Kareem Neighbors’ electrifying short pass reception and run for 66 yards avoided a shutout.
Reitz’ Panthers were out for revenge for the prior season’s drubbing and it showed. During the game Deke Cooper injured his ankle and was forced to leave the game. The injury would bother him the rest of the season. In addition, senior captain OG Brad Ames went down with a concussion that would have implications later in the year. Only QB Andy Cuprisin’s 10 of 19 passing effort for 117 yards and two scores with no interceptions stood out among an otherwise lackluster night.
The season’s low point occurred when Mt. Vernon’s Wildcats capitalized on Husky turnovers and broke their 16 game losing streak against North. Still ailing from the physical beating endured in the Memorial and Reitz games, only RB Kareem Neighbors’ 150 yard rushing performance held any reason for optimism from the night’s effort.
No one expected the Huskies to get up off the mat and play well against Central. No one, that is, except for the Huskies themselves. Reversing a four game losing streak, North shut out the Bears 28-0 for their first back-to-back wins over Central since the ’80-’81 seasons. WR Deke Cooper dominated the Bears defensive backfield and pulled down 6 receptions for 74 yards and one score. QB Andy Cuprisin also found WR Andy Miller for a 40 yard touchdown pass on his way to throwing for 157 yards.
When OG Brad Ames collapsed during practice for the Sectional opener against Seymour with complications from the concussion he sustained in the Reitz game, the team faced a crossroads. They could either fold-up-the-tent and finish out the string without one of their leaders or they could rally around his ailment.
These young Huskies found a way to honor their hospitalized comrade. With Ames’ helmet, jersey, and shoulder pads displayed prominently on the sidelines amongst the team, North used their emotions to establish control of the game. When Seymour drove inside the Husky 20 yard line on its first possession of the game, the sidelines broke loose with fierce cheers of encouragement. The defense responded and sacked Seymour’s quarterback on consecutive plays eventually forcing The Fighting Owls to punt from near midfield. On North’s ensuing possession, WR Deke Cooper leapt high in the air to catch a tipped ball at the Seymour eight yard line and caught the ball for a first and goal situation. Unfortunately, he re-injured his ankle on the play and would play no more for the rest of the season.
It fell to RB’s Kareem Neighbors and Tim Broach to pick up the slack and they did so mightily. Neighbors ended the game with 200 yards rushing on only 16 carries including an 87 yard run for a touchdown. Broach added two scores and 90 yards rushing as the Huskies won going away 27-7.
In the Sectional 2nd round game, North faced a number of obstacles. Brad Ames was still in the hospital. Deke Cooper was out with an ankle injury and could not play. To top things off, the weather was not cooperating and it was snowing at game time. North opened the game with a rather lackluster effort on offense but played well on defense. Trailing 14-7 late in the game, QB Andy Cuprisin directed a long drive and Kareem Neighbors scored his second rushing touchdown of the game with 1:37 to play. When Cuprisin kicked the extra point to tie the game, Coach Wilson chose to try an onside kick to try and get another chance to score.
The plan worked flawlessly and put North in a position to win. With 39 seconds remaining, Cuprisin hit Andy Miller from the 43 yard line for the apparent winning touchdown. Following a long kickoff, the game was all over but the shouting.
And a lot of shouting did occur.
On the game’s final play of regulation, Vincennes’ quarterback put up a long pass that was nowhere within ten yards of a receiver. All that remained was for the pass to be either knocked down or fall incomplete and the game would have been over. Of course, that didn’t occur. Being a team of young players, the Husky defensive backs all converged on the falling pass and dove to intercept it. The officials claimed that the ball did not hit the ground but in fact bounced high up in the air off of a Husky defender’s shoulder pads and into the arms of a Vincennes receiver standing alone ten yards further down the field. The surprised Vincennes receiver then stumbled backwards into the end zone to force overtime.
North argued the call and then lost a heartbreaker in overtime. Three scores in 1:37 seconds of play were too much and the season ended with a “character builder”.
The seeds were sown, however, for the birth of a dynasty.
DEFENSE--2 pts each for solo, cause or recover fumble, sack, int, blk kick; 1 pt each for assist and tackle for loss
|player||first||pts||solo||asst||tfloss||caus fum||rec fum||sac||int||blk kick|