1994 NHS Season Statistics--SECTIONAL CHAMPS
Evansville Courier & Press Newspapers ALL CITY/METRO Selections
|Blalock||Bart||OT||6-4||245||Jr.||Courier & Press||Both papers|
|Dozier||John||DL||6-2||225||Sr.||Courier & Press||Courier-DL Press-OG|
|Fox||Kenon||LB||6-2||235||Sr.||Courier & Press||Courier-LB Press-C|
|Aug. 27||Evansville Bosse||Loss 7-23|
|Sep. 2||Evansville Harrison||Win 34-27|
|Sep. 10||Evansville Mater Dei||Win 20-8|
|Sep. 16||Castle||Loss 34-35|
|Sep. 23||Evansville Memorial||Loss 17-21|
|Sep. 30||Evansville Reitz||Win 27-7|
|Oct. 7||Mt. Vernon||Win 39-0|
|Oct. 14||Evansville Central||Loss 6-27|
|Oct. 21||Evansville Bosse||Win 35-21|
|Oct. 28||Vincennes Lincoln||Win 27-20|
|Nov. 4||Seymour||Win 37-9|
|Nov. 11||East Central||Loss 0-23|
|player||first||pts||TD||PAT 1||XPM||PAT 2||FG||S|
The previous two seasons had proven that North’s program was back and capable of playing tough games against good competition. The strong finish to the ’93 season led the North faithful to hold high hopes for ’94. The rest of the city’s coaches didn’t share such optimism for the Huskies.
With Bosse, Harrison, and Mater Dei all state ranked in the preseason, few experts gave North a chance to open the season anything better than 0-3. After #9 ranked Bosse completed its thirteenth consecutive win over North in the opener, there was little reason to believe otherwise.
Week 2’s opponent, Harrison, was ranked #2 in Indiana’s highest rated class. They were a team loaded with college level talent and experience. What few folks knew outside of the north side of Evansville was that so too were the Huskies laden with college level talent. They just needed experience and in the season’s second game, North’s Huskies grew up fast.
WR Deke Cooper put on a show versus the Warriors. He caught three passes. All three went for touchdowns. He recovered a fumble. And he once again shut down the Warriors’ best receiver when it counted.
But it didn’t start out that way.
Harrison roared out to a 20-7 lead at halftime with a ferocious mix of running and passing. Everything looked to be going their way. RB Kareem Neighbors had broken through for a 43 yard TD, but everything else appeared to be bottled up.
And then the North defense began to hold. The Huskies got two second half TD’s, one each from Neighbors and Cooper to tie the score at the end of regulation. QB Andy Cuprisin looked for Deke in the end zone on the first play of overtime and the Husky wide receiver scored. When Harrison likewise scored, it set up a dramatic second overtime.
After losing five yards on a rushing play, North called the same play that they had scored on in the first overtime. Once again, Cooper came down with the ball. When the defense held, North had upset the state’s #2 ranked team 34-27.
The schedule got no easier when North traveled to the Bowl to play #7 ranked (3A) Mater Dei. The Wildcats featured a highlight reel passing game that no team had been able to contain so far that season.
The highlights were few and far between for Mater Dei following the final gun that night as North smothered the Wildcats’ pass attack for a 20-8 victory. Besides helping to take the air out of Mater Dei’s air attack, WR-DB Deke Cooper caught two passes—for two touchdowns. At that point the big wideout had caught five consecutive passes for touchdowns over two games.
Up against a big Castle ball club in week four, the drama re-emerged. QB Andy Cuprisin hooked up in a full-tilt battle against Castle’s running game. Throwing for 189 yards and four scores himself, he was not the only Husky to toss a TD pass on this night. WR Deke Cooper threw a 66 yard scoring pass to Andy Miller as well as caught a 35 yarder from Cuprisin. For all the aerial theatrics, the score was knotted at 28 all at the end of regulation, principally because Cuprisin had suffered 7 sacks on the night. Numerous scoring opportunities were negated by 3rd down losses.
When Castle ran the ball in for their score and kicked the extra point, North needed a score to extend the game. On a dramatic fourth down play, Cuprisin found Brian Bennett for a 12 yard touchdown pass. All that remained was to kick the extra point but a physically drained Cuprisin pushed his kick wide and the final score was 34-35.
Memorial’s Tigers found a way to contain North’s offense the following week: shut down Deke Cooper. For one of the few times in his career, the rangy wide receiver was held without a catch. The Tigers extended their consecutive winning streak over North to 13 games when they held on to win 17-21.
After two close losses, the Huskies were ‘up’ for a trip to Reitz Bowl. Thirty years of frustration in ‘the Bowl’ had been reversed with North’s last two trips to the west side venue and they were anxious to make it three in a row versus Reitz at the Bowl. When the Panthers drove inside of the North 20 yard line on their first possession, it appeared that the hilltoppers’ running game might be too much for the Huskies. The defensive line then set the tempo for the rest of the game: they made a stand.
Over the course of the game, North would hold Reitz to 41 yards rushing on 30 carries and the Husky defensive line would dominate their opponent. Blowing out to a 21-0 halftime lead on the strength of RB Michael Cooper’s 65 yard TD run and Kareem Neighbors’ two scores, North coasted to a 27-7 win. It was their third consecutive win against Reitz in Reitz Bowl.
Mt. Vernon’s Wildcats bore the brunt of the next week’s explosion. The Huskies scored 25 second quarter points including a 68 yard interception return by DB Deke Cooper and a 49 yard interception return by LB Kenon Fox. Chris Wintner caught a long pass from Cuprisin for a 42 yard score. Sophomore fullback Casey Sellers had the first of what would be many multi-touchdown games in his long career with a pair of one yard plunges. The final scoreboard showed North the winner 39-0.
After playing five of their last six games at a high level of competition, a strange thing happened in week eight: North got whupped by a team they could have beaten. In rivalry games that sometimes happens and Central manhandled the Husky line. Sacking the quarterback six times, the Bears beat the Huskies 6-27.
The Sectional draw was not kind to the Huskies. Following their uninspired performance against Central, they now had to face the SIAC Champion, #10 ranked Bosse Bulldogs—a team that had beaten them by two touchdowns in the season opener and had won 12 consecutive games against North.
Of course, that’s why they play the games.
This Husky team had grown up under fire. Thrown to the wolves as sophomores, they had played their best games in ’93 down the stretch when one loss meant you were done for the season. This Husky team understood pressure.
And they thrived on it.
Trailing Bosse 14-21 in the third quarter, the defense forced a pair of fumbles in Bosse territory that turned the game around. Unable though out the game to pass against the tough Bulldog secondary, North stayed on the ground. Little used RB Derrick Garrett had a pair of touchdown runs each longer than 20 yards and FB Casey Sellers broke loose for a 34 and a 17 yard TD run. Add in Kareem Neighbors’ 40 yard catch and run touchdown and North shut out Bosse in the second half and won going away 33-21 against the sectional favorite.
The Bosse victory set up a second round re-match of the ’93 sectional with Vincennes. The North game plan in the first half was to move the ball through the air and QB Andy Cuprisin hit WR Andy Miller for a 24 yard TD to keep the game close. A change was coming, though, because after throwing 12 times in the first half, the Huskies went exclusively to the ground game after intermission.
Principally, they put the work load on the back of 6’3” 225 lb. FB Casey Sellers.
Sellers responded by carrying the ball nearly 20 times for over 100 yards in the second half alone. In an effort to tighten their interior run defense and stop the big fullback, Vincennes was forced to leave the perimeter of their defense undermanned. In doing so, they opened the doors for a pair of 20 yard touchdown runs by RB Kareem Neighbors and a 19 yard bootleg TD by QB Curpisin. The game went to North by a score of 27-20 and the Huskies were back in the sectional title game for the second time in three seasons.
In what was, to date, one of the most dominating performances put up by a Mike-Wilson-coached Husky team, North trounced Seymour in the Sectional Championship game. ‘Dominating’ isn’t quite a strong enough word. Take for instance that the Fighting Owls ran only one play for positive yardage in the entire first half of play. That’s more than dominant, that’s over powering.
In addition, FB Casey Sellers continued to carry the offense on his broad shoulders. He rammed his way through the Seymour defenders for what was, at the time, a school record 26 points—four TD’s and a 2 point conversion. With 17 carries for 124 yards from Sellers, North seldom had to risk putting the ball in the air and won a lopsided bout by a score 37-9. The Huskies had their second Sectional Title in school history.
For their efforts, they were rewarded with a chance to travel in the regional to play against the #1 team in the state, East Central High School. Not willing to back down, the game Huskies were only trailing 0-9 in the 4th quarter when WR Deke Cooper hit WR Andy Miller with an apparent touchdown pass that would narrow the score to 6-9. An official called a mouthpiece violation on the play without having given any prior warning and nullified the score. The drive then stalled and North’s hope for a semi-state opportunity ended.
This particular Husky team, however, learned from the experience and the next time that they would travel to visit a #1 team on foreign turf, the outcome would be quite different. The core of the ’94 club would return to play the following season and re-write North record books.
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|