2000 NHS Season Statistics--SECTIONAL CHAMPS
Evansville Courier Newspaper ALL CITY/METRO Selections
|Bushrod||Derenzo||RB||5-8||175||Sr.||Courier||All Metro Player of the Year|
|Aug. 18||Evansville Bosse||Win 42-14|
|Aug. 25||Henderson County (Ky.)||Win 34-0|
|Sep. 1||Evansville Harrison||Win 41-6|
|Sep. 9||Evansville Mater Dei||Loss 19-34|
|Sep. 15||Castle||Loss 14-16|
|Sep. 22||Evansville Memorial||Win 35-20|
|Sep. 29||Evansville Reitz||Loss 0-28|
|Oct. 6||Louisville Fern Creek (Ky.)||Win 28-6|
|Oct. 13||Evansville Central||Win 54-28|
|Oct. 20||Boonville||Win 46-6|
|Oct. 27||Bloomington North||Win 74-21|
|Nov. 3||Vincennes Lincoln||Win 49-36|
|Nov. 10||Plainfield||Loss 21-35|
|player||first||pts||TD||PAT 1||XPM||PAT 2||FG||S|
Coming into the 2000 season, there were a handful of names that stood above the rest in North football history. Legendary coach Morris Riley, ’63 All State quarterback Dean Volkman, All Everything tailback Cornell Garret from the mid-seventies, and Deke Cooper from the ’95 Semi-State champs—these would have been the four faces carved on the Huskies’ version of Mount Rushmore.
By the end of the 2000 season, the mountain carvers would be in need of more granite. RB Derenzo Bushrod was getting ready to torch the record books and have a season for the ages.
Fellow stable-mate Anttonieo Madison stole the early thunder when he ran back the season opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown against Bosse. At games end, when Bushrod had run 10 times for 139 yards and two scores in a 42-13 pasting of the Bulldogs, few would have believed that this would be one of Derenzo’s least productive games of the season. With new QB Matt Becker throwing for 102 yards and tossing TD passes to WR Josh Porter and TE Nick Raben, North had a formidable offense for opponents to deal with.
When the Huskies traveled to play in Henderson County’s annual Hall Of Fame game (a contest in which Bushrod had already won an MVP award the previous season), they were prepared for a struggle. The Colonels were reputed to be big and fast. When the dust cleared from a 34-0 North white-washing, only two things were evident. First, the Huskies’ had the potential to be overwhelming on both sides of the ball on any given night—North’s defense only allowed H.C. one first down in the entire second half. Second, Derenzo Bushrod was off to a season of epic proportions.
Bushrod won his second Hall Of Fame game MVP award by ringing up 288 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns. He ran for 50 yards on the game’s first play from scrimmage. Again, few in the stands would have believed that this would not come near to his best game of the season—this night’s performance would be eclipsed several more times in the coming months.
Having gone through a spell in the late 90’s where Harrison would run up large scores against the Huskies, it was time for North to return the favor in week 3. For the third consecutive week, the starting defense would hold the opposition without a single point. By halftime, the Huskies were up 28-0 and by the end of the game the margin had extended to 41-6. The stable of running backs once again piled up yardage: Bushrod garnered 164 yards and three scores, Anttonieo Madison rang up 96 yards and two TD’s (one of which went for 61 yards), and Lawrence Taylor tossed in 3 carries for a whopping 76 yards and one touchdown.
With the Huskies soaring to #7 in the Indiana 4A football rankings, expectations were high when they went to do battle against Mater Dei in week four. Unfortunately, this was a Wildcat club that was currently ranked #2 in 2A and would go on to an undefeated season and win the state championship. The Huskies hung tight with Mater Dei for a half, but gave up over 250 yards passing after the break and wound up on the wrong end of the score.
Week five brought the #6 ranked 5A Castle Knights into the picture. With North still holding a #10 ranking in 4A and given that seven of the ten games played between these two schools in the 90’s had been decided by one touchdown or less, this game looked to be a battle. The actual event turned out to be just that and then some.
With LB LeMarceo Shemwell recovering a fumble that led to a Bushrod touchdown, QB Matt Becker connected with TE Nick Raben for another score and the Huskies trailed by only 3 points with a few minutes remaining in the game. North moved the ball into Castle territory and was nearing range for at least a game tying field goal to force overtime. Going to the well one more time through the air, the Huskies gave up an interception with 1:07 to play and could not get the ball back for another chance to win.
On Homecoming night versus Memorial, the Huskies once again returned to the winner’s circle. North roared to a 28-0 lead by halftime. RB Derenzo Bushrod put up his second 200+ yard game of the season with 27 carries for 243 yards and two scores. Anttonieo Madison threw in a 59 yard scoring run on his way to a 7 carry, 109 yard performance. Only four second half fumbles by the Huskies managed to keep the game from being a blow-out.
Following an embarrassing game against Reitz, North had to face perennial Louisville powerhouse Fern Creek. After having been held to “only” 117 yards rushing by the Panthers in week seven, it was time for Derenzo Bushrod to bust out in a big way.
By game’s end against the Tigers, Bushrod would hold the school record for yards gained rushing. His 330 yards on 31 attempts would eclipse the old record of 325 yards by Cornell Garrett in a 1975 win against Bosse. He would score on runs of 72 yards and 29 yards. He would also credit some of his success to the blocking of his new fullback, Antonio ‘Boo Boo’ Johnson.
Johnson had been a two year starter at defensive tackle for the Huskies. His zealous play and emotional style had made for some exciting moments in practice and during games. His short stature was countered by his stoutness and his tremendous strength. Johnson’s blocks proved devastating out of the backfield and he even managed a 14 yard touchdown run in the game.
Bushrod wasn’t satisfied with simply breaking the school record for rushing yardage, he also found WR Josh Porter wide open on a half-back option play and tossed him the ball for a 38 yard touchdown pass. In the final game of four meetings between the two schools, North managed to record its first win in the series with a 28-6 victory that wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
The Huskies used Fern Creek as a springboard for the post season. Having gone through a stretch in which they played three state ranked teams in four weeks, they had used the experience to test their mettle and to improve their game. City rival Central’s Bears would feel the blade of North’s sharply honed sword in the regular season finale.
Things got off to a very good start against Central. North was controlling both sides of the line of scrimmage and had moved out to a comfortable 21-0 lead with 4:30 seconds to play in the first half. WR Josh Porter had caught a 62 yard TD pass and Bushrod had already run two scores across the goal line.
Few could have foreseen the excitement that the next 41 seconds of play would produce. With the ball on the Husky 45, QB Matt Becker ran an option play toward right end. He faked a pitch to the tailback and stepped inside the defensive end. 55 yards later he spiked the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. K Garth Cheek knocked the ball through the uprights for the extra point and then kicked off to the Bears.
Central’s return man surprised everyone and went the distance for a touchdown. When the Huskies returned the Bears’ kickoff to the 35 yard line, the crowd had witnessed two scores in 15 seconds of play.
The crowd barely had time to sit down because RB Derenzo Bushrod took a handoff from Becker and went 65 yard on the next play from scrimmage. Following the extra point kick, Cheek bottled up the Bears deep in their own territory with a booming kick. Once again, no sooner had the crowd sat down than DB Jeff Beck intercepted a pass on the Bears’ first play from scrimmage and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown.
41 seconds had produced four scores. The score went from 21-0 to 42-7 in less than the span of time it takes to run one lap around the field. Over the remainder of the contest, Bushrod would go on to set yet another school record with 30 points scored in the game eclipsing the record of 26 points scored by Casey Sellers in the ’94 Sectional Championship game against Seymour.
First round sectional opponent Boonville never saw what hit them. North jumped on the Pioneers with touchdowns on each of the Huskies’ first three possessions and cruised to a 46-6 win. WR Josh Porter hauled in yet another long scoring pass (47 yards) and Bushrod put up what were becoming (for him) journeyman type numbers: 13 carries, 175 yards, 4 touchdowns.
Second round opponent Bloomington North fared no better. In fact, they fared much, much worse against the Husky juggernaut. The Big Green Machine set the all-time school record for points scored in a game (74), the fourth widest margin of victory (53), the second most rushing yards in a game (493), and tied the school record for most rushing touchdowns (9). In addition, the game gave the Husky faithful their first glimpse of the player who would become the next great back to wear the green and white.
Josh Porter capped off one of the best four game stretches for a wide receiver in school history by catching two touchdown passes (22 and 35 yards). The two gave him 5 TD receptions in four games becoming the first wide receiver since Steve Pence in 1977 to do so.
Bushrod threw in his usual numbers: touchdown runs of 66, 42, and 1 yards and 148 yards rushing on just ten carries. But it was his second half replacement that caught the attention of the Husky faithful.
Trying not to run up the score, Coach Mike Wilson emptied the bench early and even inserted a freshman to play halfback after the second and third string tailbacks had scored touchdowns. Frosh RB Kendall O’Donnell made his first varsity appearance and wowed the crowd with 187 yards in just 10 carries. O’Donnell broke off scoring runs of 79 and 45 yards rushing behind the reserve offensive line. His speed and moves would come to be a hallmark of the 21st century version of the Huskies.
North entered its sixth sectional championship game in nine years (and third-in-a-row) facing an old foe: Vincennes Lincoln. For the fifth time in twelve seasons, the Huskies were to battle the Alices in the playoffs and Vincennes looked to be a formidable opponent.
Ranked #9 in Indiana’s 4A, Vincennes had traveled to #4 ranked Jasper’s home turf in round two and defeated the Wildcats. Paced by a passing attack that featured a quarterback who would later earn a scholarship to Purdue, the Alices could score points in bunches.
If the Huskies were to prevail over Vincennes, it would require a huge, workhorse effort from Derenzo Bushrod and he did not disappoint.
In a wild, high scoring affair, Bushrod broke his own school records for rushing touchdowns in a game and points scored in a game. He carried the ball a personal-best 35 times for 297 yards and six touchdowns. His 72 yard second quarter touchdown run was his seventh TD run of 50 yards or longer on the season. In addition, he added an interception on defense that set up another score.
If there was a defensive player who could also lay claim to glory this night it was DB Jeff Beck. Beck accounted for three Vincennes turnovers by picking off two passes and recovering a fumble. Fellow defensive stalwart Boo Boo Johnson picked up 10 solo tackles and scored a 2 yard touchdown while playing fullback.
By a score of 49-36, the North Huskies won their Fifth Sectional Championship under Coach Mike Wilson in just nine seasons.
The Huskies were forced to make the three hour drive to Plainfield for the Regional title game. The Quakers were 12-0 and ranked either #1 or #2 in the state depending upon which poll was read. They made it all the way to the state finals after defeating North 35-21 but they could not claim to have contained Derenzo Bushrod.
In his final game as a Husky, Bushrod electrified the stands with his longest touchdown run of his career in the first quarter—87 yards. On the night he would run 20 times for 184 yards and three touchdowns. He established North High School’s season record for yards rushing (2,791), season record for touchdowns rushing (38), season record for points scored (228), career record for yards rushing (4,810), career record for touchdowns rushing (65), and career record for points scored (402). He would earn a place of his own in the Husky ring of honor with records that stand well into the 21st century.
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|