Game Stats Game Recap Game Possession Chart
|August 29 NORTH vs Henderson Co VARSITY Offensive Stats|
|WHITLER||34||18||53%||196||2||1||1-11 yd TD (Hawkins); 2-7 yd TD (Parker)|
|HAWKINS||6||7||81||13.5||1||34||11 yd TD|
|PARKER||5||12||35||7.0||1||15||7 yd TD|
|* thrown to|
|PARKER||Punt||2||79||39.5||47||7 yards of returns|
|Player||Total||TD rush||TD rec||TD ret||2pt XP||XP kick||FG|
|MEADOR||5||0||0||0||0||2||1 - 27 yd FG|
|5.2||Avg yds per rush||6.6|
|10.9||Avg yds per completion||11.0|
|0 / 0||Sacked / Yards Lost||0 / 0|
|5.6||Avg yds per play||6.4|
|1||Passes HAD intercepted||1|
|7||Points scored off turnovers||0|
|3 / 25||PENALTIES / YARDS||9 / 50|
|4 / 11||3rd down conversions||6 / 14|
|2 / 3||4th down conversions||2 / 2|
Offensive line blocking scores:
|NORTH VS HENDERSON COUNTY 8/29/2008 - DEFENSIVE STATS|
|PLAYER||SOLO||ASST.||T-FL||SACK||C FUM||R FUM||INT.||B. KICK||POINTS|
Friday night’s 21-17 loss to Henderson County was about “character”. There are some who will say football should only be about winning and that character is unimportant. It’s a funny thing about ‘character’: those who say it’s not important usually don’t have any of it themselves.
When confronted with an opportunity to crumble midway through the second quarter, to lay down and let events overwhelm them, the Huskies refused to give in.
The Colonels presented a formidable opponent. Featuring a third-year starter at quarterback and a veteran tailback who will compete for All-State honors in Kentucky this season, Henderson County came into the contest with a single game plan in mind. They were intent on running the football straight into North’s most vulnerable areas.
The Colonels forced North to punt on their first possession when Husky receivers dropped not one but two passes on the opening series. Following a short punt, a moderate return, and a Husky offside penalty, Henderson County took over in excellent position near midfield. Early on it appeared that their strategy would proceed uncontested when In just three plays the Colonels were standing in North’s end zone. Following the extra point, Henderson County led 7-0.
North took the kickoff and quickly moved out close to midfield. On third and five from the 40, it appeared that WR Ben Green was tripped from behind as he made his cut on a deep pass route. The pass sailed over his head for what would have been a long gain and the Huskies were force to punt yet again.
Following the Huskies only defensive stand of the first half, North seemed to find a rhythm as the first quarter wound down. Starting from midfield, QB Cameron Whitler directed the team downfield on their only sustained drive of the half. Finding WR Drew Hawkins on a curl pattern on the right hand side for 7 yards, Whitler hit WR James Gott in the left hand flat two plays later.
Gott caught the ball in-stride and jetted past the pulled-in cornerback. Finding room near the sideline he galloped 22 yards and was finally forced out of bounds at the Henderson 14 yard line. A dive play lost two yards before WR Mitch Parker made the toughest catch of the night.
Parker Hangs On
Looping over the middle, Whitler used the receiver’s height to his advantage and tossed the ball high. Parker had to go up-top to make the catch and was hit as he came down. His helmet was knocked from his head as he landed hard on his shoulder at the ten yard line, but the ball was still in his hands.
A third down pass in the end-zone was just beyond the reach of the Husky receiver and it set up a 27 yard field goal by K Preston Meador. The kick split the uprights and the Huskies were finally on the scoreboard at 7-3.
When Meador’s long kickoff pinned Henderson County deep in their own territory and following the previous defensive stand, hopes were running high that the Huskies could hold and gain another short field to work from. The results were anything but that.
Bet On The Hurdler
Facing 3rd and 2 from their own 26, the Colonels’ option offense again bore fruit. Their slightly build tailback, who the program generously listed as 5’8” and 160 lbs., took the pitch, stepped inside the end, found daylight, and broke out for an apparent touchdown. No one on that side of the field had the speed to catch him.
But someone crossing from the other side did.
In a match up of sprinter versus sprinter, the Kentucky sectional 100 meter dash champ paired off against the Evansville 110 meter hurdles champion. Next time, bet on the hurdler.
James Gott came the entire way across the field to nail the Colonel tailback from behind. He didn’t have an angle to play as the running back was actually angling away from him, but Gott displayed the heart of a lion chasing a gazelle as he closed the gap and pummeled the ball carrier at the North 20 yard line.
With first down at the 20, however, the Colonels played smash mouth football and North came away with a bloody lip and a 14-3 deficit. Taking seven plays to ‘punch’ the ball into the end zone, the North defense had been hammered by 18 consecutive running plays without a pass.
When Mitch Parker returned the kickoff out to the 35, the Huskies got moderate field position from which to start their final drive of the half. With the running game sputtering—generating only 17 yards on 8 carries in the first half—it again fell to the air attack to make the Husky advance.
On second and 12, Coach Wilson called for a middle screen pass and when he did, he called it to #3 from the slot receiver position—James Gott. Gott caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage, evaded one tackler, and shot through a gap between two linebackers. He was all the way down to the Henderson 34 before being forced down after a gain of 33 yards.
Following a defensive off-side penalty, North had the ball at the 29 with first and five on the down markers. Everything appeared to be going right for the Huskies—and then it went wrong.
Whitler was asked to throw an ‘out’ pass across the field from the left hash mark. On the yard markers it’s just a five yard pass. As the ball flies, it’s closer to a thirty yard pass. As the ball flew, it only went 29 of the 30 yards and it went straight into the Colonel defender’s arms. With a wide open field ahead of him, it was fortunate that he had to ‘come back’ for the ball and tripped as he caught it.
The Colonels then held the ball for another grueling 10 play march into North territory. Husky linemen were ‘heads down’ and holding knee pads on the march. It appeared that ill-tidings were in the wind as Henderson converted a fourth down and then a third down to sustain the onslaught. The clock mercifully ran out on the first half with the Colonels in apparent control of the line of scrimmage and bound for bigger things.
The first half stats told the story. Henderson had rushed 25 times for 174 yards. They owned both lines of scrimmage. With the exception of two short passes that Gott had turned into long gains, the Huskies had been effectively muzzled. They were trailing on the scoreboard, trailing in their execution, and trailing in their enthusiasm for the contest.
There’s a saying that comes to mind at times like this. “Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, money takes wings, the only thing that endures is character.” The Huskies had to dig deep to find the personal strength and discipline it takes to battle back.
The Colonels received the ball to start the half and again began a march downfield. Continuing to hand the ball to their star running back they rushed out to midfield with a relentless sense of purpose. Every option play or dive seemed to gain five yards.
And then they coughed the ball up.
Not once, but twice on consecutive plays the Colonels put the ball on the ground. Perhaps it was because it was the tail back's 23rd and 24th carries of the game barely 4 minutes into half. Perhaps it was because of the humidity. Or perhaps it was because the second time that the Colonels came his way, DE Damien Jackson had dug deep and found some of that personal strength. Stripping the ball awayl, Jackson slammed the diminutive back to the ground and LB James Marion came away with the football.
Carlile Takes Off
While North hearts were lightened by the turn of events, a collective moan went up following the next one. When Gott attempted a reverse, he wound back deep behind the line of scrimmage and unfortunately, no one wearing crimson and white was fooled. An eleven yard loss had North facing their toughest down marker of the night—second and 21.
Having started the possession in Henderson territory, the Huskies were now back at their own 43. There are Husky teams of the past that might have lain down at this point. Not this one. Somewhere during halftime, the Huskies picked themselves up and decided this was a contest between two equally tough teams.
The next play proved it.
Handing the ball to RB Travis Carlile on a dive play between G Colton Tenhumberg and T Marcus Chambers, Carlile ran over the linebacker, bounced off the safety, and tore down field for a 44 yard gain to the Henderson 13. Following another dive play, Whitler dropped back and hit WR Drew Hawkins on a slant pattern to the right hand side and the receiver went into the end zone standing up. Meador again split the uprights and the Huskies were within four at 14-10 with 5:39 to play in the third quarter.
The Colonels are not without weapons. While their star tailback was showing signs of ‘cramping-up’, they found others to take his place. Calling upon a lanky reserve quarterback to carry the ball, Henderson found success running a quick trap play into the middle. On first and ten from their forty, the replacement runner picked up where his predecessor left off. Busting through the interior, he sprang outside and appeared headed for an apparent touchdown when Hawkins came from his safety spot to capture the runner from behind at the North 15.
Three plays later, however, Henderson punched the ball in from the one yard line to regain an eleven point lead at 21-10.
The battling Huskies are made of tough fiber. Trailing the Bulldogs in week one, they refused to give in or give up and were rewarded with a win. Trailing the Colonels late in the third quarter, they again refused to give in. RB Cameron Clements proved that when he broke three tackles on the first play from scrimmage of the next possession to gain 18 yards and set up first and ten from the forty.
From that point forward, it would prove to be QB Cameron Whitler’s arm and various receivers' hands that would provide the impetus for North’s comeback attempt. Drew Hawkins deftly executed a post-corner route deep down the right hand side and Whitler delivered the ball on a perfect spiral into his hands for a 34 yard gain. When the drive appeared it may stall with the ball resting at the Henderson 28, Whitler went looking for his favorite target.
4th And 12
Facing the biggest play of the game (to that point) on 4th and 12 with 2:55 remaining in the third quarter, WR Mitch Parker ran another crossing route in the middle of the field. Whitler fired the ball between the '8' and the '0' on Parkers’ chest and, though he was hit as he caught the ball, North had its precious first down.
Three plays later, Whitler again looked for Parker. Lined up wide right, the tall wide receiver ran a slant and appeared to bobble the ball momentarily in front of him. Never quite regaining his balance, the 6’3” receiver fell forward and his momentum easily carried him into the end zone for a 7 yard touchdown reception. With Meador’s kick the score was 21-17 and the Huskies had gained the initiative in what was now a see-saw battle.
Another booming Meador kickoff hemmed the Colonels deep in their own territory and yet another Henderson penalty forced them deeper still. Henderson’s reliance on a power running game was taking a toll on their players. As the quarter drew to a close, it was now the Colonels who were beginning to bend and grab their knee pads between plays.
An exchange of punts found North with the ball at their own 40 and just under seven minutes remaining in the game. Clements banged away for five yards, Whitler hit Gott for 12, Clements picked his way around end for three, and Hawkins ran a curl pattern for eight more yards. All of this set up a North first down a the Henderson 32 with just 4:34 remaining.
The crowd was at a fever pitch. The players on the sideline were cheering. The offense was perking. The game was coming into North’s hands. And then the Huskies fumbled.
It was a moment when some teams would let down—but not this team.
Clements Picks One Off
Taking five plays, and more importantly two minutes of scoreboard time, Henderson County moved the ball out to midfield. Facing third and three, the Colonels called time out and selected a play designed to exploit the weakness of an anticipated ‘goal line’ defensive formation by North.
When a defense bunches in in order to deny a short yardage run, the defense leaves itself short on deep backs. No safeties remain to thwart any receiver who may puncture the initial line of defense on a short pass route. The only folks in green who would be there would be linebackers—bereft of any support.
In this case, the linebackers would be sufficient…and then some.
Taking the snap, the quarterback leapt high and tossed a look-in pass to the end. LB Cameron Clements correctly read the play and leapt equally high to intercept the pass. With momentum carrying him forward, he broke past the Colonel offensive linemen-now-turned-defenders and rambled 25 yards before anyone could catch him.
The Huskies were alive again.
The Thrilling Finish
With barely two minutes to play and 1st and 10 from the Henderson County 35, the Huskies faced a blitz package from the Colonels. Forced to duck under one defender from his right, Whitler showed great footwork as he moved smartly to his right and found Drew Hawkins just as the receiver sensed his quarterback was in danger. Hawkins tacked on five more yards after the catch to set up first down at the twenty yard line.
A quick pass into the left flat to James Gott added four more yards as the clock wound down. Two more passes to Parker fell incomplete and the Huskies faced 4th and 6 with 59 seconds to play. It was Hawkins again who sensed the moment.
When Whitler came under pressure from his left, he rolled right. Hawkins once again came back to find open space and give his harried quarterback a target. Whitler zipped a pass into Hawkins’ hands and he fell out of bounds just beyond the first down marker with his sixth reception of the evening.
With first and goal from the ten and 52 ticks left on the clock, Whitler forced a ball into coverage that Hawkins ended up batting down before it could be picked off. On second and goal, Parker squeezed into a seam in the defense on the right hand side and managed a couple yards before being stopped. Third and goal from the 8 yielded an incomplete pass to Parker at the goal line.
With everyone on their feet, the lights shining brightly, the clock reading 20 seconds to play, and the tension building, the game came down to a single play. Whitler took the snap and appeared to look across the middle for a receiver. Finding none open, he looked to his left, and as the rush began to close in he tossed a ball to Gott who was running a fade pattern into the corner of the end zone.
Henderson County batted the ball down and they had their victory.
A Well Fought Battle
“…the only thing that endures is character.” This is a different Husky team than the last season. Where adversity can bring out the worst in some teams, it brings out the best in this club. There was no finger pointing afterwards. There was no bitterness. There was only an acknowledgement that they would fight again next week versus Mater Dei.
This is a team to be proud of. This is a team that will give any opponent their best effort and force a contest where only the best team wins. Can anything more be asked of a ball club?
|August 29 NORTH vs Henderson Co Possessions|
|FIRST QUARTER -- NOTE: Scoreboard not working for first half|
|N20||6||2||4||11||1||--||Punt||0 - 0|
|H44||3||3||0||56||2||--||TD||7 yd TD run #21 + #13 XP Kick||0 - 7|
|N20||4||2||2||19||1||--||Punt||0 - 7|
|H14||3||3||0||5||0||--||Punt||0 - 7|
|NORTH - first 5 plays 1st Quarter, rest 2ND QUARTER|
|50||7||3||4||50||2||--||FG||Meador 17 yd FG||3 - 7|
|H18||10||10||0||82||2||--||TD||2 yd TD run #9 + #13 XP Kick||3 - 14|
|N35||3||1||2||36||1||--||INT||#21 HC INT on HC 23 yd line||3 - 14|
|H23||10||9||1||37||2||--||Half||3 - 14|
|H29||6||5||1||17||1||3:50||Fumble||Marion recovers fumble for NHS||3 - 14|
|H46||4||3||1||54||1||2:20||TD||Hawkins 8 yd TD rec (Whitler); Meador XP Kick||10 - 14|
|H16||6||5||1||84||3||1:30||TD||1 yd TD run #9 + #13 XP Kick||10 - 21|
|N22||9||3||6||78||3||2:20||TD||Parker 7 yd TD rec (Whitler); Meador XP Kick||17 - 21|
|Henderson Co -- first 4 plays 3rd Quarter, rest 4TH QUARTER|
|H10||9||7||2||30||2||4:30||Punt||17 - 21|
|N37||3||0||3||0||0||0:30||Punt||17 - 21|
|H9||3||3||0||9||0||2:00||Punt||17 - 21|
|N40||6||3||3||31||2||2:20||Fumble||Fumble on 1st & 10 HC 29||17 - 21|
|H29||5||4||1||29||1||2:15||INT||Clements INT returns to HC 35||17 - 21|
|H35||9||0||9||27||2||2:00||Downs||4th & Goal 8 yd line incomplete pass in end zone||17 - 21|
|H8||1||1||0||0||0||0:20||Game||Kneel down||17 - 21|
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