Game Stats Game Recap
|Oct 28 NORTH vs Floyd Central VARSITY Offensive Stats|
|ST. LOUIS||26||156||6.0||2||38||0||1-6yd TD; 2-8yd TD|
|* thrown to|
|BAGGETT||KO||####||1-out of bounds|
|HESS||KO||2||106||53.0||54||1-out of bounds|
|Player||Total||TD rush||TD rec||TD ret||2pt XP||XP kick||Special|
|Oct 28 NORTH vs Floyd Central Team Stats|
|6.5||Avg yds per rush||0.4|
|10.0||Avg yds per completion||16.4|
|0 / 0||Sacked / Yards Lost||5 / -28|
|5.7||Avg yds per play||5.0|
|0||Passes HAD intercepted||0|
|0||Points scored off turnovers||0|
|11 / 95||PENALTIES / YARDS||6 / 70|
|5 / 14||3rd down conversions||2 / 11|
|3 / 4||4th down conversions||1 / 4|
|1ST||6:08||St.Louis 6yd TD run||6 - 0|
|Renfro XP kick||7 - 0|
|2ND||1:08||Renfro 28yd FG||10 - 0|
|3RD||10:06||Fonda 5yd TD reception (Robertson)||10 - 6|
|Grangier XP kick||10 - 7|
|4TH||6:58||St.Louis 8yd TD run||16 - 7|
|Renfro XP kick||17 - 7|
|3:29||McKinney 52yd TD run||23 - 7|
|Renfro XP kick||24 - 7|
|NORTH VS FLOYD CENT 10/28/2022 - DEFENSIVE STATS|
|PLAYER||SOLO||ASST.||T-FL||SACK||C FUM||R FUM||INT||BK||POINTS|
FRONT FOUR STOP HIGHLANDERS IN 24-7 HUSKY PLAYOFF VICTORY
The North Huskies broke open a tight game with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to win 24-7 over Floyd Central. The victory was their first in a Sectional contest since 2013 and assured the program of its first six victory season since 2007
THE NIGHT BELONGS TO ‘THE FRONT FOUR’
“Success has many mothers…” is the way an old saying begins and there were many players who performed admirably Friday night at Bundrant Stadium. No group’s stars shined more brightly than those of the defensive line. The Highlanders were held to just TEN net yards rushing on the night and in large part it was due to the ‘Front Four’ winning the line of scrimmage when they were on the field.
The Huskies’ pair of defensive ends could not be more different physically. Senior Cale Johnson stands 5’10” and weighs 175 lbs. and is considered ‘undersized’ by football standards for the position. Junior Kaleb Harris is 6’2” and still growing, tips the scales well north of 200 pounds, and has arms that extend his presence several more feet in the air. Johnson utilizes explosive speed to rush from the edge of the defense and position himself to make big plays. Harris uses his physical presence and strength to overwhelm would-be blockers and leaping ability to swat down passes at the line of scrimmage. Friday night, the two accounted for 11 tackles (six for losses), three quarterback sacks, a pair of “QB hurries” forcing incompletions, and three passes batted down at the line of scrimmage.
Their partners in the interior of the line, juniors Jayden Hazelwood and Delshan Davis, are often matched up against multiple blockers. Hazelwood stands 6’3”, Davis comes in at six foot even and both linemen tilt the scales at over 300 pounds. They stand as immovable blocks of granite in the center of North’s defense and Friday accounted for five tackles (three for losses) and a pair of quarterback sacks. More than the individual numbers, they tied up Floyd Central blockers and left the Husky linebackers freedom to roam and shut down running lanes with tackles near the line of scrimmage.
No victory belongs to any single player, but on this night when North accomplished so much, no unit dominated their opponent so completely as the defensive front four. They have played extremely well throughout the season, but Friday night was their finest hour.
LONG DRIVE SETS THE TONE
The offense set the tone for the night in their first possession. Starting at their 20, the Huskies put together a 14-play drive in which they converted their first pair of third down opportunities. With senior Angelo St. Louis steadily advancing the ball—including a 38-yard burst on third-and-one at the 41—North was running ‘downhill’ toward Floyd Central’s end zone. It appeared the drive might stall, though, when a Sam McKinney to Kaleb Harris pass came up a yard short at the 12-yard line.
Facing fourth-and-one, the Highlanders stacked the center of the defense with a pair of enormous tackles and a linebacker. The man head up on center Landon Caswell stood 6’2” and weighed 350 pounds. The play call from the sidelines was to send St. Louis into the middle of the line to try and pick up the necessary yard for a first down. Caswell had to account for a defender who outweighed him by over 100 pounds if the play was to be successful.
After snapping the ball to McKinney, the senior center took the knees out from under the big defender and, as another saying begins, “the bigger they are…”. As the huge tackle fell to the ground, left guard Delshan Davis stood the other big man across from him straight up and pushed him back. A crease opened between Caswell and Davis and St. Louis dashed into it—only to be met head-on by the linebacker stacked behind the two enormous defensive linemen. St. Louis lowered his shoulder and treated the linebacker the way a bowling ball treats a pin.
North had first down and goal to go when the whistle blew. Two plays later, the huge defender was lined up over Davis and the Huskies ran a counter play that required Davis and senior Timothy Dixon to maneuver him out of the way. Dixon and Davis pushed him backwards with such force that Dixon was able to release his block and then pancake a second defender as he cleared a path to the end zone for St. Louis. Mitchell Renfro added an extra point kick and the Huskies led 7-0 following the six-minute drive.
FIRST HALF SHUT OUT OF FLOYD CENTRAL
The only serious threat from the Highlanders in the first half occurred when they were able to complete a 35-yard pass down the sideline that gave them first down at North’s 31. On first down, Kaleb Harris blew through the line and tossed a runner on his back for a five-yard loss. Their drive then self-destructed with a 15-yard penalty for an illegal block to set up second-down-and-THIRTY. Things got no better when junior Jayden Hazelwood and sophomore Luke Grayson combined for a quarterback sack. Floyd Central ended up punting from their own territory and never made it to North territory the remainder of the half.
“Big Play” JOHNSON
The Husky offense continued to move the ball with the running game but could not finish drives. After Renfro came up short on a 48-yard field goal attempt, it wasn’t until under two minutes remained in the half that the Huskies could finally finish a drive with points. Facing fourth-and-five at the Highlander 45, it was a player who has routinely been counted upon for big-plays at just exactly the moment his team needs them who came through once more in the clutch. Senior Cale Johnson lined up at H-back behind the right side of the offensive line and on the snap, McKinney faked a handoff to St. Louis. The move froze the linebackers in their positions and Johnson ran straight through the line and past them. McKinney took one step back and delivered a perfect pass to Johnson who grabbed it with a full head of steam and then carried a pair of safeties [literally CARRIED them] on his back as he turned the short reception into a 30-yard gain. With little time remaining, a pair of passes fell incomplete in the end zone and Renfro came on to kick a 28-yard field goal. The Huskies led 10-0 at the half.
The Highlanders received the opening kickoff of the third quarter and were immediately the beneficiary of not one, not two, but THREE Husky penalties on their opening drive. With North contributing 25 yards to their effort, the Highlanders scored a touchdown in less than two minutes to cut the lead to 10-7.
On defense they made adjustments that stymied the Husky offense on their first two possessions. Where North had generated 175 yards of offense in the first half, their first two drives of the second half resulted in punts after gaining just a single first down. The Husky faithful need not have worried because the defensive front four were there to prevent Floyd Central from moving the ball as well.
Their second possession saw Hazelwood and Davis drop a runner for loss on second down and Johnson chase the quarterback down from behind and hold him to a one-yard gain on third down. The Highlanders third possession included another long pass along the sideline that gave them a first down at the North 26-yard line. Of course, when a big play was needed to halt the threat, Johnson and Harris combined to sack the quarterback on first down, senior Sean Bennett broke up a pass on second down, and a third down and 15 pass sailed over a receiver’s head. A 48-yard field goal attempt barely made it to the 20 yard line before bouncing harmlessly into the end zone. The defense had once again given the offense time to ‘find itself’, and this time, the offense made good on their opportunity.
Anyone who made the road trip to Vincennes several weeks ago witnessed a “coming of age” for the 2022 Huskies. Trailing the Alices, time running down in the fourth quarter, needing a touchdown to win, North put together a drive that required them to convert multiple third downs, take care of the football, and push a determined opponent backwards. The Huskies got that job done and did it in a fashion that signaled a growing level of maturity. With the game still in doubt on Friday night, a minute-fifty-one remained in the third quarter when the Huskies took over at their 20 following the missed field goal.
Three straight times North handed the ball to St. Louis to plunge into the center of the line. Each time the offensive line and St. Louis’ own mixture of strength and agility moved the ball forward. It was the Huskies' first first-down in over eight minutes of play, but it would be the first of SIX that the Huskies would string together over the next seven minutes. McKinney battled up the middle for the second one. St. Louis barreled off tackle for the third one. So it continued until the Huskies reached the Highlander 35-yard line.
A GAME OF INCHES
A McKinney to sophomore Jason Rucker pass came up a yard short of the marker on third down and North was faced with fourth and one to keep the drive alive. After a time out, North came out in the ‘Wildcat’ formation with Kaleb Harris in the shotgun position. Timothy Dixon lined up at H-back behind sophomore right guard Ben Brasher and on the snap, Dixon, Brasher, and Jayden Hazelwood went toe-to-toe with three of the heaviest defenders the Highlanders could stack up against them.
Nearly 1,000 pounds of blockers ran head long into 1,000 pounds of defenders.
In moments like this in a football game, success is measured in inches: outcomes depend upon which side of the line can gain a single inch of momentum against the other. The football field is measured off in yards, but with a game on the line, all that matters is gaining that next inch and then trying to lay claim to one more inch.
Dixon, Brasher, and Hazelwood gained inch by inch by inch and when Harris fell in behind them, he added his weight to the pile and when the whistle blew, the pile was five yards downfield.
The air seemed to go out of the Highlander defense at that point and St. Louis hammered away at them with four straight carries that resulted in an eight-yard touchdown run. The extra point made it a Husky 17-7 lead with 6:58 to play.
HARRIS’ FOURTH QUARTER TO REMEMBER
Kaleb Harris was pretty much a human highlight film on defense during the fourth quarter. Energized by his critical first down run on offense, he batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage on his first play on defense in the quarter. After Delshan Davis sacked the quarterback to set up a long third down that required Floyd Central to pass, Harris batted down a second pass at the line of scrimmage. When Floyd Central went for it on fourth-and-six, senior Jordan Hunt defended a pass and North took over at the 41 yard line.
McKINNEY CLOSES THE SHOW
Having played exceptionally well throughout the game, it fell to Sam McKinney to deliver the ‘back breaker’ to the Highlanders. On third and three from the North 48, he took the snap in shotgun formation and faked a handoff to St. Louis. Davis and Dixon had rolled up the tackle and linebacker to his left and Brasher was pulling and running down the line with Hazelwood behind him. Brasher demolished the defensive end and Hazelwood walled off any interior pursuit that might get past Davis and Dixon’s road block. McKinney tucked the ball under his arm, ran to the open hole, received an excellent downfield block from senior Jaylonn Mitchell…
…and McKinney was gone again.
Just as he had in the last game against Central, the junior quarterback continued to make a name for himself as a game breaker at quarterback. 52 yards later he streaked untouched into the end zone having outrun a pair of defenders for the last twenty yards. North led 24-7 with 3:39 to play and the game was in the bag for the Huskies.
The Highlanders continued to fight but they had no answer for Kaleb Harris. In their final possession, he batted down another pass at the line of scrimmage, recorded a solo quarterback sack, and added another in tandem with Timothy Dixon. His numbers in the fourth quarter alone were four tackles, three passes batted down, and a pair of quarterback sacks.
And when the final buzzer sounded, North had its first playoff victory since 2013 and assured itself of its first six-win-or-more season since 2007. They now have a chance to add to that list of accomplishments with a win next Friday at Castle to claim the Huskies’ first Sectional Title since 2000.
This is a club that has learned how to win and to do it in convincing fashion through strength, stamina, and smart play.
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|Oct 28 NORTH vs Floyd Central Possessions|
|N20||13||9||4||80||3||6:00||TD||St. Louis 6yd TD run||7 - 0|
|Renfro XP kick|
|F34||5||2||3||23||1||1:30||downs||Heck defends 4th&5 pass||7 - 0|
|N43||3||2||1||-7||0||1:50||punt||Holding penalty kills drive||7 - 0|
|FLOYD CENTRAL--6th play of possession begins SECOND QUARTER|
|F35||6||4||2||17||1||3:20||punt||Illegal block penalty stalls drive||7 - 0|
|N37||3||2||1||2||0||2:00||punt||Screen pass stopped for loss on 3rd&4||7 - 0|
|F30||4||3||1||9||0||2:15||downs||Pass incomplete on 4th&1||7 - 0|
|F39||5||3||2||15||1||2:15||missFG||Renfro 48yd FG short||7 - 0|
|F20||3||1||2||9||0||1:20||punt||Heck stops receiver short on 3rd&9||7 - 0|
|N41||8||3||5||51||2||2:15||FG||Renfro 28yd FG||10 - 0|
|F35||2||2||0||4||0||1:05||half||10 - 0|
|F35||4||2||2||65||2||2:00||TD||Fonda 5yd TD reception (Robertson)||10 - 7|
|Grangier XP kick|
|N20||5||3||2||19||1||2:15||punt||10 - 7|
|F32||3||2||1||2||0||2:20||punt||Illegal block penalty stalls drive||10 - 7|
|N27||3||2||1||8||0||1:45||punt||False start penalty turns 3rd&short into 3rd&long||10 - 7|
|F33||5||2||3||36||1||1:45||missFG||48yd FG attempt short||10 - 7|
|NORTH 5th play of drive begins FOURTH QUARTER|
|N20||16||14||2||80||6||7:00||TD||St.Louis 8yd TD run||17 - 7|
|Renfro XP kick|
|F35||6||2||4||6||1||1:50||downs||Hunt defends pass on 4th&6||17 - 7|
|N41||3||3||0||59||1||1:40||TD||McKinney 52yd TD run||24 - 7|
|Renfro XP kick|
|F26||10||3||7||59||4||3:25||game||24 - 7|
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