Brownstown falls on late field goal

A 24-yard field goal by Ben Waynescott as the final buzzer sounded lifted North Harrison to a stirring 17-14 victory over Brownstown Central’s football team Friday night.

Waynescott’s kick ended an amazing 10-minute, 22-play drive by North Harrison.

The Cougars’ win is just their second ever over a Reed May-coach Brownstown team.

“(North Harrison) wasn’t doing anything different (during the final drive). They were just executing and and running the ball hard,” May said. “Maybe we were a little tired, but they were, too. Defensively, we had been stuffing them pretty well. Until that last drive.”

Friday’s contest was a battle of Mid-Southern Conference unbeatens. The loss drops BC to 4-1 on the season and in the MSC. The victory allows the Cougars (5-0) to keep pace with the MSC’s other unbeaten team, Silver Creek.

With both teams employing run-heavy, clock-eating offenses, each had to contend with an extremely limited number of possessions. Brownstown Central had just two possessions in the second half and five total.

The Braves, averaging 40.5 points in their first four games, went scoreless on their three first-half possessions. After making adjustments at halftime, they found the end zone on both second-half drives.

Down 14-0, Gus Hogan executed a Tim Tebow-esque jump pass to Karl Pence from two yards out to get Brownstown Central on the board.

After stopping North Harrison, the Braves then marched 54 yards in 10 plays and watched Matthew Bell plunge into the end zone from three yards out to tie the game at 14.

With 9:43 left in the fourth quarter, Brownstown kicked off to North Harrison and figured another defensive stop would leave enough time for a game-winning drive.

Unfortunately for the Braves, the Cougars never gave the ball back.

Starting from its 22 yard line, North Harrison began its odyssey, converting three third downs and two fourth downs to keep the drive alive.

After working the ball to the Braves’ seven yard line, North Harrison called its final timeout with eight-tenths of a second left on the clock. Waynescott booted the ball and started celebrating before the kick sailed through the uprights.

“I told our kids, games like this come down to special teams and turnovers,” May said. “There were no turnovers tonight, so sure enough, it came down to special teams.”

Besides the game-winning field goal, North Harrison’s special teams also struck on the game’s opening kickoff when junior Jake Harley returned the ball 90 yards for a touchdown.

In all, North Harrison’s touchdowns came on the first play of the game, the last play of the first half and the last play of the game.

Colton Ritz paced Brownstown Central’s offense with a team-high 79 yards rushing on nine carries.

Defensively, the Braves were led with Caleb Bollinger with 10 tackles and Noah Reynolds, whose eight tackles included 1.5 sacks.

Brownstown Central doesn’t have much time to think about their first loss, with county rival Seymour waiting next week.

“A loss like this can be good or it can be bad,” May said. “We’ve still got a shot at the conference. We’ve still got Seymour and Silver Creek coming up. We’ll going to learn more about ourselves in those games.”