RAMSEY — North Harrison scored once on a big play and beat Silver Creek 6-0 in a defensive struggle Friday.
The Class 3A No. 9 Cougars (7-0, 7-0 MSC) had the game’s only points on a 59-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter. In a battle between two of the state’s top defenses, that was enough to win over the Class 4A No. 9 Dragons (6-1, 5-1).
“How they respond to this one will tell a lot about them and our team,” Silver Creek coach John Dablow said. “They still have a lot to play for and I think they realize that. I thought our defense played fantastic. It was just one of those nights where we shot ourselves in the foot one too many times. Give it up to North Harrison. They’re a heck of a football team.”
The Dragons best shot at the end zone came on their last drive.
Silver Creek took over at its 20-yard line after a missed field goal by North Harrison with 5:57 to go in the final quarter. Behind Jacob Garrett’s bulldozing runs, the Dragons got down to the Cougars’ 17.
Backward movement led to 3rd-and-12. The next two plays were incomplete passes from Garrett, who has thrown from the Wildcat formation before this season. The final pass fell incomplete in the back-right corner of the end zone.
“They were playing our run and playing Jacob,” Dablow said of the decision to pass. “It’s a play that we’ve worked on a lot and we’ve had some success with it. We needed some big yardage and wanted to take a shot. Jacob was gassed, so we need to try something that saved him a little bit.”
The Cougars got the ball back after the incompletions and knelt out the final 85 seconds.
North Harrison drove down to Silver Creek’s 5-yard line on the opening drive. The Cougars opted to attempt a field goal on fourth down and it was blocked by Zac Nolan.
The Dragons’ opening drive made it to the Cougars’ 30, but a dive attempt from Jacob Garrett was inches short on fourth down.
North Harrison’s second drive, which spilled into the second quarter, ended with an exclamation point. On 3rd-and-10, quarterback Avery Blocker found Jake Harley near the sideline on a curl route. Harley lost his defender and scored a 59-yard touchdown with 10:32 to go in the first half. The kick was wide left, but the Cougars led 6-0.
The teams traded two more drives in the second quarter. The highlight was a punt from Silver Creek’s Daniel Barrett that pinned the Cougars at their own 3-yard line. Strong running from Jaylen Peake gave the hosts enough room to punt it away safely later in the drive.
In the second half, Silver Creek’s first drive made it from the 10-yard line to midfield. Two mishandled snaps and a personal foul stymied the drive.
North Harrison got on the Dragons’ side of the field and faced 4th-and-3 late in the third quarter. A screen pass was completed, but only gained two yards.
Silver Creek’s next drive ended in a punt, but Barrett once again made the Cougars start from their own 3. North Harrison responded with a 91-yard drive that eventually ended with a missed field goal. The drive didn’t end in points, but it did eat 8:51 off the clock.
“[North Harrison] controlled the ball,” Dablow said. “The time of possession was a lot to a little. We did not take advantage of the time when we had the ball. Too many mistakes.”
The Silver Creek drive that followed the missed field goal ended with the incomplete pass into the end zone.
Both teams usually rush by committee, but it was the leading rushers who took control Friday.
North Harrison’s Jaylen Peake his team with 22 rushes for 105 yards. Garrett led the Dragons with 20 rushes for 106 yards, much of it coming on the final drive.
“[Garrett]’s an outstanding kid and an outstanding football player,” Dablow said. “He did a great job of almost getting us a tie and possibly a shot at a win. We just came up a little short.”
Dablow said he’s looking for a strong response from his team. They’ll need it on the road next week against 3A No. 10 Brownstown Central (6-1, 5-1), which beat Clarksville 48-0 on Friday.
NORTH HARRISON 6, SILVER CREEK 0
Silver Creek 0 0 0 0—0
North Harrison 0 6 0 0—6
N — Jake Harley 59 pass from Avery Blocker (kick failed), 10:32.
Passing: Silver Creek (3-5-27-0) — Josh Landers 3-3-27-0, Jacob Garrett 0-2-0-0; North Harrison (6-10-118-0) — Avery Blocker 6-10-118-0.
Rushing: Silver Creek (35-152) — Garrett 20-106, Isesis Lukes 5-18, Brannon Russell 4-16; North Harrison (39-138) — Jaylen Peake 22-105, Kohana Wilks 7-15.
Receiving: Silver Creek — Bennett Beyl 2-24; North Harrison — Jake Harley 3-74.
~story provided by newsandtribune.com~