By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
WHITLEY COUNTY — It wasn’t an all-time record for the Whitley County Colonels, but it was a playoff-high 495 yards rushing as the Colonels used a second-half surge to get past North Laurel 41-20.
It wasn’t easy though.
The Colonels led 7-0 early, but had to battle back from a 14-7 deficit at halftime after the Jaguars jumped ahead with a pair of touchdown runs (one yard and 43 yards) by Michael Nelson.
North Laurel fumbled to start the second half and that seemed to kill their momentum, while opening the door for the Colonels to tie the game.
They did just that, using a five-play drive, capped off by a one-yard run by Boston Bryant to tie the game at 14 apiece while eventually running away with a 21-point win.
After the game, Whitley County coach Jim Black said he felt like the Jaguar fumble was the turning point of the game.
“We took advantage of that fumble to start the second half and after that, it was a tale of two halves,” Black said. “We were able to take advantage of some of their mistakes the rest of the second half and it allowed us to get things going.
“Once we got in our rhythm, we got going pretty good on offense and kept the pace more to our style,” he added. “When we’re able to get plays off quick and get to the line, we do a lot better than waiting until the play clock is close to running out.”
North Laurel head coach Chris Larkey said he thought the turnover was a big turning point as well, but he gave the Colonels credit for the second-half effort.
“We knew Whitley County was going to get chewed out over there in the locker room and I knew coach Black was going to have them fired up,” Larkey said. “They do play good in the second half and they proved it tonight.
“That fumble was huge and, you never know what goes through kids’ minds, but that could have been a huge momentum builder for us,” Larkey said. “But we’ll never know and you have to take your hats off to Whitley County for playing a good football game.”
Black said he was pleased with his team’s comeback win.
“I’m happy with the effort and we were able to get that seventh win, which was our goal,” Black said. “The kids settled in and played good football considering we had some kids in positions they hadn’t played in a whole lot. I’m proud of them and we’ll get back at it Monday.”
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
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