By Gregg A. Sims
Washington Times Herald
Jordan Meurer may have only one game under his belt at quarterback for North Knox, but it proved to be a pretty good game.
The North Knox sophomore was pressed into duty Saturday against Southwest Seven opponent North Daviess, and his scrambling and timely passing proved to enough for a 22-14 win.
Meurer scrambled on a third and 16 to preserve a second-half North Knox scoring drive before capping a third-quarter, 17-play, 77-yard drive with a pass to Alex Smith for a 17-yard score to tie the game at 14 with 19 seconds left in the third quarter.
He then continued the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter with a 17-yard jaunt on a fourth and five with 5:06 left to play from the North Daviess 47-yard line.
“We didn’t keep contained back side on pass plays,” North Daviess coach Scott Helms said. “I don’t know what we were doing, but our rush came clear across the field, and when he reversed his field, there was no one there.”
That drive was assisted when North Knox’s Austin Miller appeared to fumble on a third-down play. Nathaniel Gingerich, who did recover an earlier Warrior fumble by Brennen Duke, appeared to have the best shot at the ball, only to have Miller come out of the pack after losing four yards.
That led to Meurer finding Miller for a 15-yard, fourth-down pass, that gave North Knox the opening for the 22-14 final with a touchdown coming 1:41 before the end of the game.
North Daviess (3-5, 2-4 Suthwest Seven) actually contributed to the loss with three fumbles. A first-half fumble on the goal line hurt, but a fumble from Lengacher with just under seven minutes left killed a drive and started the final North Knox drive.
A fumble from Brady Helms in the opening quarter completed the trio.
We just didn’t make enough plays,” Helms said. “We kind of had our way on offense, but we can’t put the ball on the ground — just can’t do that. We’ve done a good job this season of not doing that. I think that hurt us.”
North Knox (4-4, 4-2) got the game’s first score on a four-yard run from Miller in the opening quarter.
Lengacher, who gained 122 yards on 28 carries, responded in the second with a two-yard run with 9:03 left in the half. The Cougar back gained 94 yards on 21 carries in the opening half.
“On a field like this, you have to give it to your main back,” Helms said. “There’s not much else to do.”
Both teams failed to convert extra-point attempts, ending the half tied at six.
The conditions may have assisted North Daviess missing a key score with 31 seconds remaining to play.
The Cougars had the ball at the east end on a first and goal at the North Knox one-yard line when Helms and Lengacher failed to make connections on a handoff.
North Knox recovered the ball, and the half ended in the six-all tie.
Helms took responsibility for the miscue, saying a quarterback sneak might have been better under the circumstances.
I take full responsibility down on the goal line,” Helms said. “Anyone who doesn’t run a quarterback sneak from the half-yard line on first and goal, is an idiot. So, I’m the idiot on that one.”
North Daviess took the lead with 8:05 to play in the third on a 44-yard run from Logan Turpin. Lengacher converted the two-pointer for a 14-6 lead.
Meurer then got North Knox on the board with the pass to Miller, and found Miller again on the two-pointer for a 14-14 tie.
The Warriors then got the game-winner, not leaving the Cougars enough time for a tying drive.
The contest was originally scheduled for Friday, but lightning and heavy rain forced a one-day postponement.
The weather was cool, but clear, Saturday, but the North Knox field was muddy on the east end where the first half was played.
Only two offensive plays originated on the west side of the 50, and that was following the first-quarter change.
Warrior running back Brennen Duke got 24 carries for 63 yards. Meurer finished with 97 yards on 13 carries. He completed three of six passes for 49 yards and one touchdown.
“We’ve got to clean up the turnovers, and just get better,” Helms said. “We’ve got to play a little better disciplined defense.