By Dennis Glade
ELNORA — In last Friday's 67-24 win on Senior Night, North Daviess senior tailback Colton Lengacher had one of the best games of his career. In the opening game of the Class A sectional, he did better.
The Cougars (8-2) defeated Springs Valley (1-9) 50-18 behind 376 rush yards and six touchdowns from Lengacher Friday night at Cougar Valley
The Blackhawks had a game plan to keep the ball out of Lengacher's hands, but the plan assumed the Springs Valley defense would be able to tackle the senior running back. At halftime, North Daviess held a slim 18-12 lead, but Lengacher had 10 carries for 222 yards and three touchdowns, and scoring runs of 70, 39 and 71.
The Blackhaws used their own potent rushing attack to keep the game close at halftime with 106 yards and two touchdowns from freshman running back O'Brien Selby. The Springs Valley defense stopped the Cougar offense before halftime to give the Blackhawks hope of an upset as they would receive the second half kickoff.
That hope turned into a nightmare in short order.
Spurred on by a ferocious defense to start the second half, Lengacher added three more scores on ground from 70, 13 and 23 yards out to give North Daviess a commanding 38-12 lead with 5:01 to play in the third quarter.
"At halftime we talked bout the scheme we were in," Helms said. "I said, 'hey guys we just need to play better'. We came out with a little more energy in the second half and got the job done for us."
With 9:18 to play, in the fourth quarter, the Blackhawks got their first score of the second half on a 1-yard pass from Justis Breedlove to Jesse Robling, and North Daviess junior Doug Bays ran for a 13-yard touchdown to push the lead to 44-18 with 8:02 left in regulation.
The Cougars defense shut down everything Springs Valley wanted to do in the second half by holding Selby to just 25 rush yards in the second half, which helped turn what looked a possible upset into a second straight blowout victory for North Daviess.
Last Friday, Lengacher ran for 283 yards and seven touchdowns on a night he set North Daviess single season and career rushing records on the way to dismantling the Blackhawk defense. Helms said he is just happy that Lengacher is on his side as North Daviess continues on in the state tournament.
"As a coach, I'll put it to you like this — I thank God that he's the running back on our football team and we're not trying to defend him," Helms said.
North Daviess will travel to face the winner of the Perry Central-North Knox game. The Cougars didn't face Perry Central (7-2) this season, but they did beat North Knox (4-5) 35-33 in double overtime Oct. 11 at Cougar Valley.