WASHINGTON — ELNORA – It wasn’t pretty, but the North Daviess football team came out victorious in the season opener Friday in Cougar Valley.
Behind 135 rushing yards and two touchdowns from junior running back Logan Turpin the Cougars defeated the Tecumseh Braves 34-28.
After blowing separate 13-0 and 20-13 leads, the Cougars scored 14 unanswered points to shock the visiting Braves. Junior Brady Helms only attempted 11 passes, but he completed six of them for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cougars dominated the game on the ground with Colton Lengacher and Turpin combining for 260 yards and three touchdowns. Lengacher didn’t play the second half with what appeared to be a shoulder injury and Turpin picked up the slack in a big way. Head coach Scott Helms said Lengacher could have continued, but with it being only the first game of the year they decided to sit him.
The Braves offense continued to come at North Daviess all night, but the Cougars defense got timely turnovers with three turnovers from quarterback Adam Grannan, including the game clinching interception by Andrew Medcalf.
After tying the game at 13 early in the third quarter, the Cougars got a 70-yard touchdown run from Turpin, but Tecumseh wasn’t finished. Grannan, who had four total touchdowns on the night, two through the air and two on the ground led successive touchdown drives with passes to touchdown passes to Spencer Jones and Alex Hall.
Cougars head coach Scott Helms said he was proud the way his defense continued to fight, despite their youth against the Braves high powered offense.
“We had four freshman out there for a lot of downs on defense, but we got some quality young kids and our young kids that we’re putting on the field are not like freshman we had to put on the field 10 years ago,” Helms said. “Tecumseh is a quality team, we just got a few breaks down the stretch.”
After falling behind 28-20 when the game looked seriously in doubt for Cougars, Helms led two touchdown drives, including a 32-yard touchdown pass to Medcalf that cut the lead to 28-26.
After Grannan’s second lost fumble of the night was recovered by Jordan Allen, the Cougars drove down and Turpin scored his second touchdown of the night in the final minute that gave his team the lead for good. Helms said the fortitude of his defense, especially that of Allen led his team to victory tonight.
“Jordan Allen, a kid that had to play linebacker the whole second half when Lengacher went down, he’s a defensive tackle and he comes back with the biggest turnover of the game.”