ELNORA — The North Daviess football team entered Friday’s game badly needing a win and what they got was their most dominating performance of the season.
The Cougars (3-4) defeated the visiting Wood Memorial Trojans 43-7 Friday evening at Cougar Valley for head coach Scott Helms’ 100th victory on Senior Night.
The Trojans (0-7) got a taste of what the night would be like when the Cougars drove 47 yards on five plays on runs from Colton Lengacher, Dakota Adams and Doug Bays for the first touchdown of the game giving North Daviess an early 7-0 lead.
After the first of two Nick Casey interceptions, the Cougars scored another rushing touchdown, this time from Logan Turpin on a 55-yard scamper. Following a three and out from the Trojans, Lengacher scored his second rushing touchdown of the night from 34 yards out giving the Cougars a three-touchdown advantage early in the second quarter.
North Daviess got on the board again with a 58-yard touchdown from Brady Helms to Doug Bays on a lateral screen pass. North Daviess would take that 29-0 lead into halftime. Helms said the Cougars are trying to develop at least the threat of a balanced offense and that will keep the defense honest.
“I think by spreading out our formation a little bit and giving the threat of a passing game, getting two and three receivers out in a spread formation is opening some running lanes,” Helms said. “When we break the huddle we need to keep the defense on their heels. As to whether we’re going to be in a double tight set or whatever we just can’t let them line up the same way every play.”
Coming out of halftime, the Trojan defense got more of the same when senior Zach Baker ran in the Cougars fifth touchdown of the evening from seven yards out. Lengacher scored his third rushing touchdown on the night from 39 yards out. On the night, the junior running back ran for 125 yards on only seven carries and the three touchdowns.
Quarterback Brady Helms threw his fourth touchdown to only one interception this season. Helms now all the way back from a leg injury that limited his mobility and ability to throw the ball down the field is a big asset for the Cougars.
“As he came off the injury for two or three weeks he had a real hard time to plant when he threw, because he needed to get that knee bent and he would extend off of his back foot and it really worked into that knee,” Helms said. “We couldn’t throw as well and we really had a struggle catching some balls, but I think we’re getting better each week.”
The victory was the 100th of Helms’ career in his 18th season at North Daviess. Helms down played the significance of the milestone, as he’s just happy to a part of the 41 years of Cougars football.
“It means that I’ve been here long enough to experience 100 victories, and that’s really all it means,” Helms said. “It means obviously I’ve had some pretty good football players through the years to reach that milestone. This is team No. 41 in North Daviess history and I’ve been a part of 18 of them and I’ve done nothing more than be a part of 100 wins and I’ve had a great assistant coach Bo O’Neill with me for every single one of them.”
43 points was the season high for the Cougars and the seven points allowed by the North Daviess defense was the fewest points allowed since the 13-7 loss at Washington on Sept. 8. With their home slate finished, the Cougars end the regular season with two road games against North Knox and Springs Valley.
“We’re obviously looking to get better,” Helms said. “No. 1 is win. No. 2 is to become as good as we can become this next week as a football team, because North Knox and us are two pretty evenly matched football teams. It’s going to be a fight.”