Shaking off tough opening week losses, both Bloomington North and Bloomington South came back and earned their first wins of the season in impressive fashion.
NORTH VS. BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE
Twenty one unanswered points in the second half led Bloomington North to a big 24-14 victory over Bedford North Lawrence Friday night at Bloomington North High School. Lorrell Williams earned his first start at quarterback responding with 94 yards rushing and 111 yards passing to lead the Cougars to their first win of the season.
North’s defense hounded BNL all night long forcing eight punts, five sacks and an interception. All-state defensive end Onyi Afoaku collected 3.5 sacks himself.
It took North a while to get going. In fact Williams threw his first of two interceptions on the night on the first offensive play of the game for the Cougars. North didn’t get on the board until Connor Fitzgerald nailed a 29-yard field goal with 7:35 left in the first half. BNL answered back with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Jesse Millikan to Nick Bailey to take a 7-3 lead into halftime.
Then the second half began and for a span of about eight minutes that covered the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth, North dominated.
First, a 41-yard strike from Williams to Luke Vargas set up the Cougars at the Stars’ two-yard line. Three plays later Eddie Baker punched it in to give North a 10-7 lead. After BNL couldn’t do anything, Williams broke through on a quarterback draw to go 46 yards for another touchdown and a 17-7 advantage. Then on their next possession, Rob McCoy took the handoff on a wide receiver sweep and ran 64 yards for their third touchdown and a commanding 24-7 lead.
BNL could only muster one more score when Jade Daab scored on a six-yard run to make the final 24-14. The Cougars get back in action next Friday when they open Conference Indiana play at Columbus North.
SOUTH VS. MARTINSVILLE
Sometimes change is good. Michael Bower spent all of last season and the first game this year as the starting quarterback, but needing a spark, head coach Kirk Kennedy moved Bower to tailback and the senior responded with 174 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 40 carries to lift Bloomington South to a 21-19 victory over Martinsville. New starting QB Trae Washington went 10-for-12 for 98 yards and a score as well to help the Panthers hang on to their first win of the year.
It was a tale of two halves as South dominated the first half while Martinsville controlled the second half. Missed extra points proved to be the difference.
The Panthers started quickly with Bower opening the scoring with a 35-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Late in the first half, Bower scored again on a three-yard run to make it 14-0 South. After a stop, Washington went 5-for-6 through the air capping it off with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Matt Henderson to give the Panthers a big 21-0 lead at half.
The Artesians would begin the comeback in the second half by taking advantage of a South fumble and needing three plays to punch it in with a one-yard touchdown run from Hunter Smith. The extra point, however, sailed under the goal post to keep it 21-6.
Martinsville would come right back after making a defensive stop using just two minutes to go 87 yards and score again when Beau Smith rumbled 28 yards for the score. The two-point conversion pass was dropped leaving South up 21-12. Still, the Artesians wouldn’t give up, recovering another Panther fumble and scoring again when Smith ran it in from five yards out to close the gap to 21-19.
South recovered the onside kick and ran the clock down under a minute before giving Martinsville one last chance. The Artesians couldn’t move past midfield though before time ran out giving South the victory.
The Panthers now try to make it two in a row when they open Conference Indiana play next Friday at Franklin Central.