Cougars can't keep up with Jones

Oct. 31—LYNNVILLE — North Daviess did what they could at Tecumseh on Friday night, but trying to keep up with Chase Jones proved virtually impossible as the senior running back for THS tallied six touchdowns in the 49-20 Class A sectional semi-final played at Braves Field in Lynnville.

Jones, along with quarterback and classmate, Drew DuPont, used an option offense to keep ND's defense on the field for long periods of clock-time as the duo chunked out rushing yards throughout the contest. Jones delivered the first score midway through the first quarter while DuPont added the game's second TD early in the second stanza.

The Cougar offense immediately responded, however, as junior signal caller, Brock Knepp, found Elliott Park in the air for what became an 80-yard catch-and-run scoring toss. Jones played spoiler just over a minute later though with a 21 yard rushing score and then pushed the margin out to 27-6 four minutes later with his third scoring tote of the opening half.

Sophomore Coltyn McNabb then made a highlight reel play — his 86 yard kick-off return to the house, followed by Knepp's two-point PAT keeper, breathed some life into the visitors and made the score 27-14. Carter Jessie's ensuing on-side squib kick worked when senior Austin Webster pounced on the pigskin that had ricocheted off an unsuspecting Tecumseh lineman.

Knepp nearly made a potential TD connection on the next series, but Justin Smith could not quite get his fingertips on the ball; later, Knepp snagged an interception on defense, and the Cougs final drive of the half looked promising but ended without points due to time expiring.

Jones did even more damage after halftime — his score at 4:51 in the third from 10 yards out, to go with the team's first two-point try, pushed the advantage to 35-14; the first play to start the fourth frame saw Jones carry 67 yards for his fifth TD.

The final Cougar tally came when Webster took a hand-off and proceeded to fire a 17-yard scoring strike to Park, the senior's second touchdown catch of the game. Trailing 42-20, North Daviess then witnessed Jones go off again on the first play from scrimmage with a 54-yard dash to go over the 300-yard rushing plateau while stacking up a half-dozen scores.

Head Coach Trent Fine and his staff say goodbye to a roster that featured 11 seniors — including a four-year varsity starter in Webster. Following the loss, Fine remarked, "These kids left it all on the field tonight, and I appreciate this group of seniors. They helped lead us to our first conference championship in a long time. Jones and DuPont are just dudes, and we had our chances to score right along with them but didn't make the timely plays. I am proud of our effort; that team is just dang good."

The Cougars bow out of the 2022 campaign with a 5-5 slate. The Braves (10-0) travel to Clarksville on Friday evening for the Sectional 48 title tilt against the Providence Pioneers (8-2).