HALL OF FAME
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Vikings drop close loss to Muncie Central
October 7, 2013Huntington North High School
Vikings drop close loss to Muncie Central
Jack Pickard – H-P Sports Correspondent | Sunday, October 6, 2013
MUNCIE — The Huntington North High School football team lost its road game to Muncie Central on Friday by a nail-biting score of 34-33 to move to 3-4 (3-2 NCC) on the year.
The first quarter consisted of running touchdowns by Huntington North’s Charleston Dydasco and Muncie Central’s DeAndre Barnum, leading to a score of 8-7 after Muncie Central converted its two-point attempt. The rest of the quarter displayed great defense on both sides with neither team willing to forfeit any more points.
The Vikings began the second quarter with a bang as junior Drew Fawcett returned an 80-yard punt before being pushed out-of-bounds on the Bearcats five-yard line. A Keenan Leichty touchdown was then called back due to a holding call, followed soon by a HN turnover.
Fawcett continued to motivate the Vikes when, in the following drive, he intercepted Muncie Central quarterback Austin Murphy. Huntington North was again unable to put points on the board on the ensuing offensive drive.
The Vikings, however, changed this mentality with a late second quarter sneak that resulted in a one-yard touchdown for Leichty, moving the Vikings ahead with a lead of 14-8. Muncie Central then worked the ball to the Vikings 18-yard line but was unable to get the first down; resulting with a knee to send the game into halftime.
The Bearcats were unable to begin the third quarter with a scoring drive, as most passes from quarterback Austin Murphy fell short. HN capitalized on its next drive, with Leichty connecting to a variety of wide receivers. HN receiver Kole Hale sought sideline, producing a 40-yard gain to give the Vikes a perfect scoring distance from the Bearcat goal line. Leichty was then able to find wide receiver Scott McClellan in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown to push the score Vikings lead to 20-8.
An unsuccessful onside kick and penalty from Huntington led to good field position from Muncie Central. A 40-yard pass from Murphy to wide receiver Timmric Barret set up the Bearcats for a three-yard touchdown run by Barret. Muncie Central linebacker Brent Sharp then intercepted Leichty on the following drive before returning the ball 50 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 20-20 late in the third quarter.
Fawcett yet again left the Muncie Central defense in awe as he returned a kickoff 70 yards for a Huntington North touchdown. Muncie Central then returned the favor on the second play of the ensuing drive when Barret ran 60 yards for a touchdown. MC linebacker Samuel Cavanaugh would also cash-in another interception as time in the third quarter ran out; helping the Bearcats to a 34-27 lead heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was a strong defensive matchup with no touchdowns until the final five minutes of the game. Viking running back Austin Rosen pushed up the field resulting in a Leichty one-yard touchdown to shorten the deficit to just one point at 34-33 with an impressive fake with 4:48 left in the game. Instead of going for the tie with a kick, the Vikings went for the lead on a two-point attempt. Leichty’s pass made it out of the pocket, but bounced off his targeted receivers outstretched fingertips.
Neither team was able to find the end zone the remainder of the game, resulting in the tough Viking loss.
“I can’t put time on the clock,” Huntington North head coach Trent Fine said. “We had the right play and the right call but we just missed it. We ran 97 plays tonight.”
“Plain and simple, we didn’t make plays when we needed to,” Fine added. “Our defense made plays and kept us in the game, but they just wore down.”
The Vikings return to action Friday as they host Richmond in the final North Central Conference game of the season. The Vikings still have a chance at splitting the North Central Conference title if they are able to defeat the Red Devils on Friday and if Richmond also drops its final regular season matchup with Logansport on Oct. 18.