CULVER — It was a tough loss for the Culver Cavaliers as they were handed their first Northern State Conference defeat at the hands of the New Prairie Cougars, 54-6 at home Friday night.
Culver was able to keep it to a 7-0 game in the first quarter on a quarterback keeper by Matthew Smith, but after that Cavaliers coach Andy Thomas says the speed and intensity of the Cougars took over.
“They just played at a different speed and intensity than we did,” he said. “We made them earn their first score and stopped them on fourth down on their second drive. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively. Just one of those things where you don’t get the confidence in yourselves, and it just kind of snowballs.”
New Prairie went on to score four touchdowns in the second quarter to make it 35-0 at the half. Wade Young, Noah Kampa and Matthew Smith all scored on the ground in the second, while Matthew Smith added a touchdown pass to Chad Swain on a play where he was wide open past the defense.
The second half was more of the same as Nick Dobkins added a 34-yard touchdown run in the third quarter followed by Culver’s only points of the night — a 4-yard touchdown run by Tucker Schultz. After that most of the reserves were given a chance to play.
Austin Holland scored a touchdown run in the third while Zachary Brassell scored on a 54-yard scamper in the fourth to put the final touches on the night for the Cougars. Collin Szymanski also added two interceptions for New Prairie, the first one early in the second quarter, which seemed to deflate the Cavs a bit.
Culver slips to 1-3 with a 1-1 NSC mark, while New Prairie remains unbeaten at 4-0 and 2-0 in conference play.
Despite the tough loss, Thomas still believes in his team.
“I think we can still be a good football team,” said the Cavs’ coach. “We are going to have to dig down deep and practice and play with intensity.”
The speed and intensity at which this game was played was the theme of the night. The Cougars had it and the Cavaliers just couldn’t maintain it to keep pace. They will need to dig down deep, as the coach said, to get ready for yet another tough opponent in Bremen next week. It was a tough loss for the Cavs but a good learning experience to move forward with.
• NEW PRAIRIE 54, CULVER 6
At Culver Community High School, Culver, IN
New Prairie 7 28 12 7 — 54
Culver 0 0 6 0 — 6
NP — Matthew Smith 11 yd. run (Collin Szymanski kick) 7:09
NP — Wade Young 5 yd run (Wade Young run) 9:32
NP — Noah Kampa 55 yd run (Collin Szymanski kick) 7:43
NP — Matthew Smith 25 yd pass to Chad Swain 7:36
NP — Matthew Smith 5 yd run (Collin Szymanski kick) 2:28
NP — Nick Dobkins 34 yd run
C — Tucker schultz 4 yd run
NP — Austin Holland 29 yd run
NP — Zachary Brassell 54 yd run
First Downs 13 8
Rushing Yards 436 30
Passing (comp.-att-int) 4-6-0 9-21-2
Passing yards 53 96
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-1
Penalties-yds lost 5-26 0-00
New Prairie leaders
Rushing: Nick Dobkins 12-116, Austin Holland 14-87, Wade Young 6-57
Passing: Matthew Smith 4-6-0 53 yds,1TD
Receiving: Chad Swain 1-25, Nick Dobkins 1-15, Dylan Plughaupt 1-13
Rushing: Tucker Schultz 11-19, Bradley Beaver 6-10, Westin Bush 2-1
Passing: Collin Stevens 9-21-2 96 yds.
Receiving: Micah Budzinski 5-53, Bradley Beaver 2-33, Trent Elliott 1-9
Records: New Prairie 4-0 (2-0 NSC), Culver 1-3 (1-1 NSC)