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North Central rides emotion to defeat Eastern Greene

By B.J. Hargis
Photo by B.J. HARGIS: North Central senior Dawson Basinger, left, blocks for Cody Curtis.

FARMERSBURG — No matter what walk of life, adversity has a way of bringing us closer together, whether that be in sports or real life.
The North Central football team rallied around Dawson Basinger, who’s mother Leslie Shayne Miller was killed on Wednesday.
The galvanized Thunderbirds, ranked No. 6 in Class A, defeated Eastern Greene 38-7 in a battle for the Traveling Thunderbird Trophy and top spot in the Southwest Conference.
It also avenged two losses to EGHS last year, including in the sectional title game on their way to a state runner-up finish in Class A.
“We faced adversity and punched it in the face and said give us some more,” said North Central football coach Travis Nolting. “Obviously we all have been dealing with some tough circumstances.
“I am so proud of these kids. I love all of them. Sometimes they don’t understand that we are making them run more than any team in the state in the summer. Or they don’t understand when we are chewing on them to do better. But that is what it means to be part of a family.”
On a night where Basinger, who is the all-time leading rusher in North Central history, was limited to his lowest rushing total of the season (22 carries for 63 yards), his impact was immeasurable.
He took the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead by NCHS.
“If you kick to Dawson, you are making a mistake,” said Nolting. “That is the same for Ty Thompson, although we don’t put him back there as much lately because he is playing quarterback.”
Basinger finished with four touchdowns as he had scoring runs of 1, 3 and 1 yards.
His first scoring run from scrimmage and two-point conversion run with four minutes and 38 seconds in the first half put the hosts ahead for good at 14-7.
Blake Chatman returned after missing five weeks with an ankle surgery. He rushed 23 times for 102 yards, including an 8-yard TD run for North Central, who improved to 7-1.
“This is the first time in my eight years here than we’ve won a week nine game,” said Nolting.
Cody Curtis returned a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown to account for the other North Central score.
Kegan Ennen had an interception for the Thunderbirds, who limited Eastern Greene (5-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference) to 149 yards on 39 plays from scrimmage.
“I thought we played great on both sides of the line,” said Nolting. “They connected on a couple of big passes, but we limited them to less than 75 yards rushing.”
The T-birds drew an opening round bye in Class A Sectional 48 and will have a road game on Oct. 26 at the winner of North Daviess-Tecumseh.
“Ideally, we would like to play, but we will use to time to work, scout and continue to heal,” said Nolting. “We are not going to look past anybody.
“But our goal is to win our first sectional championship. We will likely have to beat Eastern at there place to do it. We all are looking forward to the challenge and don’t want this run to end anytime soon.”

Eastern Greene            0 7 0   0 —  7
North Central                         6 8 6 18 — 38
First quarter
N — Dawson Basinger 87 kickoff return (run failed), 11:47.
Second quarter
E — Jaden Evans 32 pass from Jaysce Skinner (Andy Drummond kick), 11:07.
N — Basinger 1 run  (Basinger run), 4:38.
Third quarter
N — Blake Chatman 2 run (run failed), 7:59.
Fourth quarter
N — Basinger 3 run (run failed), 10:50.
N — Basinger 1 run (run failed), 3:58.
N — Cody Curtis 24 fumble return (run failed), 3:51.

            E    N
First downs         6     14
Rushes-yards         30-74     63-206
Passing yards         75    0
Total yards         149     206
C-A-I         2-6-1     0-1-0
Penalties         9-78    9-67
Fumbles-Lost         5-2     1-0
Punts         3-17     1-28
Return yards         4     97
Time of possession     17:59    30:01
RUSHING — Eastern Greene, Jaysce Skinner 11-43, Nick Fox 7-22, Blayme Campbell 8-11, JC Lewis 4-(minus 2). North Central, Chatman 23-102, Basinger 22-63, Curtis 8-42, Ty Thompson 10-(minus 1).
PASSING — Eastern Greene, Skinner 2-5-1-75, Evans 0-1-0-0. North Central, Thompson 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Eastern Greene, Jaden Evans, 2-75. North Central, None.

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