Costly mistakes at big moments.
Penalties and turnovers helped set up host Evansville North for success and helped end Terre Haute South’s high school football season Friday night.
The Huskies built a 33-14 fourth-quarter lead and held off a furious rally by the Braves to win a 33-28 first-round game in Class 5A sectional action.
Jacob Johnson gave the Braves life when he returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown following Evansville North’s third touchdown of the second half after the Braves led 14-13 at halftime. Timmy Herrin threw for 166 yards in that first half, throwing and running for a touchdown for the Braves.
South compiled over 200 yards in the first half, but the Braves didn’t finish enough drives and allowed Evansville North to pull within 14-13.
“We talked about that we left some points out there,” South coach Tim Herrin said. “We had opportunities to score more points and we let it slip through. We said the third quarter was going to be crucial. We didn’t make the plays we needed to and we missed some tackles.”
While Herrin got on a roll late in the first half, it was all Evansville North quarterback Jesse Millikan in the third quarter. Millikan connected on his first six passes in the second half.
Mason Jenkins scored on a five-yard pass with 6:43 on the third-quarter clock. Less than two minute later, Terre Haute South went for it on 4th-and-3 near midfield. Herrin fumbled the snap and lost three yards on the play.
Millikan faked a handoff to a running back then hit Maalik Butler in stride for a 48-yard scoring play.
The Braves’ offense was connecting on nearly every 3rd-and long in the first half, but they couldn’t make the big plays in the second half.
Herrin was incomplete on a 4th-and-7 attempt on the Huskies’ 16-yard line, for example, and the Braves lost two fumbles and Herrin threw an interception. Evansville North was able to turn the turnovers into points throughout the night.
“We just had a bad snap on that [fourth-down play], the ball just didn’t bounce our way,” Herrin said.
But South never gave up. Johnson’s kickoff return included a fake reverse before busting through traffic and racing to the end zone.
“I told the players at the end. I’ve never questioned their effort all season,” Herrin said. “Jacob took it upon himself, he called the fake reverse and he made a play. That’s what players do.”
Johnson’s kickoff return was followed by an onside kick that the Braves’ recovered.
Herrin connected on consecutive 20-yard pass plays to Justin Jenkins, the latter a touchdown grab in traffic to make it 33-28 with 3:18 to go.
South couldn’t come up with another onside kick on two attempts, but the Braves’ defense came up with the stop to give Herrin one more chance.
The junior quarterback found LaMarkis Stevenson, who had an impressive night with four catches for 78 yards and a touchdown, for a 23-yard gain. With less than five seconds remaining, Herrin heaved a Hail Mary attempt toward the end zone that was batteddown.
Herrin finished 19-of-34 for 299 yards and two touchdown passes.
Terre Haute South has not won a sectional game since defeating Terre Haute North 14-12 in 2002. Evansville North won its first sectional game since the 2007 season.
In his first year guiding the program, the seniors fought hard to lay down a foundation for a turnaround.
“We talked about building a program. We’ve talked to our seniors about it all season since the start of the offseason,” Herrin said. “To build a family, you have to trust each other and work hard. They’ve worked hard and put us in position. We’ve lost five games by a touchdown or less. I’m asking the young guys to honor these guys next year so let’s get over the hump and win games for these seniors.”
Evansville North 33, Terre Haute South 28
Terre Haute South 0 14 0 14 — 28
Evansville North 7 6 13 7 — 33
EN — Malik Butler 39 run (Zach Turi kick), 4:36 1Q
THS — LaMarkis Stevenson 31 pass from Timmy Herrin (Carter Hall kick), 11:32 2Q
THS — Herrin 20 run (Hall kick), 6:27 2Q
EN — Butler 1 run (run failed), 0:0.8 2Q
EN — Mason Jenkins 5 pass from Jesse Millikan (Turi kick), 6:43 3Q
EN — Butler 48 pass from Millikan (kick failed), 5:01 3Q
EN — Millikan 1 run (Turi kick), 5:34 4Q
THS — Jacob Johnson 85 kickoff return (Hall kick), 5:19 4Q
THS — Justin Jenkins 20 pass from Herrin (Hall kick), 3:18 4Q
First downs 21 19
Passing yards 305 184
Rushes-yards 24-63 40-197
Comp-att-int 20-37-1 14-20-0
Punts-avg 2-31.0 3-29.3
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-yards 6-50 6-40
Return yards 0 5
Rushing — Terre Haute South, Logan Deady 10-43, Herrin 9-15, Ian Newton 3-11, Jenkins 1-3. Evansville North, Maalik Butler 16-77, Jesse Millikan 16-46, Ford Johnson 2-35, Chase Whitler 2-8, Ryan Wargel 2-12, Mason Jenkins 2-2.
Passing — Terre Haute South, Herrin 19-34-1 299, Deady 1-1 6. Evansville North, Millikan 14-20-0 184.
Receiving — Terre Haute South, LaMarkis Stevenson 4-78, Justin Jenkins 4-96, , Jacob Johnson 4-63, Carter Hall 2-26, Jonathan Rogers 2-7, Ian Newton 1-17, Deady 2-(-4), Herrin 1-6. Evansville North, Butler 5-78, Jenkins 2-22, Whitler 2-28, Wargel 3-36, Zach Turi 1-11, Ty Winchell 1-15.
Next — Terre Haute South finishes its season 2-8. Evansville North (3-7) plays Friday at Terre Haute North in the sectional championship.
Costly mistakes at big moments.
- High School
Former Terre Haute resident Rick Risinger looking for fifth state title in Hulman Center
An accomplished group of girls basketball coaches will make their way into Hulman Center on Saturday for the IHSAA state finals.
Damon Bailey, 1990 Mr. Basketball for state champion Bedford North Lawrence and former Indiana University great, is the most familiar name to Hoosier basketball fanatics. In his first year as a girls varsity coach, Bailey leads BNL into action in the 4A state championship game.
With 590 career wins, Fort Wayne Canterbury coach Wayne Kreiger is already a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Behind senior Miss Basketball candidate Maura Muensterman, Steve Goans leads Evansville Mater Dei into the Class 3A title game on the heels of consecutive 2A titles.
No answer: Spears scores 30 as Martinsvlle ends TH South’s season
Terre Haute South ran into a championship performance Wednesday night in Game 2 of the Class 4A Avon Sectional for boys high school basketball. Martinsville’s Troy Spears scored 30 points while leading the Artesians to a 65-44 victory that ended South’s season.
North falls to No. 5 Brownsburg in Class 4A Avon Sectional
Terre Haute North did not bow out of the boys high school basketball tournament Tuesday night like a team on a seven-game losing streak.
The Patriots executed their gameplan, battled back from a double-digit deficit and forced Class 4A No. 5-ranked Brownsburg to hit free throws to win the opener of the Class 4A Avon Sectional.
Brownsburg (19-2) hit six straight free throws in the final 1 minute, 15 seconds to hold off the Patriots 51-47.
Two sets of Eels win at WRV Sectional
There’ll be no Cinderella story in Dugger to end this boys high school basketball season, and a spirited upset bid also fell short Tuesday night at the Class A White River Valley Sectional.
Defensive pressure and depth made the difference in both games, as Eminence ended the Union season — perhaps its last, at least as a public school — by a 59-46 score and Clay City pulled away in the second half for a 53-44 win over Shakamak.
Paris knocks off 23-2 Clinton Central in overtime sectional thriller
Paris’ boys basketball team has learned a lot in a late-season run of success, but the one thing that set the Tigers apart on Tuesday in Class 2A Westville Sectional semifinal game was composure.
The Tigers never got rattled, never flinched and got the ultimate reward.
BOYS SECTIONAL ROUNDUP: Linton holds off Sullivan at North Knox
Linton and Eastern posted victories in the opening round of the North Knox Class 2A Sectional on Tuesday.
Linton led most of the way to defeat Sullivan 51-43 in the first game. Eastern Greene bested North Central 62-42 in the nightcap.
Linton is 16-6 and will take on North Knox and Eastern Greene faces South Knox in the semifinals on Friday. North Knox takes an 11-game winning streak into the action.
Tough roads ahead: Terre Haute North faces big challenges in its sectional
With the hope that the obligatory snow is already on the ground, high school boys basketball sectionals begin today in Indiana, and for one Wabash Valley team in Illinois.
South swimmers fall short of lofty goals at state finals
Sometimes the journey is more rewarding than the destination.
That would best describe Terre Haute South’s performances Saturday in the 77th annual IHSAA boys swimming and diving state championships at the IU Natatorium.
Center Grove deals Terre Haute North 7th loss in row
Terre Haute North and Center Grove – two teams that haven’t won much lately – struggled to put the finishing touch against the other on Friday at North.
Prep roundup: Casey falls at Robinson Regional; Paris posts upset win at home
Teutopolis finished strong Friday night to defeat Casey 47-36 and win the Robinson Class 2A Regional for boys basketball teams.
Casey, Paris to play in regional title games
Championships of Illinois regional boys high school basketball tournaments will be decided tonight.
AMEY TAKES AIM: Bringing you the Amey Teams for girls basketball
Our Wabash Valley teams won’t be represented when the Indiana girls state basketball finals return again to Hulman Center on March 8 (even though the Class 4A title will probably be decided this weekend when Lawrence North plays Bedford North Lawrence in a semistate game).
I wish some of our girls teams had been able to play longer for a purely selfish reason: that might have given me an opportunity to see one or two of their games.
South boys fall to Southport, finish regular season 8-14
Terre Haute South got an up-close look Thursday night at what a Conference Indiana championship boys basketball team looks like. And Southport is big and quick.
Southport, led by 6-foot-10 sophomore Joey Brunk and junior guard Malik Bennett overpowered South’s Braves 61-49 at Southport Fieldhouse. Brunk had 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Bennett scored 21 points.
VIDEO: Wilhelm leads South swimmers into state finals
Christian Wilhelm plans to compete in the distance freestyle when he gets to the University of Illinois-Chicago’s downtown campus.
Wilhelm emerged as a state qualifier in the 500-yard freestyle and 200 freestyle as a junior for Terre Haute South. But his senior season took a different turn and he’s hoping to make a big splash in a new event.
Casey advances to regional title game
Casey will be in the championship game of the Class 2A Robinson Regional for boys high school basketball teams Friday night. The Warriors gained their spot in the title tilt with a 55-42 victory over Marshall on Wednesday.
Cloverdale joins Pizza Hut Classic field
The Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic has a new team, but the newcomer for the 2014 tournament is led by a familiar name to Terre Haute basketball. Pat Rady’s Cloverdale Clovers, currently 19-1 this season, will join the field as a likely contender.
Preps: Northview rallies past Linton in boys basketball
Ethan Whitson, Christian Ellis and Jim Mace tallied 19, 18 and 10 points respectively as host Northview overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat Linton 62-57 in boys high school basketball Wednesday night.
Terre Haute North plays well but doesn't finish at Bedford North Lawrence
Visiting Terre Haute North did everything but win a nonconference high school basketball game Tuesday at Bedford North Lawrence.
The Patriots shot better, dominated the boards and reversed the game’s momentum with a second-half defensive adjustment, but only once got the lead above a one-possession one. That cost North in the end, when the Stars scored the last six points to win 42-38.
Linton's defense causes West Vigo problems
West Vigo ran into a Linton boys high school basketball team Tuesday night that played like a contender to return to the Class 2A state championship game.
The Miners hit 26 of 45 shots from the floor and dominated the Vikings with their defense en route to a 71-42 win.
PREP ROUNDUP: Casey to meet Marshall in regional game
Semifinal games are slated for tonight in Illinois boys high school basketball regional tournaments.
Casey meets Marshall in one game at Robinson. Host team Paris takes on Tuscola in another contest.
Prep basketball: Marshall sidelines Robinson 51-46
The Marshall Lions were winners in the first game of the Robinson Class 2A Regional played Monday night, defeating the host Maroons 51-46 to advance to the semifinals on Wednesday.
Duncan brothers too much for Terre Haute North
An abundance of Duncans for visiting Evansville Harrison proved to be too much for host Terre Haute North in high school basketball Saturday night, although the Patriots didn’t go down without a battle before finally losing 64-56.
Heyen leads Braves to win on Senior Night
Terre Haute South stopped a seven-game skid as the Braves cruised to victory over winless Indianapolis Arlington by a score of 83-22.
On the Braves’ Senior Night, senior Da’Shon Heyen led the Braves with 15 points in an impressive send-off performance before his home crowd.
West Vigo holds off furious rally from North Central
West Vigo snapped a three-game losing streak in high school boys basketball Saturday night, defeating North Central 60-56 in the Jim Mann Green Dome.
The Vikings led most of the way, then hit free throws in the final minute to secure the victory after the Thunderbirds had knotted the score at 54-54.
Wilhelm's school-record freestyle victory leads South to second at swim sectional
Asked late Saturday afternoon about the Avon Sectional for boys high school swimming that had just ended, Jeff Thompson replied, “Well, it was fast.”
Understatement doesn’t always seem to be the Terre Haute South coach’s calling card, but that comment would qualify. Like the high tide that lifts all boats, the home team — ranked third in the state — had a fantastic meet, and pulled the rest of the field, particularly the three Vigo County teams, along with it.
Prep roundup: Sullivan boys lose close one to Evansville North
Host Sullivan led almost the entire game in high school basketball Saturday night, only to be overtaken at the end 64-60 by Evansville North.
The Golden Arrows had a 49-42 lead at the end of three quarters, but the Huskies — who came from behind for a four-point win over Terre Haute South a night earlier — caught and passed the home team when Robert West was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three free throws for a 59-58 lead. The visitors protected their margin with free throws.
Reversal: South Knox turns up defense in second half to rally past West vigo
For a half of high school basketball Friday night, host West Vigo did what it took to make an upset of a 13-5 team look like reality in the Jim Mann Green Dome. In the second half, visiting South Knox didn’t let the Vikings do some of those things, exploding for a 60-39 nonconference win that wasn’t as decisive as that score makes it appear.
Late Huskies run sinks Braves
Since the calendar flipped to 2014, it’s been a struggle for Terre Haute South.
Franklin Central outmuscles Patriots
With Franklin Central missing shots early, Terre Haute North’s chances of stealing a high school basketball road win were looking promising. The second quarter Friday night changed that.
Prep roundup: Linton boys get past Thunderbirds 58-48
Linton dominated the third quarter in a SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference boys high school basketball game Friday night, beating host North Central 58-48.
Both teams had balanced scoring attacks, with Ryan Woodward and Zach Riddell scoring 13 each and Bryant Jackson and Joe Dieball 10 apiece for the Miners. Andrew Nikirk scored 11 and Austin Jewell and Mitchell Peterson had 10 each for the Thunderbirds.
- More High School Headlines
- Former Terre Haute resident Rick Risinger looking for fifth state title in Hulman Center