TERRE HAUTE —
The Terre Haute North football record book is under assault.
Terre Haute North’s Ricky Brookins is leading the way. Brookins broke the program’s single-game scoring record with six total touchdowns Friday night in a 49-17 victory over Columbus North.
Brookins ran for first-half touchdowns of 49 and 48 yards and caught a pair of 16-yard touchdown passes in the first half. He put Class 5A No. 6 North ahead 34-3 with a 56-yard interception return for a score, and junior kicker Zach Potter added the extra point to join North’s career record book.
Potter passed Kraig Baker to become North’s all-time leader in points for a kicker. Baker, who had 98 points during his Patriots’ career from went on to kick at the University of Michigan. After a couple of second-half extra points — one coming after Brookins’ third rushing touchdown — Potter now has 101 points.
Potter is 27-of-28 at PAT attempts and 5-of-9 on field goals with a long of 48 yards this season.
“He works hard at his trade, gets after it,” coach Chris Barrett said. “He’ll be a college kicker or punter, he’s very good at both and continues to work at both. He wants to be perfect.”
Brookins, who finished with 174 yards rushing and 39 receiving, now has 986 yards rushing through six games, putting him on pace to break the single-season school record of 1,657 yards held by Ben Tompkins in 1998. Brookins’ third rushing touchdown of the night was a 55-yarder in the fourth quarter after a Columbus North onside-kick attempt. That gives the 5-8, 180-pound senior 12 rushing touchdowns on the season, which puts the single-season record of 17 held by Tompkins, Anthony Thompson and Jamar Cottee within reach.
“He’s just a very good football player,” Barrett said. “He can do it in all three phases of the game. He made a lot of plays. Again, it couldn’t happen to a better kid.”
Brookins was one juke away from breaking turning a 35-yard kickoff return into an 80-yard touchdown return for another score.
“I think I got tackled by the kicker, that seems to happen a lot,” Brookins said. “As long as we get good field position, that’s all that matters.”
Brookins was happy to see the North offense put up 49 points, which puts the Patriots at 36.3 points-per-game.
Running back Kai Stratten was North’s first-quarter catalyst, running four times for 31 yards before Brookins’ one-handed reaching grab in the end zone on a Chris Barrett II pass put North ahead 7-3.
Stratten rumbled 31 yards on one carry then Brookins exploited a hole in the Bulldogs’ defense to go 49 yards as the Patriots needed three snaps to make it 14-3.
Brookins lined up as a slot receiver, took a pass from Barrett II and followed a block for another 16-yard receiving score to make it 21-3 then three minutes later added a 48-yard scoring run.
“The right things are happening at the right time. The o-line was hitting the key blocks. The quarterback decided to throw it and I happened to be there doing what I’m supposed to do,” Brookins said.
The North offense outgained the Columbus North offense 272-72 in the first half. Barrett II finished with 85 yards passing, connecting on 5-of-11 passes with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
“In our first half, we executed our gameplan perfectly. We were able to spread it out, do a lot of different things. Guys really performed and they made plays. The o-line played outstanding,” coach Barrett said.
The offense lacked the same consistency and sharpness in the second half.
“The second half, a little different story, penalties, poor execution, guys not getting lined up right. We challenged them at halftime to come out and finish. We just made some mistakes we can’t afford,” Barrett said.
North’s defense was stout most of the evening, setting the tone with physical play early.
Middle linebacker Wyatt Stoelting had a pair of sacks and a tackle for loss in the first quarter, and Austin Massey had two of the Patriots’ four interceptions on the night.
The Patriots’ defensive front was dominant most of the night, forcing the Bulldogs’ into 3rd-and-long situations.
“I credit my entire defense for being able to force that quarterback out of the pocket sometimes and put pressure on their offense and make them feel like they have to throw the ball. I just made a play on the ball,” Massey said.
Terre Haute North 49, Columbus North 17
Columbus North 3 0 7 7 — 17
Terre Haute North 7 28 7 7 — 49
CN — Collin Ebel 30 FG, 10:01 1Q
THN — Brookins 16 pass from Barrett II (Potter kick), 6:29 1Q
THN — Brookins 49 run (Potter kick), 10:51 2Q
THN — Brookins 16 pass from Barrett II (Potter kick), 9:38 2Q
THN — Brookins 48 run (Potter kick), 6:20 2Q
THN — Brookins 56 interception return (Potter kick), 2:52 2Q
THN — Jordan Moothery 16 pass from Barrett II (Potter kick), 11:54 3Q
CN — Weston Moore 21 pass from Michael Vogel (Ebel kick), 11:01 3Q
CN — Moore 6 pass from Vogel, (Ebel kick), 6:44 4Q
THN — Brookins 55 run (Potter kick), 6:27 4Q
First downs 12 9
Rushes-yards 41-174 24-291
Comp-att-int 12-24-4 5-11-0
Passing yards 86 85
Penalties-yards 2-15 8-85
Return yards 4 34
Punts-avg 3-31.0 5-32.4
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Rushing — CN, Josh Holt 23-104, Michael Vogel 9-27, Jonathan Byers 6-24, Kaleb Steele 3-19. THN, Brookins 12-174, Stratten 7-79, Barrett II 5-38.
Passing —CN, Vogel 12-23-4 86 yards, Moore 0-1-0. THN, Barrett II 5-11-0 85.
Receiving — CN, Barrett Branum 3-17, Weston Moore 5-40, Newkirk 1-15, Holt 1-(-3), Byers 2-17. THN, Brookins 3-39, Moothery 2-25, Austin Massey 1-37.
Next — Terre Haute North (4-2, 2-2) plays Friday at Bloomington South. Columbus North (2-4, 2-2) plays host to Perry Meridian next week.