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North Central loses first game for new coach

Photo by B.J. HARGIS: Joe Kutch talks to his North Central football team on Friday night. Kutch took over on Wednesday as head coach of the Thunderbirds, replacing Brad Hudson, who resigned after posting a 2-11 record in his one-plus seasons.

FARMERSBURG — Longtime North Central football coach Joe Kutch did not have the debut he would have wanted as head coach of the Thunderbirds.

Kutch, who was promoted to head coach after Brad Hudson resigned on Wednesday, and the Thunderbirds lost a 65-0 decision to defending Class A regional champion West Washington on Friday night. The Senators, ranked No. 6, improved 5-0 while the Thunderbirds dropped to 0-4.

“Kudos to West Washington,” said Kutch, who has been part of North Central football for 22 years, the last several as a high school assistant. “They could very easily be at Lucas Oil Stadium for the state finals in November.

“They are that good. They have no weaknesses that I could see. They are ahead of defending state champion Lafayette Central Catholic in the polls.”

Kutch, who coaches the NC varsity baseball team, said he had a quick 72 hour turnaround.

“Dr. (Mark) Baker and Nancy (Liston) told me congratulations on Wednesday,” said Kutch. “I said, “congratulations for what.

“They told me I was the new football coach. I had to hit the ground running.”

Kutch said that it is a tough time for North Central football.

“We have lost three kids to ACL injuries,” he said. “We have another one with a concussion. We are really banged right now.

“But our young kids are really battling. We started seven freshmen tonight. But I was very proud of the way the boys competed tonight. Normally I would have been very upset to look at the scoreboard and see a zero. But I am not mad.”

West Washington scored on its first eight possessions as they led 58-0 at the half.

Quarterback Holden Bowsman, the son of former WW coach Phillip Bowsman who died last year, completed 5 of 10 passes, all for TDs, and 191 yards.

“The Bowsman kid can really play,” said Kutch.

Kenton Chase caught one TD and ran in another while Strange did the same, including a 60-yard reception from Bowsman, in the first half. Strange caught a 57-yard scoring pass from Bowsman in the second quarter.

Bobby Stevens had a 43-yard scoring run and ran in a two-point conversion.

Parker Green caught a 56-yard TD pass from Bowsman and backup quarterback Clark Nance connected with Braxton Sprouse on a 10-yard pass in the second half. Ian Rosenbaum kicked seven PATs.

For North Central, Jeremiah Swalls had 18 carries for 46 yards.

Quarterback Lane Hargis completed a 2-yard pass to Swalls, the first completion of the season for the T-birds.

“We still have a long way to go,” said Kutch. “But I really like the attitude of the boys.

“I am looking forward to working with them and trying to get this thing turned around. We have some winnable games coming up.”

The Thunderbirds will host Riverton Parke at 7 p.m. Friday.


West Washington 30 28 7 0 — 65

North Central  0  0  0  0 —  0

First quarter

W — Kenton Chase 10 pass from Holden Bowsman (Roger McPheeters run), 11:16.

W — Jacob Strange 8 run (Bobby Stevens run), 7:56.

W — Strange 60 pass from Bowsman (Ian Rosenbaum kick), 3:19.

W — Chase 32 run (Rosenbaum kick), 1:29.

Second quarter

W — Stevens 43 run (Rosenbaum kick), 10:33.

W — Parker Green 56 pass from Bowsman (Rosenbaum kick), 8:22.

W — Strange 57 pass from Bowsman (Rosenbaum kick), 5:22.

W — Greyson McCoy 9 run (Rosenbaum kick), 4:48.

Third quarter

W — Braxton Sprouse 10 pass from Clark Nance (Rosenbaum kick), 1:20.


First downs 7 5 

Rushes-yards 18-236 45-47

Passing yards 210 2

Total yards 446 47

C-A-I 7-13-0 1-3-0 

Punts-avg. 0-0 6-29

Fumbles-lost 1-0 7-2 

Penalties-yards 4-40 1-5

Return yards 49 79  


RUSHING — West Washington: McPheeters 5-66, Bowsman 3-44, Stevens 1-43, Ethan Roberts 4-43, Chase 1-32, Brennon Emery 2-11, Rosenbaum 1-0, Hunter Thompson 1-(minus 3). North Central: Jeremiah Swalls 18-46, Nathan Trench 4-9, James Thomas 3-1, Eli Dodge 3-(minus 1), Lane Hargis 3-(minus 5), Rowdy Pierson 14-(minus 3). 

PASSING — West Washington: Bowsman 5-10-0-191, Nance 2-3-0-19. North Central: Hargis 1-3-0-2.

RECEIVING — West Washington: Strange 3-125, Green 1-56, Chase 1-10, Glen Rankln 1-10, Sprouse 1-9. North Central: Swalls 1-2.

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