The Whitley County Colonels saw their season end on a sour note, losing to the North Laurel Jaguars on the road, 45-20.
It was too much Nik Blair for the Colonels as the senior running back ran for 296 yards on 25 carries while scoring five touchdowns to lead the Jaguars to a post-season spot in the playoffs.
It was the second year in a row that saw the Jaguars need the win over Whitley County to gain a spot in the playoffs. North Laurel will head to Class 4A District 7 champion, Scott County, Friday night.
Blair and the Jaguars were unstoppable in the early going as North Laurel scored the first four times they had the football. Two of those times were from Whitley County turnovers and both led to North Laurel touchdowns.
Blair scored on runs of two and 42 yards in the first quarter to lead the Jaguars to a 25-0 lead at the end of one quarter. Senior quarterback Kyle Parsley added two touchdown throws as well. The first came on a 19 yard pass to junior Chris Cessna followed by a 26 yard pass to sophomore Shawn Asher.
An 86 yard run by Blair for his third TD of the game pushed the host ahead, 32-0 before Whitley County would answer.
That came with 5:21 in the period when Dustin Bunch went to the backfield for Ladale Rider, who had been ejected from the game on an unusual play. Bunch broke loose for a 76 yard run to put the Colonels on the scoreboard.
Whitley County got the ball back thanks to a North Laurel fumble. Sophomore quarterback Jonathon Bowman guided his team down the field in 13 plays. He went in from five yards out for the score. The PAT helped pull the Colonels within 32-14 at the half.
Blair tacked on his fourth touchdown early in the third quarter as the Jaguars moved ahead, 38-14 on the 46 yard run. Blair was finished yet as he scored a final touchdown in the fourth quarter for a 44-0 lead. Senior kicker Jacob Mosley hit the PAT for a 45-14 lead.
Eddie Partin closed out the season with a Whitley County score from two yards out. The conversion attempt failed and left the Colonels on the short-end of a 45-20 score.
Whitley County coach Mike Campbell said he will give his team a couple of weeks off before hitting the weight room for the 2005 season. With just seven seniors, the Colonels will return most of its team next year. With an undefeated freshmen class moving up, Campbell expects to dress over 60 players.
Whitley County 0 14 0 6- 20
North Laurel 25 7 6 7- 45
NL – Nik Blair, 2 run (Jacob Mosley kick)
NL – Chris Cessna, 19 pass from Kyle Parsley (kick blocked)
NL – Shawn Asher, 26 pass from Parsley (kick failed)
NL – Blair, 42 run (kick blocked)
NL – Blair, 86 run (Mosley kick)
WC – Dustin Bunch, 76 run (pass failed)
WC – Jonathan Bowman, 5 run (Bowman run)
NL – Blair, 46 run (kick blocked)
NL – Blair, 8 run (Mosley kick)
WC – Eddie Partin, 2 run (run failed)