NEW CARLISLE — In front of an overflow crowd at Amzie Miller Field, New Prairie High School kicked off its 49th football season this past Friday night.
In a very competitive game, the Cougars battled rival LaPorte toe-to-toe for 48 minutes, only to come up short 21-20.
LaPorte broke through on its first play following a New Prairie turnover. Brennan Long took a handoff and went through the Cougar defense for a 43-yard touchdown run, and a Juan Villa extra point made it 7-0.
New Prairie responded early in the second quarter when quarterback Nick Wilson threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Ruiz. The two-point conversion failed and the Cougars trailed 7-6.
Wilson was involved in New Prairie’s second touchdown when he ran in from 21 yards out and Max Barnaby ran in the two-point conversion to make it 14-7.
LaPorte came right back and tied the game when Nolan Lorenz threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Scott Cooper, and the extra point tied the game at 14.
A turnover late in the third quarter gave New Prairie the ball in excellent field position, and Wilson’s 1-yard run gave the Cougars their final lead at 20-14.
LaPorte would come back to score the winning touchdown with 8:20 left on a Long 1-yard touchdown run.
New Prairie will travel to Clay Field tonight to take on the South Bend Clay Colonials at 7:30pm ET.
The Cougars return home next week to face Andrean in a rematch of last year's first round sectional match-up. The 59ers eliminated New Prairie, 40-32. Kickoff for that game is set for 8pm ET.