Lions take it to Corydon’s gut, 31-14
While the offense is getting better, the tight-fisted defense that had become a staple for Corydon Central’s football team came loose in the second half of Friday night’s Mid-Southern Conference contest as the Panthers were doubled-up, 31-14.
The Lions (2-1, 1-0 Mid-Southern Conference) racked up 290 yards of offense, including 229 combined rushing by Aaron Schocke and R.J. Hartsfield, in their decision over the host Panthers (1-2, 1-1 M.S.C.).
Corydon, which scored just once in its previous two outings, notched 249 of ‘O’ with 92 yards passing. But that wasn’t going to be enough to counter the up-the-gut running game by Schocke and Hartsfield.
“We knew exactly what they were going to do with that power toss and power trap, and we just weren’t able to stop it. Nothing fancy at all, just run it up the gut. I’m pretty disappointed with the way we handled it,” said Corydon coach Darin Ward. “The better-prepared team won tonight. Plain and simple. We just weren’t focused at all.”
After trailing 3-0 at the end of the first quarter on Jordan Powell’s 34-yard field goal, host Corydon Central took a 7-3 advantage with 9:26 showing on a 12-play, 63-yard drive. Senior Josh Spencer plunged in from two yards out to give Corydon the lead. Teammate Nevin Dunaway accounted for most of the damage along the way by hauling in four passes from Justin McPherson for 43 yards.
From there, however, it was the Lions turn to roar.
Seven plays after Spencer’s score, quarterback Ben Motsinger had a one-yard dive, and two minutes later, cousin Aaron Motsinger dashed in from five yards out to give the Lions a 17-7 lead the intermission.
Michael Tuchscherer’s sack on the first play of the second half got things going in the right direction for Corydon’s defense as the unit forced a punt; however, after Jimmy Conrad’s 21-yard run on first down, the Panthers were unable to advance the ball any further.
On Salem’s next possession, Schocke and Hartsfield were back to their forte, with Aaron Motsinger picking up his second score of the night on a second-effort dive to the end zone, making it 24-7 heading into the final 12 minutes of action.
Brian Motsinger had a seven-yard TD dash with 6:38 left, and 3:37 later, Conrad shook loose from several Lions and burst loose for a 43-yard run to paydirt and the final score.
Schocke finished with 125 yards on 17 carries and Hartsfield had 104 yards on 15 tries.
For the Panthers, Spencer had 11 carries and 38 yards with Conrad leading the rushing stats with 95 yards on just six tries. Dunaway had seven catches for 75 yards on the night.
Corydon was 10 of 26 on passes, with McPherson lobbing one interception. Some of the passes in the quick set were on the money and some weren’t, Ward explained.
“We didn’t throw the ball well. When we did, the balls were dropped. (Salem) is the first team to actually allow us to do that, but when you can’t execute it, I can see why they’d allow it. Heck, if I were another team playing us, I’d do it, too,” Ward said. “We definitely need to be more focused. Maybe that’s partially my fault because I haven’t been getting after them enough in practice.
“Whatever it is, we need to chuck it and get back to business.”
The Panthers host No. 4-ranked (Class 2A) powerhouse Brownstown, which is coming off a 56-6 thrashing of Clarksville, in another Mid-Southern Conference battle this Friday night at home at 8.