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Spencer’s 283 yards lead Panthers past Mitchell

Spencer’s 283 yards lead Panthers past Mitchell
Spencer’s 283 yards lead Panthers past Mitchell
Donald Mathes (52) and Steven Walker (88) of Corydon Central strip Mitchell's Justin Brown of his jersey and the ball in the second half of Friday night's game. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

In light of last week’s terrorist tragedies, getting back to the business of playing football was a tough thing to do for Mitchell and Corydon Central on Friday night.
Things seemed much easier for the visiting Panthers, however, who racked up 382 yards of total offense, including a 283-yard rushing night by senior Josh Spencer. Kick out a minus 43-yard rushing stat by quarterback Justin McPherson, who was sacked four times, and Corydon was well over the 400-yard mark.
The offense was extremely efficient, but the Panthers’ defense was even better: Corydon held the Bluejackets to two first downs and 22 yards of offense in the second half en route to a 21-6 victory.
The win pushed Corydon to 2-3 on the season heading into Friday night’s Homecoming game against Paoli (2-3), which is coming off a 22-14 loss to West Washington.
“It was a good win for us. After looking at (Mitchell) on film, we felt like we’d be able to take it their linebackers. Josh had an incredible night for us, and I’d definitely put him up against anyone in the Mid-Southern Conference,” Corydon coach Darin Ward said. “I think he runs as hard as anyone between the tackles, especially when he gets up a head of steam. He had a monster effort for us tonight.”
Spencer’s 283 yards on 25 carries broke a school record. He also caught one pass for a five-yard gain and scored all three of his team’s touchdowns.
Corydon’s first drive lasted nine plays and stretched from its own 30 to Mitchell’s seven, where it came to an abrupt halt when McPherson was sacked on fourth down. The Bluejackets stung the Panthers two plays later when Matt Miller caught a screen pass from freshman quarterback Jon Isom and zig-zagged his way past several Corydon defenders for an 83-yard touchdown strike. The point-after kick sailed wide right, giving the hosts their only score of the game at the 6:50 mark of the first.
On Corydon’s ensuing possession, Spencer took the handoff 61 yards to the Mitchell two and punched the ball in two plays after that to knot the contest at 6-6 with 5:32 left. McPherson added the PAT kick to give his team a lead it wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way.
Defense was the name of the game for the remainder of the first half, with Spencer on the sideline nursing a sore groin and Mitchell unable to solve the riddle of Corydon’s defense. A sack by Justin Albin, a 48-yard jaunt by Ben Miller, a key tackle by Michael Emily, a pass deflection by Adam Cooper, and a forced fumble by Steven Walker and Donald Mathes on Mitchell receiver Justin Brown were a few of the highlights heading into the intermission with Corydon on top, 7-6.
After trading possessions to start the second half, Spencer struck again, thanks to a big block by Miller, and scooted 67 yards to the end zone with 6:27 left in the third.
Corydon wrapped up the scoring at the 4:13 mark of the fourth when Spencer followed a 20-yard run with a seven-yard effort to paydirt. McPherson booted home the final PAT of the game, giving his team the 21-7 win.
The Panthers were 5-12 on passing for 67 yards with no interceptions and no fumbles. McPherson threw 11 of those passes with five receptions. Corydon marked 13 first downs and was penalized five times for 35 yards. Mitchell had seven first downs for the contest, fumbled the ball once and was 4-18 in passing for 120 yards. The Bluejackets rushed for 52 yards, led by Matt Miller’s 59 rushing and 87 receiving.
Ben Miller had 66 yards on the ground for Corydon and had one catch for 33 yards, Ryan Schilmiller had one catch for 24 yards, Nevin Dunaway caught two passes for five yards, and Jason Thomas ran twice for nine yards.
Ward said he wanted his defense to put heat in the face of Mitchell’s freshman quarterback. With several sacks, including a final drive stuff by freshman Eric Haub, it was mission accomplished for the Panthers.
“We’re getting better up front and are developing a little better mentally,” Ward said. “We put the pressure on (Isom) and forced him to make decisions quicker than I’m sure he wanted to. I think it could have even been a shutout and probably 42-0 if we had converted on a few fourth down situations where we were sacked.
“The only score they got was because we couldn’t tackle the guy. I mean, we had him at the line of scrimmage and somehow he came out of it. That was the only thing I was really upset about the whole game.”
Mitchell dropped to 1-4 on the season.

Pirates plunked by JV

The Corydon “Cubs” won their third game of the season on Monday night by a 14-6 margin over Charlestown.
Corey Thatcher had seven rushes for 66 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s victory.
He got things started in the right direction by taking the opening kickoff 89 yards for a score. David Terhune recovered a fumble in the end zone on the point-after for an 8-0 lead by Corydon’s JV. It was the only score of the first half.
In the third quarter, Thatcher scored again on a sweep from 10 yards out.
The visiting Pirates broke loose for their only score on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Corydon was penalized 11 times for 100 yards.
Charlestown had two drives stopped by interceptions by the hosts’ Corey Taylor and Eric Fowler
Defensively for Corydon, Justin Linton had 18 tackles, Eric Haub had 15 tackles and Terhune had 12 tackles
Corydon’s (3-1) JV team travels to Paoli at 7 p.m. next Monday.