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Panthers roar past feisty Mitchell, 42-26

Corydon’s 42-26 victory over Mitchell Friday night was an odd dichotomy: the host Panthers had 463 yards of offense and for the most part dominated the non-conference matchup, yet the Bluejackets were able to ride the arm of quarterback Jon Carl Isom and the sticky hands and fleet feet of Rayson Arce to score 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
First-year Panther coach Jason Timberlake said he was never worried about the outcome, however, and he was extremely pleased with the offensive output by his club, which pushed its record to the winning side for the first time this season at 3-2.
‘We played our second and third teamers almost the whole fourth quarter against (Mitchell’s) first team guys. So, sure, they are going to get some plays against us,’ Timberlake said. ‘I think it’s just one of those situations where it’s a 42-6 game and the guys let up a bit. I think we were probably close to 400 yards tonight, and I’m pleased with that.
‘To put that many yards up and have six backs contribute to that total ‘ that’s something to be happy with.’
While no Panther gained more than 100 yards rushing, eight had their numbers called, and four had more than 50 yards each.
Kyle White led the corps with 77 yards, followed by 58 from both Brandon Wood and Aaron Motsinger, and 56 from Eric Fowler. Wood scored three times, and White and Fowler each found paydirt once. Junior fullback Jason Ward came off the bench and ran five times for 37 yards.
‘Ward came in and ran the ball nice. David came off an injury and ran the ball really well, and those other guys did what they do every week,’ Timberlake said. ‘Again, 400-plus yards of offense is something that I have to be happy about.’
Billy Saulman, a 5-9 junior, had one of the night’s most exciting plays as he returned a punt 84 yards for a score in the second period.
Freshman Chad Salomon remained perfect on the season, booting all six of his PAT attempts. He’s now 15 of 15 for the year .
‘ That kid has a real bright future ahead of him as a kicker. I don’t think he realizes what kind of a career he can have in football. If he keeps that up, he can write his ticket pretty much anywhere. He’s not a very mature freshman physically, either. He’s small and not very strong, but he stands back there with poise and puts them through the uprights,’ Corydon’s coach said.
Mitchell (2-3) went the wrong direction on the opening possession of the game: Jon Box lost yardage on runs of minus-2 and minus-13 yards, then Isom had the third-down snap sail over his head.
Following a punt by the Bluejackets, Corydon’s first offensive play of the game was a 37-yard touchdown bomb from sophomore quarterback Josh Windell to Wood.
Leading 7-0 after the first period, Salomon put six more on the board with his punt return.
The wily sprinter faked right, then cut back left and up the Corydon sideline. He slowly pulled away from a Mitchell defender for the score.
White punched in his touchdown with 4:26 left in the second quarter to cap a 68-yard drive for the Panthers.
The hosts, who travel to Paoli (0-5) this Friday night, scored on all three possessions in the third frame: Wood twice on the ground from 20 and nine yards, and Fowler on a 38-yard romp.
The first chink in the Panthers’ armor came after Wood’s 20-yard score, when Isom air-mailed a 56-yard spiral to Arce.
With the game well out of reach, Corydon’s first-teamers took a seat. Mitchell took advantage of the greener Panthers and posted 20 fourth-quarter points: all on the Isom-Arce connection.
Arce caught a 28-yard pass from Isom for the first score at 10:58, rumbled 64 yards on a shovel pass with 2:32 left, and then ‘ after a fumble by Corydon at the 20 yard line ‘ caught one more from Isom from eight yards away.
The first two scores of the quarter were against Corydon’s seconds and thirds. The final came after Timberlake had seen enough and redeployed his first team players.
Corydon’s coach also used the first team offensive players on the final possession.
The Panthers were hit with seven penalties for 70 yards, rushed for 293 yards, and threw for 170 more. Windell wound up 10-18 with one interception just before halftime.
Mitchell ran for just 43 yards, with Jon Box gaining 53. Arce hauled in eight passes for 195 yards to push the Bluejackets’ air attack to 233 yards.
Corydon gained 19 first downs; Mitchell had nine.