Senators, Mother Nature rain on CC
The first offensive play of Friday night’s soggy football game here couldn’t have been much better.
Panther senior running back Dustin Dones took a handoff from senior quarterback Josh Windell, cut right, cut left, found a hole, then dashed through it to romp 76 yards for a touchdown.
From there, things couldn’t have been much worse as the play was called back due to a holding penalty.
The infraction seemed to set the tone for the rest of the rainy night for Corydon Central as visiting West Washington spoiled the homecoming affair, 40-6.
The Senators racked up 341 yards rushing in the blowout, which was the Panthers’ worst loss to West Washington since the 2000 season (42-6).
‘West Washington is a very solid team that took advantage of our mistakes,’ Corydon head coach Jason Timberlake said. ‘We came out fired up, and after that play was called back, kind of went flat. Then we never recovered from it.’
The Panthers’ skipper said his team’s inability to pass the ball (4 of 19 for 76 yards and one interception) put a dent into the offense’s punch.
‘Our passing game is what gets our offense going, and it obviously was not working,’ Timberlake said. ‘I think we played pretty bad defensively, but the problem was our offense could not keep (West Washington) off the field.’
After punting the ball away on its opening possession, the Panthers gave up long runs to two of the Senators’ lethal running backs. Landon Hembree had two carries for 52 yards to set up a 25-yard jaunt by Josh Allen for a 6-0 lead by West Washington.
The Senators (3-3), who had a week layoff after last week’s IHSAA decision to not allow several games to be played on Sept. 25, scored again with 22 seconds left in the first period on an 11-yard run by Allen.
Corydon (3-4) missed a scoring opportunity early in the second period after senior Josh Newton recovered a fumble at the Senators’ 16 yard line.
The offense was unable to move the ball, and junior Chad Salomon was called on to attempt a 32-yard field goal, however the his plant foot slipped as he tried to pivot for the kick and the ball sailed wide left.
West Washington went on to score twice more before halftime as Allen had an 11-yard run and Hembree scored from one yard out for a 26-0 lead.
The Senators’ opening drive of the second half also resulted in the game’s only score of the third quarter as Allen capped a 54-yard drive with a 16-yard stroll to the end zone. The visitors led at that point, 33-0.
Corydon Central finally got on the board with 11:24 showing in the third quarter.
Windell connected with senior Kyle White for a 19-yard reception, which set up a 14-yard touchdown strike three plays later from Windell to freshly-crowned homecoming king, Sean Conway. Salomon had a rare PAT miss to set the score at 33-6.
The night’s final trip to the end zone came on a four-yard run by Hembree, putting the final margin at 40-6.
Dones had 104 yards rushing to lead the Panthers offensively.
Corydon gained just three first-half first downs and ended the evening with seven first downs. West Washington had a total of eight first downs in the first half, finishing with 18.
Hembree had 129 yards rushing, with Allen rolling up 191 yards on 27 carries for the Senators.
The Panthers’ focus turns to rival North Harrison (5-1), which is coming off its own 40-20 shelling at the hands of Clarksville.
The 29th-annual Big Cat Classic takes place Friday at Corydon at 7 p.m. North Harrison leads the series, 18-10, and the overall series (including tournament games), 21-10.