Batesville flattens Corydon Central, 55-7
Batesville’s football team used Friday night as a demonstration as to why and how it’s the five-time defending Sectional 23 champions, thrashing visiting Corydon Central, 55-7.
The Bulldogs (8-2) jumped out to a 48-0 lead at halftime, then relied on its second-stringers in the second half to bring home the easy victory.
Corydon Central, which ended the season at 4-6, came into the game hoping to utilize it’s passing attack to turn back the hosts. Unfortunately, senior quarterback Josh Windell had ‘secretly’ separated his right (throwing) shoulder in the Oct. 13 victory over Charlestown and was unable to throw more than 15 yards, much less toss the pigskin with any zip.
‘His parents, some of the players and his parents knew about it, but not many other people knew about the injury,’ Corydon coach Jason Timberlake said. ‘He came down to my office today after each class and we tried to work it out by throwing the ball and it just wasn’t getting any better. We can run the ball, but it’s to set up our passing, and when they shut down our running game, I knew it was going to be an uphill battle.’
Positive notes were few and far between for the Panthers as Batesville scored on five of its first six possessions, and ended two Corydon drives with interceptions returned for touchdowns.
The Bulldogs’ average starting position was at their own 47, while Corydon didn’t cross the 47 until early in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers’ opening drive resulted in negative yardage and a punt. Batesville took over at Corydon’s 35. After nearly turning the ball over on downs inside the red zone, the hosts punched their ticket to paydirt on an 11-yard jaunt by senior Colin Becker. Derek Laker’s kick sailed wide for a 6-0 lead.
Corydon’s next series was just one play old when Scott Meyer picked off Windell at the 34-yard line. There wasn’t any consequence to the turnover, however, as the Panthers’ defense stepped up to force a turnover on downs.
‘That was a good stop for us that early in the game,’ Timberlake said. ‘We didn’t just fold after that first touchdown. The guys showed some fight in them.’
Unfortunately for the visitors, Batesville returned the favor by stuffing Corydon, and scored on a double-pitch play that resulted in a 26-yard TD run by Becker. Laker’s point-after kick was true and capped the first-quarter scoring at 13-0.
The Panthers’ game plan unraveled after that.
The Bulldogs scored 35 points in the second period, matching a dubious mark set by Brownstown Central in 2000, to crush Corydon’s hopes of a comeback.
Just a minute into the stanza, Batesville capped six yard drive with a 7-yard run by Jeremy Cook.
Later, Meyer intercepted his second pass of the game and returned the ball 55 yards for a touchdown with 8:47 showing. Two plays after that, Michael Lanning picked off Richard Armstrong (who had come in for Windell) and ran the ball back 42 yards for what would have been another score. A holding penalty only slowed the inevitable as quarterback Paul Mattingly called his own number on a 15-yard trip to the end zone.
Three plays into Corydon’s next possession, Lanning intercepted Windell and took the ball to the house (this time, it counted) from 35 yards out.
The final touchdown by Batesville’s starters came with 4:16 left as Cook scored his second of the game on a 46-yard trek for the 48-0 lead.
‘There wasn’t a lot we were going to be able to do from there, so we focused on playing for pride,’ Timberlake said. ‘We had to play with heart and desire the rest of the way, and I thought we did a good job of doing that.’
Neither club scored in the third quarter, but Corydon was finally able to end the shutout on its opening possession of the final frame.
A seven yard pass to Kyle White, followed by a 15-yard run by Mat Carver and a 21-yard reception by Sean Conway set up the score.
On second and goal from the nine, Windell tossed towards White, but the ball bobbled through the hands of Batesville’s Justin Rowland and Ryan Miller. White picked up the rebound and coasted into the end zone. Chad Salomon added the point-after kick to set the score at 48-7 with 9:33 showing.
Another Batesville touchdown wasn’t needed, but Quinn Foster took the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for another Bulldogs score, which was the last of the game, 55-7.
‘There wasn’t much we could do in this one. I mean, (Batesville) scored 21 points on defense and our offense only put up seven,’ Timberlake said. ‘In his defense, Richard (Armstrong) hadn’t taken any snaps this season because most of our games have been close and we hadn’t been able to get him in there. With Josh, it was week one of the playoffs and we took a gamble to try and make something happen and it didn’t work. Batesville’s a really good ball club and even if he’d been perfectly healthy, we would have had a tough game.’
Corydon had 45 yards of offense in the first half and finished with a total of 206 yards; 106 on the ground and 100 in the air.
Windell led the rushing attack with 33 yards, with Mat Carver gaining 25, and Kyle White 18. Conway paced the receiving corps with 33 yards, followed by Matt Karnes’ 20 yards and Sean Conway’s 15.
The bloodbath could have been worse had Batesville head coach Eric Heppner not called off the dogs midway through the game. Heppner also elected to kick off in the second half (after kicking off to begin the game), and called three straight ‘knees’ to end the contest after a 43-yard run by freshman Chris Miller set up first and goal inside the five.
‘I have the utmost of respect for Eric and his staff,’ Timberlake said. ‘That’s about as classy a thing as you can do there. He could have rewarded his backups and let them score there at the end, but instead, he took a knee.’
Corydon loses 11 seniors, including a large chunk of its offense in Windell, White, Dones, Conway, Eastridge and Henderson.
Windell tied a record set in 1968 and 1984 with seven games of over 100 yards passing. He wound up with 1,519 yards on the season, shattering a mark that had stood since 1968 (1,402 yards by Hurst).
‘Losing all of those guys is going to hurt. I mean, Josh has just about every throwing record that’s out there. You don’t just put someone in and expect them to do what he was able to do,’ Timberlake said. ‘The seniors really brought the program back from last year and reset the bar.’
White also wound up in the record book with 729 yards receiving, breaking the record Shawn Walker set last year by more than 200 yards.
Carver, a junior, was the leading tackler with 11 solos and three assists.
Batesville (8-2) travels to Edgewood (5-5) Friday night in a Class 3A Sectional 23 semi-final.