MSC-leading Pirates down Corydon 55-26
Corydon Central and Charlestown appeared to be headed for a shootout Friday night, but a second-quarter Panther turnover proved to put the visitors too far behind and they eventually fell 55-26.
Charlestown took a physical game to Corydon Central, laying big hits and creating turnovers.
Corydon Central created a turnover of its own to take an early lead. A Brandon Dunaway interception eventually led to a score. The sophomore caught a 27-yard TD pass from Richard Armstrong to take a 6-0 lead.
When Charlestown took the ball back, Pirates’ running back Josh Graham began his record-setting performance. He scored his first of six touchdowns with a 9-yard run. An Ariel Stephens’ extra point gave Charlestown a 7-6 lead.
On Corydon Central’s next possession, Charlestown forced Casey Saulman to fumble the ball after a catch. Two plays later, Graham ran the ball in for another score by the Pirates.
Corydon Central bounced back for a 70-yard drive, capped by Dunaway catching his second touchdown, a 20-yard snag.
With a shootout underway, Charlestown wasted no time scoring its third touchdown of the first quarter. Graham again ran in from 25 yards out, breaking tackles to put Charlestown up 21-12.
The host extended its lead once again in the second quarter with a lengthy 11-play drive capped by a Graham 4-yard touchdown run.
Still within two scores and the Panthers’ passing game rolling along, Corydon Central tried to keep up. Yet on its next possession, Dustin Springer had the ball knocked loose after making a catch. Graham then picked up the loose ball and rumbled to the end zone, widening the margin to 34-12.
‘We turned the ball over to them twice in critical field positions to give them two quick scores,’ said Corydon Central coach Jason Timberlake. ‘I felt that even if we could have kept it a two-score game at halftime, we would have a shot in the first drive to cut it to an eight-point game.’
Corydon Central fired back with its longest play of the game, an 80-yard touchdown pass to Dunaway down the right side.
‘Like I told them after the game, there would be times last year even in a victory that our kids would lay down,’ Timberlake said. ‘That isn’t happening. Our guys are fighting tooth and nail, and there are aspects of the game we continue to get better at and there are some we need to continue to work on.’
With the lead cut to 34-18, Charlestown added another touchdown before halftime to stretch out the lead.
Both offenses slowed down in the second half. Corydon Central had to play without wideout Garett Ross, who left the game with a collarbone injury in the first half.
‘We had some unfortunate injuries tonight,’ Timberlake said. ‘Garett Ross looks like he broke his collarbone. That right there, when we lost him, our offense had to change. When you have two threats on the outside and you lose that threat on the outside, it hurts.’
Charlestown played physical, making several hard hits in the game.
‘The hit on Casey Saulman and Garett were hard,’ Timberlake said. ‘You don’t see that often in high school football. I was proud of Casey to get the wind knocked out of him and bounce back in a few plays later.’
Corydon Central running back Seth Rennirt added a touchdown late with a 17-yard scamper. Rennirt finished with 67 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Armstrong put the ball in the air 27 times, completing 15 passes for 196 yards. He had three touchdowns and one interception. Dunaway caught four balls for 142 yards and three touchdowns.
Steve Albin added four catches for 21 yards, and Casey Saulman had three for seven yards. Michael Beauchamp, Rennirt, Ross and Springer had one catch each.
Graham led Charlestown in rushing with 161 yards, filling in for the injured Cameron Metzger. Michael Baines also had 136 yards on 12 carries and a late touchdown.
‘I have to commend our kids on their efforts,’ said Timberlake. ‘I know there is no such thing as a moral victory and people aren’t satisfied without Ws, but as coaches, there is lots of things we can find in this game to build on. There is hope there.’
The Panthers will hit the road again Friday to play Paoli. The Rams are putting together a remarkable season, currently sitting at 6-0 overall. They beat up on Crawford County, 49-7, last week.