3-0 start to MSC, a first for Panthers
Corydon Central’s defense didn’t allow any Clarksville points Friday night, let alone much yardage.
Corydon Central (3-1, 3-0 Mid-Southern Conference) scored quickly in the first quarter and eventually rode away with a 28-0 victory behind two touchdown passes by Dylan Harl.
The Generals put together 12 yards of offense in the first half. In the second half, when Clarksville moved the ball to the 18 on a 42-yard pass play to Thomas Threatt, the Generals soon found themselves going backward on the drive. Seth Rennirt eventually sacked quarterback Drew Farney back at the 50-yard line, turning the ball over on downs.
‘They (Clarksville) came out and moved the ball a time or two, but we made an adjustment or two on the first drive and they may have lost some patience,’ Corydon Central coach Darin Ward said. ‘As they got into our red zone, we tightened up and played a little more aggressive.’
On the opening kickoff, Clarksville (1-3, 1-2 MSC) picked up positive yardage on a Andrew Beyerle 11-yard run and a Threatt catch of eight yards. After the two positive gains, the Corydon Central defense put the clamps on for the remainder of the first half.
Corydon Central took over on downs at its own 44-yard line and wasted no time moving the ball down field. Three straight plays stretched the field with sweeps from Seth Rennirt and Lucas Windell. The three lengthy runs picked up first downs and moved the ball to the 10.
‘It got everyone off of us,’ Ward said of the runs outside the tackles. ‘Everyone’s thing right now is to pack in on us because we’re going to run inside on you. It’s nice to change that up a bit and have some confidence to run the ball on the edges, which loosens up the inside game.’
Two plays later, Harl found tight end Harrison Renzel in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown.
‘We were able to get off the field on that opening drive, and we came out offensively and ran the football tonight,’ Ward said. ‘We did a nice job in that first quarter setting a tone of us running the ball. When we ran the ball, it is amazing how much it opens your play action passing game as well.’
The second drive for the Panthers needed five plays to again go 60 yards for a touchdown. Harl hooked up with Garett Ross on a quick slant, which Ross took 36 yards to the end zone for the second score, putting the Panthers up, 14-0, early.
Corydon Central’s next two drives flamed out, but, in the second quarter, they put together a 14-play, 76-yard scoring drive. The drive featured a balance of passing and running and was capped by a Rennirt four-yard scamper through the Clarksville defense.
Clarksville blocked a Panther field-goal attempt in the closing seconds of the half, giving the visitors a 21-0 edge at the horn.
Corydon Central amassed 266 yards in the first half, while holding Clarksville to 12. Ward said credit went to working hard on the offensive and defensive lines during the week.
‘That was good, to see our linemen perform,’ he said. ‘We really challenged those guys this week. We played poorly against Brownstown and so-so against North Harrison. We got to a point where we talked that, maybe we were getting a little bit worse up front. We had a good week of practice and really got back to the basics and working hard.’
The Panthers got back to the quick, five-play scoring drive groove at the start of the second half. Rennirt set up the scoring drive well with a 24-yard run, advancing the ball to the 35. Two plays later, Tyler Jones took the ball from the fullback position and broke multiple tackles on his way to a 26-yard touchdown run.
Harl concluded with his personal best behind center, throwing for 211 yards. He is currently on a six-game streak of not throwing an interception. Ross also had a career day, catching four balls, including a leaping catch over a defender in the second half, for 112 yards. Brandon Dunaway had four catches as well for 54 yards.
Rennirt was strong in the running game, carrying the ball 19 times for 124 yards. Jones had four carries for 51 yards, and Lucas Windell had six carries for 60 yards. Jones also led the defense with nine tackles. Jeffery Durham had an interception for the Panthers.
The Panthers are currently ranked 10th in the state in defensive average, giving up six points per game. They also currently sit at 3-0 in Mid-Southern Conference play, rare territory for the program.
‘We tell these kids that we control our own destiny,’ Ward said.
The win marks the first time the Corydon Central football program has started conference play 3-0. The team last started 2-0 in the 2004 season.
The Panthers travel to Eastern (1-3, 0-2 MSC) for a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday.
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