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Panthers fall a touchdown short vs. Indian Creek, 15-8

Panthers fall a touchdown short vs. Indian Creek, 15-8
Panthers fall a touchdown short vs. Indian Creek, 15-8
Corydon Central running back Seth Rennirt carries the ball upfield in the second half against Indian Creek. Rennirt was involved in a controversial fumble late in the game that turned the ball over to the Braves. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Corydon Central caught a couple of unlucky breaks Friday in the second half in an attempt to avenge a sectional loss from a year ago against Indian Creek.
The No. 7 Braves made the lengthy trip to Corydon and used a Jarrett Harlow second-half touchdown run to defeat No. 9 Corydon Central, 15-8, in the first round of the Class 3A football sectional.
Corydon Central received the ball to start the second half with the game tied at 8. The Panthers chipped away with the running game, advancing the ball beyond midfield behind runs from Jeremiah Windell. Facing a third-and-three, Windell came up less than a yard short of the first down at the Indian Creek 44.
The Panthers elected to go for the first down, but Lucas Windell’s run was stuffed, allowing the Braves to take over on downs.
The Braves went to the running game on the ensuing drive. After picking up one first down, Corydon Central forced a fourth-and-one at the 36. Out of an Indian Creek time-out, the Braves went for the first down and got it with a short run from Harlow. Two plays later, Harlow broke through the middle for a 26-yard TD. The Max Atterte extra point gave Indian Creek the lead, 15-8.
‘When we get stuff out of the half on fourth-and-one, we kind of took a gamble because we came out and moved the ball and got a first down or two,’ Ward said. ‘We pick up that first down, we’re feeling real good about ourselves. But we got stuffed, and they got some movement and basically walked the ball in the end zone from about 30 yards out to take the lead.’
With a strong kickoff return from Lucas Windell, the Panthers had an advantage with field position. Following two stalled drives, the Panthers began to move the ball midway through the fourth quarter.
Burton connected with Brandon Dunaway for an 11-yard pickup, followed by a six-yard run from Seth Rennirt. Burton then found an open Tyler Ross in the middle of the field for another 11-yard gain, pushing the ball to the 24.
The next play brought controversy and question from the Panther sideline. Rennirt appeared to have a six-yard gain when he was stood up by a host of Indian Creek defenders. As whistles blew, Rennirt was stripped of the ball. The officials gave the ball to the Braves with 4:50 to play.
‘We get a slow whistle ‘ it was slow in my book ‘ and the play was over for several seconds, then the ball gets stripped,’ Ward said. ‘That was the call that was made. It was tough to recover from that because we were right there to tie the game up. Especially that late in the ballgame.’
Indian Creek was able to advance the ball down the field, thanks to a 45-yard pass play on a third-and-long. The Braves later missed a 40-yard field-goal attempt, giving the Panthers one last opportunity for a drive with 2:10 to play.
‘We were to the point we had to get the football back, so we had to roll over some single coverage and they hit a play on us,’ Ward said.
Corydon Central picked up 18 yards on a pass play to Dunaway, but, on the next play, Burton’s pass was picked off by Vince Peiffer, sealing the game.
‘You get two good, evenly matched teams, it comes down to field position,’ Ward said. ‘Yeah, we controlled it but, when you turn the ball over a little bit, it becomes harder to overcome it.’
Corydon Central caught a break in the first half when Indian Creek’s standout quarterback, Trey Reese, was injured on the first drive. Reese didn’t return, turning the reins over to Matthew Wray.
The first quarter featured sloppy play from both teams, including two fumbles.
Corydon Central put together its lone scoring drive in the first half. The 14-play effort featured 13 runs and a nine-yard pass to Rennirt. The touchdown was scored when Lucas Windell ran it in from one-yard out and followed by scoring the two-point conversion.
Indian Creek struck back with a scoring drive on its next possession. Wray hit a deep route to Jordan Jackson for a 32-yard score. Walker Vleck juggled the two-point conversion catch but came down with the ball secure to tie the game.
Also in the second quarter, Corydon Central had a shot to take the lead, but Dunaway’s 33-yard field-goal attempt was short and to the right.
Jeremiah Windell picked off a Wray pass at the end of the first half and returned the ball to the 29-yard line with 10.7 seconds remaining.
Corydon Central took two shots at the end zone. The first, Burton’s pass, went through the outstretched hands of Ross in the left corner of the end zone. On the second play, Burton was sacked in the backfield.
The loss snapped Corydon Central’s six-game winning streak and closed the season with an 8-2 record.
‘We got beat by a good football team,’ Ward said. ‘Trust me, their quarterback that went out is a heck of a football player, and they are a big, strong offensive team.’
The Panthers have gone 15-6 in two seasons after going 1-9 in 2008.
‘We’re proud of what we’ve done over the past couple of years,’ Ward said. ‘I’m proud of this senior class that stuck around through the hard times and stayed committed to play. It is going to hurt more tomorrow and the next day. We’ll overcome and we’re going to get back at it in the offseason. We graduate seven seniors, and we look forward to getting back at it next year. We have a lot of guys coming back. For me, the season can’t start soon enough.’
Jeremiah Windell led the Panther offense with 72 rushing yards on 20 carries. Rennirt had 47 yards and finished the season with a team-best 13 rushing touchdowns.
Dunaway had two catches for 29 yards and closed the year with 599 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Burton completed 6 of 12 passes for 72 yards, breaking the 1,000-yard passing mark for the season.
Indian Creek picked up 188 yards through the air and 98 yards on the ground.
The Braves (9-1) advance to face No. 8 Heritage Hills Friday.
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