10 TDs + 10 PATs = 70 points
In Friday night’s record-breaking contest at Silver Creek, No. 6-ranked (Class 3A) Corydon Central appeared to be virtually unstoppable in another step toward the Mid-Southern Conference title.
Silver Creek, playing in just its second home game ever, was jumped on early and often by the Panthers in a 70-27 blowout that could have been much worse. Corydon had three touchdowns nixed, with one being a fumble out of the end zone and two others canceled by penalties.
The offensive point total was the most ever posted by Corydon Central, the 10 extra-point kicks by junior Cory Thomas set a new mark, and Panther senior quarterback Chase Burton threw for a school-record 376 yards in a 14-of-16 effort.
Burton had touchdown tosses of 29 and 58 yards to senior tight end Dylan Jenson, a 79-yarder to junior receiver Brayden Lander and a 60-yard bomb to senior wideout Tyler Ross, all in the first half of action. Three of Burton’s first four passes went for scores.
‘I felt like, for the most part, our guys came out focused and ready to play,’ Corydon Central coach Darin Ward said.
Lander had five catches for 107 yards, Ross had three catches for 118 yards, Jenson had two catches for 87 yards and Mitch Akers had four catches for 64 yards.
With another win this Friday at home against Clarksville (1-2, 1-1 MSC), Ward would record win No. 50 in his seven-year tenure at Corydon Central. Dennis Hancock, who coached from 1975 to 1990, recorded 50 wins on the field for the program’s all-time mark.
Silver Creek (0-3, 0-2 MSC) went to the Wildcat offensive package to start the game, with its star running back, Layne Taylor, taking direct snaps and gaining small bits of yardage.
Corydon Central (3-0, 2-0) eventually forced a punt and took over at its own 43-yard line.
After a 13-yard carry and a one-yard dive by Alex McAfee, Burton connected with Jenson, who scored from 29 yards out nearly halfway through the first period.
The Dragons came back with a drive to the Panthers’ 13, where a field goal attempt by Trevor Spense was off the mark.
Taking over at the 20-yard line, Burton, two plays later, hit Lander over the middle for a 79-yard touchdown pass at the 3:04 mark.
After Ross intercepted Silver Creek’s Brooks Howell, Burton connected with the senior for a 60-yard pass that resulted in another touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 11.3 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
McAfee, who tallied 101 rushing yards and 52 yards on kick returns, accounted for the only two scores by either club in the second frame, finding pay dirt from one and two yards out at the 9:07 and :54.2 marks, respectively, in the second for a 35-0 advantage at the intermission.
Two plays into the third period, Corydon Central’s Shane Brown scored on a 27-yard romp for a 42-0 lead.
That’s when the defenses for both clubs seemed to lax.
Taylor took the ensuing kickoff 80 yards, bouncing off defenders and breaking free from would-be tacklers to put the Dragons on the board with 10:55 left in the quarter.
‘We knew going in that Layne Taylor was their best football player and that he was capable of making some big plays. I felt like we kept him contained in the first half and then allowed him some space (on the kickoff) to make a big play,’ Ward said. ‘There is no doubt that we are a work-in-progress defensively, but I feel like we have found ways to get off of the field over the last two weeks. I am pleased with the progress that we are making defensively.’
Just 40 ticks of the clock later, Jensen hauled in a 58-yard pass from Burton, with Silver Creek answering on a 15-yard pass from Howell to Drew Sherrow a little less than two minutes later.
After a Corydon Central fumble out of the end zone, the Dragons went 80 yards in 15 plays, scoring on a 24-yard pass from Howell to Sherrow. Howell connected with Corey Castile for the two-point conversion with 29.8 seconds left in the third.
Not to be outdone by Taylor’s effort, Corydon Central’s Brown came back with a 65-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the final score of the quarter, which ended with the Panthers on top, 56-21.
Silver Creek notched its final touchdown of the game on a four-yard plunge by Romney Allen, with the Panthers’ Joshua Allen churning out a 31-yard TD run, followed by a 32-yarder to close the contest’s scoring. He finished the night with 76 yards on just four carries.
‘From an offensive perspective, I think we took advantage of what Silver Creek was giving us in the passing game. For some reason, they thought it was in their best interest to play tight man coverage on us across the board and we made them pay,’ Ward said. ‘As a coach, I think it is our job to put our players in positions where they can be successful, and I do not believe Silver Creek’s coach did that for his players. We still need to work at finishing off plays offensively, pass blocking, run blocking and protecting the football.’
Defensively for the Panthers, Justin Yates had two sacks and five tackles, with Jason Wisman, Nathan Schmitt, David Farnsley and Tristen Blake each recording a sack. The leading tacklers for Corydon Central were Farnsley (6.5), Yates and McAfee (5) and Logan Behagg and Garrett Dunaway (4.5). Akers and Ross each had an interception.