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Creek’s late miscues favor Panthers, 28-21

Creek’s late miscues favor Panthers, 28-21
Creek’s late miscues favor Panthers, 28-21
Corydon Central's Jacob Johnson is patted on the helmet by ballboy Hunter Schmitt after recovering a Silver Creek fumble in the fourth quarter. Photo by Brian Smith

Putting a helmet on the ball, combined with a workhorse load for running back Josh Allen, led to a comeback win Friday night for Corydon Central in Sellersburg.
Trailing by a touchdown at the half, the Panthers scored 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat Mid-Southern Conference foe Silver Creek, 28-21.
Allen carried the ball a school-record 45 times (record previously held by Nevin Ledford, 33 in 1983). He amassed 201 yards rushing while scoring four touchdowns. The scores tied a program best, and he also became the 10th player in black and gold to rush for more than 200 yards in a game.
‘He has been (a workhorse) for us all year,’ Corydon Central coach Mike Spencer said. ‘The comeback in the second half was typical Allen. He’s one of those kids that isn’t going to give up. He always figures he can make a better play on the next play. I love the drive he’s got.’
A series of turnovers eventually went the favor of Corydon Central in the second half.
On a Dragons’ punt, the ball hit a Silver Creek player, making the ball live. Corydon Central’s Jack King pounced on the pigskin. Corydon Central, however, gave the ball back quickly. Lannis Buck threw an interception, the only turnover for the Panthers this season.
Buck didn’t stay on the sideline long. Silver Creek wide receiver Cameron Cook, taking snap from the shotgun, coughed up the ball on the first play from scrimmage.
From there, Corydon Central took the momentum and ran with it.
Handing of to Allen five times, it was the fifth carry that resulted in a breakaway. Cutting back twice, causing Silver Creek defenders to miss badly, Allen broke away for a 36-yard touchdown. Buck kept the ball on the conversion to tie the contest at 14.
Turnovers proved to be an issue for Silver Creek. On its next possession, Jake Meadors’ pass was picked off by Alex Engleman, who jumped the route for the interception.
Off the turnover, Buck had a key conversion on fourth-and-5 at the 35. Rolling out, Buck elected to keep and gain six yards for the first down, keeping the go-ahead drive alive.
‘We had a little boot action set up,’ Spencer said. ‘It was a boot-run combo. We had one receiver out and a situation where he had a receiver and, if he didn’t, we could play it safe and take it upfield.’
Spencer said Buck, who finished 9 of 17 passing for 94 yards, has scrambling ability.
‘The rest of it is athletic ability,’ Spencer said. ‘He is a good, solid kid. He’s made a couple of nice runs for us so far this season.’
Going back to Allen, the next six carries went to him, including a three-yard TD plunge with 6:05 to play. The two-point conversion failed, but the Panthers saw the lead, 20-14, for the first time since the opening half.
Kicking off the ball, Silver Creek’s hopes for a big return were squashed by another fumble. This time Jacob Johnson scooped the loose ball and nearly scored, taking it down to the 9.
It took two runs by Allen to punch in the score. A pass from Buck to T.J. Mathes completed the conversion, putting the Panthers up 28-14 with 5:15 left.
‘We gave it up a couple times in the first half taking away drives from us,’ Spencer said. ‘(Silver Creek) did the same thing for us in the second half.’
Spencer said the fumbles by the Dragons may have been caused by an adjustment at halftime in relaying a message about better tackling.
‘We hit harder in the second half,’ Spencer said. ‘The first half was too much reach. The second half we put shoulder pads on people and hit through the ball a couple of times. We knocked it loose.’
Silver Creek, which ran a no-huddle offense all night, scored the game’s final touchdown with 4:20 to play when Jason Jent ran in from the 4.
The Dragons wouldn’t see the ball again, as Corydon Central’s offensive line was up to the task, closing out the game in the trenches. Eight runs by Allen, along with another key third down pickup with Buck’s legs, slammed the door on Silver Creek.
‘At the end of the second quarter, I think our linemen started wearing theirs down,’ Spencer said. ‘We kept coming after them, and our size wore them down.’
First-half touchdowns by the Dragons (1-1, 1-1 MSC) were set up by big pass plays from Meadors. He closed the game going 9 of 15 for 212 yards. Cook was his top target, catching four balls for 109 yards.
‘That young man made a couple of really nice throws,’ Spencer said of giving up the passes. ‘We didn’t put enough pressure on him in those situations.’
Corydon Central did a solid job of controlling the Dragons running game, holding them to 88 yards.
Mathes led the Panthers in receiving with six catches for 63 yards.
Defensively, Travis Phelps had a pair of sacks for Corydon Central. Nathan Schmitt had eight tackles. Chase LaHue and Austin Smith also had fumble recoveries.
The win puts Corydon Central at 2-1 on the season and 2-0 in league play. Each of the first three games have come on the road. The Panthers will kick off the home slate Friday when they host Clarksville.
Corydon Central 6 0 0 22 ‘ 28
Silver Creek 0 14 0 7 ‘ 21
CC ‘ Josh Allen 2 run (run failed); SC ‘ Cameron Cook 9 run (C. Cook kick); SC ‘ Kolten Stevens 24 pass from Jake Meadors (C. Cook kick); CC ‘ J. Allen 36 run (Lannis Buck run); CC ‘ J. Allen 2 run (pass failed); CC ‘ J. Allen 2 run (T.J. Mathes pass from L. Buck); SC ‘ Jason Jent 5 run (C. Cook kick).