Scores come in variety at Clarksville
There are few ways to score in football the Corydon Central team didn’t accomplish Friday night in Clarksville.
A kickoff return for a touchdown was one. In that instance, there was only one opportunity.
Against a young Clarksville team (11 roster players listed as junior or senior), Corydon Central found every kind of way to score. Austin Kopp rushed for three scores. T.J. Mathes caught a pair of touchdown passes from Lannis Buck. The signal caller also had a 71-yard run for a score.
Then there were the miscellaneous TDs.
Ben Woodward tracked down Josh Davis for a safety. Zach Mason had a punt return for a touchdown and could have had three more if weren’t for penalties. Capping the scoring, Mason picked off a pass and returned it beyond the goal line.
In all, it was a stellar night of scoring for the Panthers, who walloped Clarksville 55-0.
‘We got great effort from all aspects,’ Corydon Central coach Andrew Smith said. ‘It was great to see that. We work hard in all aspects of the game, especially special teams. To hit pay dirt on special teams was great to see. If it weren’t for some silly penalties, we could have had more. It can make a difference in a game.’
The struggling Generals’ offense entered the game averaging 4.3 points per outing and left with the stat lower.
When Clarksville had the ball, the Generals rarely moved forward. More often than not, they went backward. Clarksville’s total offense was relegated to minus 28 yards.
Smith said the pair of physical games to start the season versus Southridge and North Harrison showed his defensive players how physical they are the last few weeks.
‘We were physical,’ Smith said. ‘Last week, we were the more physical opponent (vs. Silver Creek) because of what we dealt with in the first two weeks. I want them to keep that up. We’ll need to play that way down the stretch. We’re starting to feel comfortable flying to the ball and playing physical.’
Woodward showed the way on defense. To go with his safety, the senior had 12 tackles (five solo), five tackles for losses and one sack.
Two pass plays highlighted Corydon Central’s first drive. Both went from Buck to Mathes. The first was a 16-yard pick-up then a 33-yard strike toward the right sideline.
Corydon Central went up 12-0 on its next drive. Big-play threat Kopp scored from the 2-yard line. It went on to be another first-rate game for Kopp, who finished with 165 yards rushing on 19 attempts.
On the Panthers’ next possession, two plays ‘ a 21-yard run by Kopp and a 28-yard reception by Jordan Watson ‘ moved the ball quickly down field. The third play, however, was a pass picked off by Seth Hamilton at the 7.
Pinned back, Clarksville had little room to move. Two negative runs by Da’Shawn Baker and a pair of procedural penalties by the Generals sent them to the 1. Taking a sweep, Davis was met five yards deep in the end zone by Woodward for a safety.
‘I think our guys were upset with the drive before,’ Smith said. ‘Our mindset was we didn’t do well on offense, so let’s get the ball back. We went down and ended up with a safety.’
Five plays later, the 14-0 score doubled. Buck connected with Mathes on a hook route, shaking free to dive for the end zone for a 17-yard TD. Clarksville’s three-and-out (a negative 10-yard drive) saw the fourth-down punt returned by Mason 30 yards for a special-teams score.
Extra-point field goals by Trevor Wiley saw the scoreboard light up with 28-0 as a heavy downpour of rain greeted players in the second quarter.
Corydon Central scuffled on a few possessions in the rain. One possession, with 1:48 before the break, saw Buck dance around defenders for a 71-yard scramble to the end zone.
The 34-0 halftime lead sent the Panthers (2-2, 2-1 Mid-Southern Conference) to a relatively easy victory over the Generals (0-4, 0-3).
The rain slowed after the half, but the Panthers’ offense and defense continued to dominate. Kopp had rushing touchdown runs of four and 25 yards in the third quarter.
‘We did things well all over the place,’ Smith said. ‘There are still things we need to clean up. In the first half, I didn’t think we moved the ball the way we should have. That’ll be a focus this week in practice.’
The week leading up to the drive to Clarksville, Smith said the team planned to play in the rain. Forecasters lowered the rain percentage chance on game day, but the showers came anyway.
‘We were still able to throw and run the ball,’ Smith said. ‘The rain didn’t bother us.’
To go with Woodward’s day on defense, linebacker Wade Thomas had three tackles for a loss. Others with two tackles each for losses were Jacob Wallot, Curtis Miller and Cameron Ayres.
The win over Clarksville was the seventh in the row for Corydon Central in the series. Four of the seven victories have been shutouts.
Up next for Corydon Central is a trip to Eastern (Pekin). Similar to Clarksville, the Musketeers (1-3) have struggled on offense, averaging seven points per game. They are giving up 28.5 points.
The win was two in a row for the Panthers.
‘We talk about there are a lot of things still in play for the season,’ Smith said. ‘We have to get our confidence and momentum going. The important thing is to get rolling because we have plenty of football left.’
Corydon Central 14 20 14 7 ‘ 55
Clarksville 0 0 0 0 ‘ 0
CC ‘ T.J. Mathes 33 pass from Lannis Buck (kick failed); CC ‘ Austin Kopp 2 run (pass failed); CC ‘ Safety; CC ‘ Mathes 18 pass from Buck (Trevor Wiley kick); CC ‘ Zach Mason 30 punt return (Wiley kick); CC ‘ Buck 71 run (kick failed); CC ‘ Kopp 4 run (Wiley kick); CC ‘ Kopp 25 run (Wiley kick); CC ‘ Mason 45 INT return (Wiley kick).