Kopp’s 5 TDs power Corydon; ‘Ridge up next
For the fourth time this season, Corydon Central junior running back Austin Kopp surpassed the 250-yard rushing mark.
This time, the victim was Brown County. The scat back had five touchdown runs, scorching the Brown County defense for 317 rushing yards. It was the second highest rushing output of the season for Kopp, behind 371 against Paoli in week 6.
In the first round of the Class 3A Sectional 31 playoffs, the Panthers used the yards and five TDs from Kopp to blast the Eagles, 49-7, Friday night in Nashville.
It took a while for the Panthers to click on the offensive end.
First-half fumbles led to turning the ball over to the Eagles on a few occasions.
‘In one half, Kopp fumbled the ball twice and he hadn’t fumbled all year,’ said Corydon Central coach Andrew Smith. ‘We know that doesn’t happen with him. He recovered just fine to have a great game.’
Early in the first quarter, Kopp scored running up the middle from 47 yards out to give the Panthers a 6-0 lead.
Corydon Central was held off the scoreboard until the final moments of the second quarter. Quarterback Lannis Buck completed a 22-yard fade pass to Alec Saulman for a touchdown with 20 seconds remaining before the half.
While the Corydon Central offense produced 14 points in the opening half, the defense was stout, keeping Brown County out of the end zone.
There wasn’t much room for the Eagles to gain ground. More often than not, they were caught behind the line of scrimmage. Linebacker Jacob Wallot had five tackles for loss, while teammates Ben Woodward and Curtis Miller had two apiece. Brian Jones, Jacob Johnson and Chris Saulman also had tackles for loss.
Wallot’s big day also included picking off a pair of pass attempts by Jared Claburn.
The third quarter put the game away for the Panthers. Four of Kopp’s five scores came in the 12-minute period.
Kopp had runs of 67, 25, 59 and eight yards for touchdowns. The two longest runs saw the back go over left tackle and race beyond the Brown County secondary for a TD. Kopp’s 59-yard score came soon after a Wallot interception.
‘We didn’t do anything different except we hit it well,’ said Smith. ‘We hit blocks and found holes.’
Polishing off the scoring for Corydon Central, Colin Smith had a 29-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
Brown County avoided the shutout with a Griffin Kelly rushing touchdown from the 27-yard line with 1:17 to play.
Kopp averaged 13.2 yards per carry against the Eagles, carrying the ball 24 times for 317 yards. Smith took six hand-offs for 48 yards. Saulman added one carry for 19 yards.
In the passing game, Buck was 6 of 14 for 47 yards. Saulman had three catches for 18 yards. Weston Goodman, Jordan Watson and Zack Paden also had receptions.
Brown County was held to 166 yards of total offense. Claburn completed 7 of 17 passes for 60 yards. The Eagles gained only 96 yards on the ground via 32 carries.
It was the second meeting between the schools. The previous was in the postseason as well, a 29-28 Corydon Central win in 2004.
The win improves Corydon Central to 6-4, guaranteeing the program its seventh consecutive winning season. The win also marked the first postseason victory since 2012.
Moving to the semi-final round, the Panthers return home for the next match-up. They’ll face a familiar team in Southridge, their opponent from week one. Southridge won that meeting 28-20 at Corydon and is coming off a 28-21 victory over North Harrison.
‘It’s nice to come home to play in front of the home crowd after two long road trips,’ said Smith. ‘It should be a good match-up. It was the first time. We’ll need to have a clean week.’
In the opposite semi-final, Brownstown Central heads to Charlestown.
Kickoff at Corydon Central is set for 7:30 p.m.
Pre-sale sectional tickets offered
Tickets can be purchased in advance of Friday night’s Class 3A Sectional semi-final at the Corydon Central High School athletic office.
Opportunities to buy early will be during lunch hours (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) today (Wednesday) and tomorrow along with from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. today. The athletic office is located at Door 22, across from the football complex.
Tickets are $6 each and can still be purchased at the gate on Friday.
Gates will open at 6:15 p.m. followed by kickoff at 7:30.
Each person entering the game must have a ticket. Activity and season passes are not valid for Indiana High School Athletic Association post-season events.
For more information, contact the athletic office at 1-812-738-6155.
Corydon Central 6 8 28 7 ‘ 49
Brown County 0 0 0 7 ‘ 7
CC ‘ Austin Kopp 47 run (pass failed); CC ‘ Alec Saulman 22 pass from Lannis Buck (Kopp run); CC ‘ Kopp 67 run (Saulman kick); CC ‘ Kopp 25 run (Saulman kick); CC ‘ Kopp 59 run (Saulman kick); CC ‘ Kopp 8 run (Saulman kick); CC ‘ Colin Smith 29 run (Saulman kick); BC ‘ Griffin Kelly 27 run (Ben Rygiel kick).