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Panthers rack up points, drop Generals

Panthers rack up points, drop Generals
Panthers rack up points, drop Generals
Clarksville quarterback Seth Hamilton throws the ball from the end zone to prevent a safety while Corydon Central's Brian Jones tries to grab hold of the QB. Photo by Brian Smith

Through three games, the Clarksville defense has yielded point totals of 52, 59 and 92 points to opponents.
The challenge for Corydon Central coach Andrew Smith was to keep his squad focused Friday night in the home opener. With a backdrop of a massive American flag beyond the east end zone to honor servicemen and women, the Panthers took care of business against the Generals.
Corydon Central’s offense put up 56 points in the first half, leading to a 62-6 wallop of Clarksville.
‘I stayed on them to be focused,’ Smith said of the build up to Friday. ‘I know Clarksville is in a tough spot, but, if you come out here and give them confidence, they could do some things.’
Two big plays opened up the game rather quickly for the Panthers.
A pair of touches to running back Colin Smith saw the latter go for a 40-yard touchdown score.
Once Clarksville’s offense sputtered, Corydon Central struck once again with another big play. Facing a third-and-4, quarterback Alec Saulman linked a pass to Ben Johnson for a 56-yard touchdown.
‘In the first half, I think we did a nice job of shutting them down early and scoring early,’ Andrew Smith said. ‘We put it on them early to make sure they didn’t get anything going. That was our focus. Be humble and make sure we know what we need to do.’
One hiccup, a first-quarter Corydon Central fumble, was quickly reversed. On Clarksville’s next play, quarterback Seth Hamilton was sacked and stripped by Wade Thomas. The fumbling ball was recovered by Eric Burres.
Despite a pair of long touchdown runs called back for penalties, Austin Kopp’s third try saw the referee lift his arms. The 5-yard plunge resulted in a 22-0 lead in seven minutes of play.
Corydon Central closed the first quarter with a fourth TD, this time with Saulman sending a 26-yard play action pass to Jacob Johnson for a score.
Offensively, Clarksville struggled mightily. The Generals picked up one first down in the opening half. Noah Windell and Ben Johnson also had interceptions for the Panthers.
The Corydon Central ‘O’ continued to roll, posting 28 additional points in the second quarter.
Kopp had touchdown runs of 8, 62 and 47 yards in the second quarter. He finished with 157 yards on seven carries and four TDs.
Braydon Weathers got in on the scoring with an 11-yard run.
The Panthers led 56-0 at the break.
‘The kids had fun,’ Smith said. ‘They saw what they can do when they execute things well. Our major thing was executing the things we needed and get better. I didn’t care about the score at halftime; my focus was for our guys to keep getting better.’
The coaches agreed to a running clock in the second half. Clarksville, behind a run from the 5 by Da’Shawn Baker, got on the board with a touchdown in the third. Baker was a bright spot for the Generals, carrying 21 times for 93 yards.
Corydon Central notched one more score with a Colin Smith 35-yard run.
‘Some young guys have really stepped up,’ Andrew Smith said. ‘Colin Smith did a nice job out of running back for us tonight. He runs hard and runs downhill and was able to score a few times.’
Colin Smith had 116 yards on five touches.
‘Lots of young guys, including numerous freshmen, at some points, are showing good things,’ coach Smith said. ‘We have some on both sides of the line that are showing growth. It’s part of our process.’
From the QB spot, Saulman completed 4-of-6 passes for 119 yards. Ben Johnson had two catches for 71.
Coach Smith said he hopes the confidence continues to turn the right direction for the Panthers. The blasting of Clarksville (0-4, 0-3 Mid-Southern Conference) was Corydon Central’s first win of the season.
‘Our confidence was good to start the year, and I think North Harrison was better than we thought they were going to be,’ coach Smith said. ‘The kids thought North would be an easier game and underestimated how good they were. I think that shook our confidence. It has been a process to recover. We did some nice things last week (at Silver Creek). We fought and stayed in the game, but we gave up too many big plays. This week was an opportunity to get everything together and get some confidence going. I think we were able to achieve that.’
Corydon Central (1-3, 1-2 MSC) stays on the home turf again Friday night when the Panthers host Eastern (Pekin) (1-3, 1-2) at 7 p.m.

Clarksville 0 0 6 0 ‘ 6
Corydon Central 28 28 7 0 ‘ 63
CC ‘ Colin Smith 40 run (Austin Kopp kick); CC ‘ Ben Johnson 56 pass from Alec Saulman (Kopp kick); CC ‘ Kopp 5 run (Kopp run); CC ‘ Jacob Johnson 26 pass from Saulman (kick failed); CC ‘ Kopp 8 run (kick failed); CC ‘ Kopp 62 run (Kopp kick); CC ‘ Braydon Weathers 11 run (Weathers pass from Saulman); CC ‘ Kopp 47 run (Kopp kick); C ‘ Da’Shawn Baker 5 run (run failed); CC ‘ Smith 35 run (Gavin Nuanez kick).