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Panthers shutout by Paoli, 32-0

Panthers shutout by Paoli, 32-0
Panthers shutout by Paoli, 32-0
Corydon Central quarterback Noah Windell tries to split break free from Paoli defenders Ian Strange (21) and Michael Campbell (50). Photo by Ross Schulz

The visiting Paoli Rams came to Corydon Friday night and completely dominated the line of scrimmage in a 32-0 win in week two of Indiana High School football.
The Panthers’ defense had trouble stopping the ground attack of Paoli (1-1), but it paled in comparison to the struggles on the offensive side of the ball.
The Panthers mustered 35 yards of total offense, which happened to be the exact number of plays run by Corydon Central (0-2).
‘At the end of the day, we’ve just got to, from program’s standpoint, learn how to compete,’ first-year head coach Aaron Humphrey said. ‘And we’re not competing right now. We talk about day in and day out we’re going to win and lose football games on the line of scrimmage. And right now we’re not playing well on the line of scrimmage … We’ve got to get the culture changed from that standpoint upfront.’
Humphrey said they’ve got to learn to be good teammates, as well.
‘Go make plays; don’t think somebody else is going to go make plays,’ he said.
Paoli wasted little time setting the tone for the evening, taking the first drive for a score from four yards out on the legs of quarterback Ty Lawson, in just 2:33.
After a Corydon Central punt, Paoli fumbled, giving the Panthers their best field position they’d see all night, at the Rams’ 36-yard line.
A couple of positive plays in the way of runs by quarterback Noah Windell and running back Canaan Mercer pushed the Panthers deeper into Rams’ territory before two costly holding penalties pushed them back to where the drive began. On third and long, Windell lofted a perfect pass down the left sideline to a streaking Mercer, who couldn’t quite haul in what appeared to be a sure touchdown connection.
The Panthers punted and never threatened to score the rest of the contest.
A three-headed monster of a rushing attack from Paoli with Lawson, Ian Strange and Tyler Smith made for a long night for the Corydon Central defense.
Strange covered 151 yards on 10 carries and a score, while Lawson ran for 92 yards and two scores. Smith didn’t score but contributed 74 yards.
Nine Paoli ball carriers managed at least 18 yards rushing.
The first possession of the second half for Paoli was a methodical, time-draining drive that increased the visitors’ lead to 26-0 after a 7:08 march down the field, grounding out any remaining optimism from the Panthers’ sideline.
Paoli totaled 526 yards of offense, all on the ground.
For Corydon Central, Mercer found a little room to work, notching 54 yards on 18 carries.
Mercer and Weston Goodman nearly broke free of the pack on a couple of kickoff returns and often gave the offense field position around the 50-yard line.
Mercer averaged 21.7 yards per return, while Goodman averaged 17.5.
Windell was impressive from a punting standpoint, booting eight punts a total of 257 yards, for a 32-yard average.
The task only gets taller for Humphrey and the Panthers, as they head to Ramsey on Friday to face the 2-0 North Harrison Cougars in the Big Cat Classic.
‘It’s always about us; we’ve got to get better,’ Humphrey said of the challenges ahead. ‘Obviously, next week is a rival game, and they’re a big, physical football team,’ he said. ‘We’ll go play and try to get better. That’s all we can do on a week-to-week basis.’

Paoli 6 14 12 0 ‘ 32
Corydon Central 0 0 0 0 ‘ 0
P ‘ Ty Lawson 4 run (Ian Strange kick failed); P ‘ Lawson 1 run (Strange kick); P ‘ Timmy Burton 8 run (Strange kick); P ‘ Austin Carmickle 1 run (kick failed); P ‘ Strange 66 run (two-point try failed).

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