Energized Corydon blows past Warriors
Justin Timberlake sang about that feelin’ inside his bones.
Noah Windell shined in the pocket along with running back Chandler Money having some good soul in his feet Friday night in Scottsburg.
On the Corydon Central sideline, there wasn’t much of a chance to hear the Scottsburg student section or pep band. From the opening kickoff to the final horn, the Panthers’ sideline had a dancing feeling of a victory. From getting fired up on ‘money downs’ or big plays from the offense, it was a rather boisterous and energized Panthers’ sideline as Corydon Central snagged its first win of the season, 34-13, over Scottsburg.
‘We had a lot of fun, especially getting the dub,’ Corydon Central quarterback Noah Windell said. ‘It’s neat to see the fans follow us and continue to support us. It was great to have the freshmen and sophomores on the sideline be fired up all game.’
Four games into the nine-game regular season, Windell said one of the keys of staying focused is leadership.
‘Our leadership is starting to be passed around the entire team,’ Windell said. ‘It’s not just upperclassmen. The underclassmen are seeing what they can do to be leaders. Everyone is coming together.’
Slow starts have impacted the outcomes of Corydon Central’s first three games, all against ranked teams. Friday night, Scottsburg tried to seize on the trend by using trickery with its first play. A wide-receiver pass saw Jimmy Neace throw a 54-yard strike to Kaden Sparkman.
Corydon Central, however, buckled down and forced a turnover on downs with key plays in the secondary by Avery Timberlake (pass break up) and Dylan Raisor (tackle for loss).
Scottsburg scored on its next possession, a 9-yard Neace run.
Then, it was all Panthers the remainder of the first half.
Scoring 27 unanswered points, Corydon Central headed to the locker room with a 27-6 lead.
In the run game, Corydon Central was without Canaan Mercer, who left the previous week’s game with an injury. Stepping into a bigger role was sophomore Chandler Money.
While the Corydon Central sideline hypes ‘money’ by flashing a dollar bill poster-board on key third- and fourth-down defensive plays, they may need to make a second sign for the offense. Money was money as a tailback versus the Warriors. Carrying the ball 29 times, he totaled 224 yards in the run game.
‘Chandler did a great job and said before the game he was going to pick Canaan up,’ Corydon Central coach Aaron Humphrey said. ‘He had to grow up tonight, and he did. He followed his blocks well and was really disciplined. He had a great game.’
Starting a drive near midfield, Money had carries of 17, 10 and 14 yards before scoring on a 1-yard plunge with 48 ticks left in the first quarter. Immediately after the score, offensive lineman Christian Wilkerson lifted his teammate toward the sky in celebration.
‘For the last couple of weeks, we played well upfront but shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers,’ Humphrey said. ‘We didn’t have that tonight. Those guys did a good job upfront. That’s where we win and lose a lot of football games. Those guys are starting to buy in, in addition to working hard. These kids deserve that victory. I’m happy for our kids, school and community.’
Wilkerson went on to recover two fumbles on the defensive side of the ball.
Corydon Central, facing a third-and-6, turned to Windell in the run game. The QB broke through the line and fought off a few would-be tacklers to go down the left sideline for a 52-yard touchdown. The score put the Panthers up 12-6.
‘The run game felt much better and cleaner than it has been,’ Windell said. ‘The line came out and blocked well. There was better companionship during the game. We put together everything we did in practice and took it to them tonight.’
Two drives later, Corydon Central scored again. The pass game showed improvements as well with Windell going 5 of 7 for 43 yards. His 24-yard pass to tight-end Houston VonSchmittou went for additional yards when Scottsburg was whistled for a late hit on Windell.
On the next play, Windell rolled to his right and kept the ball for a 13-yard TD rush with three minutes to go before the half.
Scottsburg went three and out on its next drive, allowing Corydon Central a shot to score again. Taking advantage with 2:04 left on the clock and a short 30 yards in front of them, the Panthers needed just half a minute to score.
A 19-yard run by Windell preceded an 11-yard scoring rush by Money.
‘Noah ran the ball well as did Chandler,’ Humphrey said. ‘When Chandler needed a blow, (Jaeden) Singleton rattled off some nice runs. We got some offensive rhythm and started pounding the ball.’
At the half, Money and Windell combined to rush for 244 yards. Windell closed with 129 rushing yards on 11 keeps.
‘It felt good to run a little more,’ Windell said. ‘I definitely got tired. There were three or four long runs that were called back, but it’s why we run every day in practice.’
If there was a blip for the Panthers it was being penalized 10 times. However, the Panthers shook off the laundry on the field in addition to having a turnover-less game.
‘It’s a credit to our kids. We talk about things being in the past and going to play the next play,’ Humphrey said. ‘They do a good job for the most part. We got into some bad downs and distances with some penalties, but we were able to come back and pick up first downs.’
Corydon Central scored on its first drive of the second half, a 30-yard run by Singleton, for a 34-6 lead.
Defensively, Corydon Central held Scottbsurg (1-3, 1-3 Mid-Southern Conference) scoreless for the middle two quarters. The Warriors managed to put together a scoring drive midway through the final quarter. It was a Scottsburg offense balanced in the pass-and-run game. Quarterback Kent Paris completed half of his 24 pass attempts for 116 yards. Traven Crawford led the run game with 61 yards on nine carries.
‘They were such a multi-formation team without much personnel changes, so we had to adjust on the fly,’ Humphrey said of the defensive scheme. ‘There isn’t a tendency for us to pick up on because they didn’t sub guys in and out. We had to roll with the defense. It wasn’t perfect at times, but that’s a credit to how (Scottsburg) plays offensively.’
Scoring five touchdowns was a big boost to the Panthers after combining for only two against a stout early-season schedule.
‘We’ve had a great mindset through the first three weeks,’ Humphrey said. ‘I can see our guys are smart enough to know we had a challenging first three weeks playing three ranked teams.’
‘The team really needed this win,’ Windell said. ‘I don’t think the first three weeks showed how we’ve been working in practice. We finally came out and executed.’
Corydon Central (1-3, 1-2 MSC) looks to pick up another road league win Friday when the Panthers head to Eastern (Pekin), which sports a 1-3 record.
‘We need to continue to build on this win,’ Humphrey said. ‘I know a win will do this group a lot of good. We want to add to it. We still want to look at film and get back to work Monday to get better to go win next week.’
Corydon Central 6 21 7 0 ‘ 34
Scottsburg 6 0 0 7 ‘ 13
S ‘ Jimmy Neace 9 run (kick blocked); CC ‘ Chandler Money 1 run (kick failed); CC ‘ Noah Windell 52 run (run failed); CC ‘ Windell 13 run (Windell run); CC ‘ Money 11 run (Dylan Higginbotham kick); CC ‘ Jaeden Singleton 30 run (Higginbotham kick); S ‘ Traven Crawford 2 run (Noah Smith kick).