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Fight song hitting pitch

Fight song hitting pitch
Fight song hitting pitch
Corydon Central's Dakota Jones comes up to make a tackle along with teammate Blake Lawson (51) in the first quarter. Photo by Brian Smith

Football coaches often talk about improving in different facets of the sport. There is blocking, tackling, kicking, schemes and more.
One area Corydon Central covers each week doesn’t have to do with what takes place during the 48 minutes of game time each Friday night. It’s what the Panthers want to recite at the conclusion: the school fight song, to the tune of ‘On Wisconsin,’ as one unit.
‘It’s a work in progress,’ Corydon Central coach Aaron Humphrey, after a 41-21 victory at Eastern (Pekin), said, referring to the players’ ability to sing. ‘I printed off copies of the words and, on Thursdays, we practice it. We have to practice all facets of the game as they say.’
Despite the band not traveling to Eastern, the Panthers’ football team could have gone over the words at halftime as a refresher. Thanks to four Noah Windell touchdown runs in the first half, along with Chandler Money breaking off a 71-yard score as well, the Panthers were comfortably ahead 34-7 at the break.
‘I thought we came out with great intensity coming off our best week of practice,’ Humphrey said. ‘I think it showed tonight the way we started the game. I’m proud of how we played well in all facets of the game from offense to defense to special teams.’
The physical aspect of the game wrecked havoc on the host Musketeers on homecoming night. Eastern fumbled the ball six times with Corydon Central recovering five of them. The Panthers, meanwhile, didn’t turn the ball over for the second straight week.
‘We created turnovers,’ Humphrey said. ‘It was a total team effort, especially in the first quarter. We jumped on them and didn’t look back.’
On Corydon Central’s first possession, the Panthers put together an eight-play drive which featured first-down runs from Avery Timberlake and Money. It set up Windell taking a quarterback keeper seven yards for a TD.
It would be the first of six carries by Windell in which two-thirds resulted in touchdowns during the first half. The signal caller closed the game with seven carries for 108 yards and four touchdowns. He went 3 for 7 in the pass game for 31 yards, including another TD.
‘He’s tough to defend,’ Humphrey said of Windell. ‘He’s probably our fastest guy, so he’s going to touch the ball. When he does, he’s done a great job so far.’
Eastern return man Demetrius McKinley coughed up the next kickoff as Corydon Central’s Alex Lee pounced on the ball. Facing a short field, Corydon Central took advantage by sending Windell to the end zone on an option play from the 7 for a 14-0 lead.
Soon after the Panthers’ defense forced a three-and-out, the offense was back at it under the steamy sun. It was Windell taking the ball over the right edge and sprinting to the pylon from 47 yards out.
Windell found himself under center again pretty quickly as Eastern’s next snap saw a hand-off fumbled and picked up by Corydon Central’s Brad Pitts. Two plays later, Windell kept the ball to put a 35-yard touchdown on his resum’.
Eastern used a big kick-off return by McKinley to set up a one-play, 12-yard drive capped by a Tanner Shepherd touchdown rush.
Cutting the margin to 27-7 didn’t last long. Corydon Central used a quick strike to push the lead to 34-7 at the half. Money, who carried the ball 19 times for 132 yards, took a hand-off out of the shotgun and busted loose for a 71-yard touchdown run. Money took the ball up the left side before cutting back toward the middle.
Corydon Central’s first drive of the second half was the Panthers’ final score, a 17-yard pass from Windell to Timberlake. The Panthers eventually turned the game over to the junior varsity unit in the final quarter.
Eastern tacked on two fourth-quarter touchdowns before the final whistle.
‘They are coming along tremendously from a physical standpoint,’ Humphrey said. ‘They are starting to get some experience and did well the last few weeks. Our secondary did a good job of coming down and playing in the run game. That’s the tough part of facing double-tight teams is they can lull you to sleep then slip a tight end out. Our guys did a good job in coverage.’
Shepherd carried the ball for 55 yards on 12 carries for Eastern (1-4, 1-3 Mid-Southern Conference). Devin LaPointe had a 52-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and ended up leading the Musketeers in rushing with 61 yards on two carries.
A plus-five in turnovers is an area Humphrey was pleased to see as the Panthers (2-3, 2-2 MSC) put together back-to-back league wins. Jesse Wolfe and Timberlake had recoveries in the second half.
‘A point of emphasis after the North Harrison game was turnovers,’ the Panthers’ coach said. ‘We’ve cleaned it up since then. In that game, if we don’t turn it over, maybe it’s a different game. You can’t do anything about the past, but the kids have had great focus since then on not turning the football over. They are executing the game plan.’
Then, they’re executing the school fight song.
Friday night the Panthers will return home for homecoming festivities when they host Salem.

Corydon Central 21 13 7 0 ‘ 41
Eastern (Pekin) 0 7 0 14 ‘ 21
CC ‘ Noah Windell 7 run (Dylan Higginbotham kick); CC ‘ Windell 7 run (Higginbotham kick); CC ‘ Windell 47 run (Higginbotham kick); CC ‘ Windell 35 run (kick failed); EP ‘ Tanner Shepherd 12 run (Landon Snelling kick); CC ‘ Chandler Money 71 run (Higginbotham kick); CC ‘ Avery Timberlake 17 pass from Windell (Higginbotham kick); EP ‘ Devin LaPointe 52 run (LaPointe run); EP ‘ Marcus Martin 24 run (kick failed).

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