Nail-biter again for Panthers
Brian Smith, Sports Editor, [email protected]
For the second straight week, the Corydon Central captains made their way to midfield for a second coin toss when 48 minutes of football couldn’t determine a victor.
Deadlocked at 13-all, Corydon Central and Scottsburg went to the extra session, needing three overtimes to see the visiting Warriors prevail 26-20.
“It’s a little frustrating, but we have to get back to work,” said Corydon Central coach Aaron Humphrey.
One week after a heart-breaking loss at rival North Harrison in overtime, the Panthers were in a similar situation under the home lights Friday for homecoming.
Corydon Central took possession first in the initial overtime period and used three runs from Chandler Money to reach pay dirt. His one-yard TD rush over the right side was followed by Dylan Higginbotham making the extra point for a 20-13 lead.
On Scottsburg’s overtime possession (each team gets first-and-goal from the 10), Ethan Mullins took a toss nine yards down to the 1. In a heavy formation, Jordan Bristol scored for the Warriors. After an illegal formation on the point after to push a field-goal attempt back five yards, Noah Smith extended the game with a make.
Overtime No. 2 began with Scottsburg having possession first. The drive went backward quick. Jesse Wolfe tackled Mullins for a short loss. An illegal substitution sent the Warriors farther back. Scottsburg quarterback Javis Roush, on third down, couldn’t escape the grasp of Christian Wilkerson, who sacked him for a loss of 13.
On fourth down, Roush dropped back, was flushed and eventually fumbled with Wolfe coming up with his second recovery of the night.
“Defensively, I thought we did a lot of positive things tonight,” said Humphrey.
The momentum seemed to be on Corydon Central’s side, especially when Money took the first carry to the 6-yard line. The next two plays, however, saw the Panthers whistled for illegal blocks, sending them back to the 28. Two more lost yardage plays pushed the game to a third overtime session.
“Bottom line, the second overtime, it was our game to win,” said Humphrey. “We didn’t win it. We picked up five yards then had those penalties.”
Two runs by Noah Denbo moved the ball to the 6 in the third OT. After an offsides call, Corydon Central was moved back where the Panthers later tried a 28-yard field goal that went wide right.
Scottsburg’s offense hit the field then celebrated a short time later. Mullins went in motion from the left, took a hand-off and headed to the right sideline before cutting back to the center of the field, notching a 10-yard TD.
Mullins ended the game with 125 yards rushing on 10 touches.
The game couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for the Panthers. Taking the opening hand-off, Noah Denbo went inside and through a gaping hole to wide open space. Sixty-four yards later, the touchdown run put the Panthers up 6-0 after a failed extra-point kick.
“It was our opposite of the first several weeks,” said Humphrey. “We were giving up a touchdown on the first play of the game but this one we get the (positive) start, but we were sluggish the rest of the first half.”
Scottsburg was more methodical with its opening drive. Short runs by Jeremy Beswick, Bristol and Roush set up a 33-yard rush by Mullins. Facing a third-and-9, Roush connected with Brantley Deaton on a play-action pass for a 17-yard touchdown.
From there, neither offense mustered much of a scoring threat before halftime. Two big gainers for Scottsburg moved the ball to the 21, but a handful of holding penalties dropped the Warriors back to near midfield.
With five minutes to go before the half, Bradley Pitts came up with a sack to force a Scottsburg punt. On the punt try, Smith, the punter, put his knee down to receive the snap, blowing the play dead. Field position 29 yards from the end zone seemed promising for the Panthers, but their drive ended with an interception.
Out of halftime, Scottsburg chewed up half the clock in the third quarter, ending with a toss to Mullins that resulted in a 30-yard touchdown run. The Warriors went ahead 13-6 after the extra point veered left.
On Corydon Central’s second possession of the third quarter, Chandler Money had a positive punt return advance the ball to the Scottsburg 31. With more energy on the Panthers’ sideline, Denbo bounced left with the next carry and went to the house. A made extra point evened the score at 13-all.
“We wanted to start running more weak-side,” said Humphrey. “We went to our bone (formation) to get an extra guy in there to block to clean some things up. We found a little something, but it wasn’t enough.”
The Panthers’ offense felt the heat of Scottsburg’s defense much of the night. Relentless with various blitzes, the Warriors sacked Corydon Central QB Nolan Adams five times.
“They were blitzing the house,” said Humphrey. “When a team is doing that against the run game, it’s going to be feast or famine, and it felt like it was that way. They had success.”
Corydon Central pushed the ball down field late in the fourth quarter, facing a fourth-and-3 at the 32. Aggressive again, Scottsburg snuffed out a Denbo rush for a loss, turning the ball over on downs.
Money closed the game with 114 rushing yards, while Denbo carried for 99. The Panthers were 0 for 2 in the passing game. The lone turnover was the interception before halftime.
“After week one, when we’ve gone to two backs and under center, we’ve done a good job taking care of the ball,” said Humphrey.
On defense, Joe Mullinax had two sacks for Corydon Central.
The Panthers (1-3, 0-3 Mid-Southern Conference) look to get back on track Friday when they host Eastern (Pekin) at 7 p.m.
Scottsburg 7 0 6 0 7 0 6 – 26
Corydon Central 6 0 7 0 7 0 0 – 20
CC – Noah Denbo 64 run (kick failed); S – Bradley Deaton 17 pass from Javis Roush (Noah Smith kick); S – Ethan Mullins 30 run (kick failed); CC – Denbo 31 run (Dylan Higginbotham kick); CC – Chandler Money 1 run (Higginbotham kick); S – Jordan Bristol 1 run (Smith kick); S – Mullins 10 run (no attempt).