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Panthers show ‘spurts’ of good football, fall to Dragons

Panthers show ‘spurts’ of good football, fall to Dragons
Panthers show ‘spurts’ of good football, fall to Dragons
Corydon Central tight end Houston Von Schmittou picks up yards after a catch Friday night. Von Schmittou hauled in three passes during the 49-19 loss. Photo by Ross Schulz
Ross Schulz, Contributing Writer

The Corydon Central Panthers accomplished a couple of things no other team has been able to do against undefeated, 4A top 10 Silver Creek Friday night, but, in the end, the Dragons were too strong and expanded on a two-possession lead in the fourth quarter to complete a perfect regular season with a 49-19 win.

The Panthers’ defense turned over the Silver Creek offense repeatedly, forcing four turnovers. Corydon Central also put up more points on the Dragons than anyone else all season with 19.

“We’ve got to fix some of our mental mistakes/mental breakdowns; you play a good team like Silver Creek, you can’t have those,” Panthers coach Aaron Humphrey said. “We showed spurts of being a good football team like I think we’re capable of being. We won the turnover battle; I felt good about that. You can’t have the mental mistakes because they’ve got athletes that will go score if you have one.”

The Panthers opened the game with a long run from senior running back Chandler Money deep into the Dragons’ territory near the 20-yard line. The Corydon Central sideline was perplexed, however, when the ball was spotted around midfield when no flags were thrown. Apparently, the head official’s whistle button (the officiating crew used push-button whistles) was bumped into, causing it to blow inadvertently, so he ruled the play dead. The drive then stalled, and Corydon Central had to punt.

After a fourth-and-1 conversion, the Dragons had little problem getting on the scoreboard. Running back Ben Landers, who was busy on the drive, scored from 19 yards out without being touched.

After a three-and-out by the Panthers’ offense, the defense came up big, forcing a fumble from Lashun Mays. Junior Michael Basham came up with the fumble recovery.

The Panthers knotted the score at seven after sophomore running back Anthony Martin took it in from the seven-yard line. Martin was used heavily on the drive, and positive plays from Money and quarterback Tyler Fessel finding tight end Houston Von Schmittou helped move the Panthers down the field.

The second quarter began with another strong drive from Silver Creek, ending with a touchdown from Rocky Sheene from three yards out. The extra-point attempt was no good.

Corydon Central took over possession looking to score and take the lead on the heavily-favored Dragons.

A big play from Fessel to sophomore receiver Jalen Fowler set up a scoring opportunity. Fowler caught a short pass in the flat, made a defender miss, then broke a tackle before putting his head down to force contact while being taken down at the Dragons’ eight-yard-line.

Senior wide receiver Koleton Kaiser hauled in a pass for a five-yard touchdown to tie the score. The Panthers could not manage to take the lead, as the extra-point attempt sailed off line.

Landers continued his big night on the ensuing possession, using his speed to score from 38 yards. The drive only took 1:23 off the clock. The Dragons added two points with a conversion to take a 21-13 advantage.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Panthers made a big mistake, fumbling possession away to the Dragons, who wasted little time adding to their lead, again with Landers finding the end zone. He did it this time with help of his quarterback, connecting for a TD pass from Dylan Meyers.

Money did his best to make up for the previous mishap on the kickoff, taking the next one to the house for a touchdown to cut the Dragons’ lead to nine, 28-19, with two minutes to play in the half. Silver Creek used up the rest of the first-half clock by driving down in scoring position where Mays took it in from six yards out to take a 35-19 lead into halftime.

The third quarter included two Silver Creek turnovers: a fumble and a Fowler interception. The Panthers’ offense moved the ball well but could not put it in the end zone, turning it over on downs on a couple of occasions deep in the Dragons’ territory.

Silver Creek extended its lead with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, although Corydon Central forced one more turnover, an interception hauled in by Jaeden Singleton.

Corydon Central wrapped up its regular season with a positive 5-3 mark (the opener vs. Brownstown Central was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns). Now, the attention moves to the postseason and a date with Salem. The Lions knocked off the Panthers 36-20 on Sept. 25.

“That’s the only one we’re worried about,” Humphrey said of the upcoming sectional. “We’ll get back to work Monday, and I know our guys will be focused and ready to get to work on Salem. Obviously, they’re a very good football team, another physical football team that’s hotter than anybody in the conference … so we’ll have our hands full, but we’re looking forward to the game next Friday.”

Silver Creek will take its unblemished record into the postseason against fellow top 10 squad East Central.

Silver Creek                     7   28     0   14 – 49

Corydon Central             7   12     0     0 – 19

Silver Creek – Ben Landers 19 run (Jonathan McIntyre kick); Corydon Central – Anthony Martin 9 run (Nathaniel Lisher kick); SC – Rocky Sheene 3 run (kick failed); CC- Koleton Kaiser 5 pass from Tyler Fessel (kick failed); SC – Landers 38 run (Zachery Zimmerman 2 pass from Dylan Meyers); SC – Landers 9 pass from Meyers (McIntyre kick); CC – Chandler Money 78 kickoff (kick failed); SC – Lashun Mays 6 run (McIntyre kick); SC – Mays 6 run (McIntyre kick); SC – Trey Schoen 66 run (McIntyre kick).