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Unbeaten Warriors overrun Corydon Central

Unbeaten Warriors overrun Corydon Central
Unbeaten Warriors overrun Corydon Central
Hunter Schmitt of Corydon Central stiff-arms Scottsburg’s Jordan Lyons in the first half of Friday night’s Mid-Southern Conference game. Schmitt led the home team in rushing, but it wasn’t enough as the Panthers dropped their Senior Night game, 43-0. Photo by Alan Stewart
Alan Stewart, Contributing Writer

Corydon Central head coach Aaron Humphrey gathered his team near midfield Friday night after its 43-0 loss at the hands of Mid-Southern Conference-foe Scottsburg. Humphrey spoke in a calming, encouraging voice and reminded his players that football is a microcosm of life. Despite troubles — or success — they must keep marching forward toward their collective goals.

The visiting Warriors, whose varsity football program was resurrected in 2015 after a 31-year break, looked like a club that had been around for decades as they bested winless-Corydon Central in nearly every statistical category in improving to 4-0 on the season. It was the first time the Panthers had been shut out since Oct. 25, 2019, when they lost to Heritage Hills, 49-0, in the opening round of sectional play.

Corydon Central was without the services of more than a dozen players due to injury or COVID-19 quarantines, but Humphrey made no excuses and still found bright spots on the night.

“I thought defensively we played pretty well in the secondary. They had a lot of success running bubble screens, and we were worried about that, but I thought our kids played that really well,” Humphrey said. “They were better than us up front, and that’s what happens when teams are better than you up front. At times, we played well, but it’s a double-edged sword for us right now. The defense is on the field too long and they get tired and give up a big play and offensively maybe we go three-and-out and those defensive guys are back out there. We’re not helping each other out from both sides of the ball.”

“We’re down a lot of good football players in there, but we can’t sit around and feel sorry for ourselves because no one else is going to,” the coach continued. “We try to create the attitude that it’s the next guy up. We haven’t had a lot of success on the field, but I can say that I’m very proud of our team from the standpoint of there are kids stepping up and playing positions they’ve never played before because it’s what is best for the team. In the world we live in today, where it’s ‘about me’ by most kids, I’m proud of these young men because it’s about the team. We’ve got guys playing out of position that shouldn’t play there, but that’s what they know they have to do for the team, and I’m proud of our guys for that from that standpoint.”

After going three-and-out with a punt on the opening possession of the game, Corydon Central got the ball right back when Jalen Fowler picked off Javis Roush deep down the middle on Scottsburg’s first play from scrimmage. Unfortunately for the hosts, they were unable to move the ball and relinquished control back to the Warriors.

Scottsburg’s bell cow back Traven Crawford, who led all runners with 115 yards, broke through for a one-yard score and added a two-point conversion at the 6:19 mark for an 8-0 lead. The visitors then capitalized on a Panthers’ turnover with a 37-yard drive that was capped by a seven-yard run by Roush and the first of five PAT kicks by Lucas Toppe.

The Panthers started the final possession of the opening quarter with a long 30-yard strike from quarterback Nolan Adams to Fowler, who injured his shoulder on the play and was done for the night as the first quarter ended with the hosts trailing, 15-0.

The Panthers’ defense held strong in the second frame, limiting Scottsburg to just one touchdown on a connection between Roush and Bryson Mata across the middle of the end zone for a 12-yard score with 1:31 left in the half, putting the score at 22-0.

Corydon Central tried to make some noise going into the locker room as Humphrey dug into his bag of tricks and called up some razzle-dazzle with Adams hauling in a pass from Bruce Beard on a play that went 16 yards. On the next play, Corydon Central picked up 13 yards on a pass from Adams to Owen Shireman, but the drive stalled after three consecutive incompletions.

Scottsburg’s exclamation point on the night came on the kickoff of the second half as Langdon Holbrook caught the ball at his own 19 and zig-zagged untouched along the right side of the field and into the end zone for a 29-0 lead that swelled to 35-0 on Holbrook’s second score of the night on a 10-yard pass from Roush.

Roush capped the scoring on the night with a 10-yard run late in the fourth quarter, which was played with a running clock.

Corydon Central, which gained only four first downs in the contest, tallied 100 yards of offense with 59 on the ground and 25 via the passing route and was hit with five penalties for 30 yards. The Warriors, who had 10 penalties for 85 yards and 18 first downs, racked up 317 total yards with 235 on the ground and 82 through the air.

Hunter Schmitt led the Panthers’ rushing attack with 25 yards, and Fowler had a nine-yard rush to go along with his 30-yard reception. Adams had one catch for 16 yards, Beard had two catches for 15 yards and Tyler Stark and Shireman both wound up with eight yards apiece receiving.

Looking forward to this week, as of Monday evening, the Panthers have no Week 5 opponent, as scheduled opponent Eastern (Pekin) went to virtual learning due to COVID-19 and will be out of action until Sept. 20. Defending Mid-Southern Conference champion Silver Creek went without a Week 4 foe due to the Musketeers’ pause.

Humphrey said he and John Atkins, Corydon Central’s athletic director, were working to find an opponent for Friday and noted he would prefer to have a home game as it was supposed to be Homecoming Night.

“(Schools looking for games) goes to the IHSAA and they email that list out to all the schools. Like, so-and-so is looking for a game, and that even goes to the jayvee and freshmen games or whatever,” Humphrey said. “Within reason, we’ll see what’s out there and we’ll see what we can find that will work. Obviously, we don’t want to lose a home date but we also don’t want to have to ride a bus for six hours to play a game and then ride six hours back.”

Scottsburg                           15     7   14     7 – 43

Corydon Central                  0     0     0     0 –   0

Scottsburg – Traven Crawford, 1 yd run (Crawford run); Scottsburg – Javis Roush, 7 yd run (Lucas Toppe kick); Scottsburg – Bryson Mata, 12 yd pass from Roush (Toppe kick); Scottsburg – Langdon Holbrook, 81 yd kickoff return (Toppe kick); Scottsburg – Holbrook, 10 yd pass from Roush; Scottsburg – Roush, 10 yd run (Toppe kick).