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Pirates shut out Panthers, 47-0

Pirates shut out Panthers, 47-0
Pirates shut out Panthers, 47-0
Corydon Central senior Jaxon Wright, left, is wrangled to the turf by Jakob Lewellen of Charlestown during a first-quarter kick-off return Friday night in a Mid-Southern Conference matchup. Photo by Alan Stewart
Alan Stewart, Contributing Writer

Host Corydon Central was able to move the ball at times against Charlestown on Friday night but wound up having nothing to show for it other than a 47-0 shutout, the team’s third straight game without reaching pay dirt.

The Panthers, who are still without the services of a slew of players due to injuries or COVID-19 quarantines, played one of their best ground games of the season, head coach Aaron Humphrey said.

“This was the first time all year that we had a run game established a little bit there in the first half,” he said. “We’d put ourselves in a bad spot with a bad snap or a missed assignment. It’s inexperience and young guys playing that just make young player mistakes from time to time. Against a good team like Charlestown, you just can’t do that. We’re a little out-manned, and our guys that are playing both ways are playing too many snaps. They play hard, and that’s all I can ask out of them. We’re getting better every week.”

Sacks not factored in, Corydon Central (0-6, 0-5 Mid-Southern Conference) had nearly 60 rushing yards and threw for 38, led by junior back Hunter Schmitt and senior Bruce Beard, respectively.

The Panthers’ longest drive of the night came in the final four minutes of the opening period as Beard, Schmitt and quarterback Nolan Adams gained yardage on the ground to bring the ball from their 34 to Charlestown’s 32 before the offense stalled. The Panthers’ defense did come up with a handful of sacks, including a couple from Michael Basham and Dakota Jones.

Charlestown posted 13 points in the opening period on three-yard runs by Logan Harvey and Jaron Almeciga and added 12 more points in the second on a four-yard rush by Ayden McIntosh and an 11-yard strike from quarterback Clay McClelland to Jake Ottersbach for a 25-0 lead at halftime. The Pirates (5-2, 3-2 MSC) added 14 points in the third quarter as McClelland reached from 20 yards out and tossed to Zander Morris on a 25-yard scoring pass. With a running clock in effect from the 6:04 mark of the third, Charlestown capped the scoring when Nick Myers recovered a Panthers’ fumble in the end zone.

Charlestown cranked out 187 rushing yards, led by Harvey’s 63, and had 193 yards through the air attack with Ottersbach setting the pace.

“We should get four back this week who were quarantined, and there’s an outside shot one of the injured players could be back this week or next,” Humphrey said. “What I’m proud of is that our starters on offense will go right out and play on defense and is it fair to them? No, but they have to do it for the team. I know our record isn’t great and it doesn’t show on the scoreboard, but I’m as proud of this football team as I have been for any football team I’ve been around because they do what the team needs. They may not get to play a specific position from week to week. They may play here one game and there another game, but they step up and do it. That’s what I’m most proud about with this football team is that they just step up and do what’s best for the team.”

Looking forward to Friday, the Panthers will host their scrimmage opponent, Providence (3-4). The Pioneers are coming off a 35-21 victory over Milan. Corydon Central and Providence haven’t met on the gridiron since the 1998 season, which was a 49-0 victory by the Pioneers.

“We have film on them, and they are well coach and played hard in the scrimmage,” Humphrey said. “We’ll have to play our best game to have a chance to be successful against them. It’s a matchup that fits us and, hopefully, we can play well Friday and be successful.”

Charlestown                     13   12   14     8 – 47

Corydon Central               0     0     0     0 –   0

Charlestown – Logan Harvey, 3 yd run (Jaron Almeciga kick); Charlestown – Almeciga, 3 yd run (kick failed); Charlestown – Ayden McIntosh, 4 yd run (run failed); Charlestown – Jake Ottersbach, 11 yd pass from Clay McClelland (kick blocked); Charlestown – McClelland, 20 yd run (Almeciga kick); Charlestown – Zander Morris, 25 yd pass from McClelland (Almeciga kick); Charlestown – Nick Myers, fumble recovery in end zone (Jayden Small run).