The Batesville Herald-Tribune
The Batesville High School football team did something Friday night they have not been able to the past two seasons.
The Bulldogs defeated the Greensburg Pirates by a score of 42-14.
"It was a good win for us," BHS head coach Eric Heppner said. "We knew this would be a hard-fought game and it was.
"I think this group is still getting better and finally playing with some confidence," he added.
The Pirates had won seven of the previous nine meetings leading into Friday night's game at Shriver Field.
The victory not only snaps a four game losing streak to the Pirates, but keeps the team's hope of a undefeated regular season alive.
The Bulldogs were able to make some adjustments on both sides of the ball as the game progressed and it proved to the difference.
From the beginning of the game, it was apparent the Batesville rushing attack was not producing like other games this season. So, coach Heppner quickly shifted gears and relied more on the arm of junior quarterback Connor Schuck.
Schuck and the Batesville offense responded.
The Bulldogs connected on 13 pass plays with only two resulting in less than 10 yards.
Big plays were a key in the team's first score. A 29-yard pass play from Schuck to Ben Wilson and later a 33-yard connection between Shuck and Ryan Wilson quickly set up the first touchdown.
Schuck called his own number and took on a couple Greensburg tacklers before getting to the end zone from two yards out. Peter Heil added his first of six extra points to put the Bulldogs on top 7-0 at the 8:49 mark in the first quarter.
The Pirates were not intimidated by the swift success of the Bulldogs.
The Pirates answered three plays later with a 60-yard run by Blake Wood. A Colin Rigney extra point knotted the score at 7-7.
Greensburg took their only lead of the game on a Trent Black carry early in the second quarter.
The deficit did not seem to bother the Bulldogs.
Playing with more confidence each week, coach Heppner's crew bounced back on the next possession.
An 18-yard pass from Schuck to Ben Wilson capped an 11-play drive drive covering 78 yards. A pair of completions to Austin Westerfeld and one to Ryan Wilson helped keep the drive alive.
The Pirates drove into Bulldogs territory, but misplayed a quick punt from the 36 yard line and the Bulldogs took over on their own 37 yard line with under three minutes to play in the half.
Batesville took advantage of the miscue. A 22-yard catch and run by Westerfeld was followed two plays later by a 41-yard touchdown pass from Schuck to Ryan Wilson.
The first half ended with the Bulldogs in front 21-14.
The deceptive running game of the Pirates did not have the impact in the second half as it did in the first.
The Bulldogs stepped up play on the defensive side of the ball, which proved to the a key in the game.
"We definitely made some adjustments at halftime," Heppner commented. "Defensively, we did not play with a lot of discipline in the first half.
"They settled down and were much better in the second half," he added.
And it was reflected on the scoreboard.
The Pirates, who were averaging nearly 34 points a game entering the contest, were held scoreless in the second half.
The added defensive presence allowed the offense more opportunity.
A fumble recovery by Graham Hunter helped set up the first score of the third quarter and a key three-and-out effort on the following possession set up the second.
Touchdown passes of 19 and 31 yards to Ryan Wilson broke the game open in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs added a 24-yard rushing touchdown by Clayton McKinley in the fourth quarter to make it 42-14.
Defensively, the Bulldogs were led by senior linebacker Collin Brown. Brown led the team in tackle points, which included six solo tackles and nine assists. Brown also recovered a fumble.
The Bulldogs improved to 7-0 on the season with two games to play before the sectional tournament begins. They will next be in action at home against the Franklin County Wildcats. The Friday game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.