This would have been a key conference game in previous years.
But with the addition of Connersville and Rushville to the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference, two divisions were formed and the Batesville Bulldogs and East Central Trojans are no longer playing for the same conference title.
Too bad for the Bulldogs.
Batesville remained undefeated on the season with 31-10 victory over their rivals from St. Leon.
The field conditions were not ideal due to the pounding rain earlier in the day. Still, it was the same for both teams.
Despite the sloppy conditions, the Bulldogs were able to move the ball with regularity. Even plays that seemed designed for short yardage turned in big gainers.
“Everything seemed to click tonight,” BHS head coach Eric Heppner said. “Really proud of this group and how they continue to work hard and improve.”
The coaching staff got good play from the Bulldogs up front. They are an experienced group and that gives the team an edge. Noah Gausman, Graham Hunter and Zach Hall all started at times as sophomores. Matt Montini, Jacob Prarat and Tyler Folkman also have experience.
“They are now seniors and have been playing in their second or third varsity seasons,” Heppner said. “They are an experienced and intelligent group of lineman.
“I am glad they are on our side,” he added.
Clayton McKinley benefited on this night from the line’s success. The senior running back finished with 171 yards on 14 carries.
A big chunk of McKinley’s yards came on two plays.
The first was a 66-yard run to the four yard line in the second quarter to set up the team’s second score. Two plays later, McKinley scored from two yards out.
On the second play of the third quarter, McKinley busted through the line and ran for a 67-yard touchdown. Peter Heil’s extra point put the Bulldogs in front 21-3.
Heil later added a 32-yard field goal to make it 24-3 with 4:14 to play in the third quarter.
After a 11-yard touchdown pass from EC quarterback Brandon Koch to Hunter Kammer, the Bulldogs countered with their only score of the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Connor Schuck scored the game’s first touchdown and the final one. Schuck kept the ball, found a seam and was off. Forty-five yards later Schuck was in the end zone.
Schuck’s first touchdown was a 1-yard lunge at the 8:36 mark in the second quarter.
The BHS quarterback finished with 80 yards on 16 carries.
As a team, the Bulldogs rushed for 281 yards and four touchdowns. Schuck was 4-of-6 passing for 87 yards.
Defensively, the Bulldogs continue to impress.
Senior Colin Brown came up with a big night against the Trojans. Brown was in the middle of a number of plays. He finished with seven solo tackles and six assists from his middle linebacker position.
Senior Austin Westerfeld came up with big plays on both sides of the ball. The senior running back had a key 27 yard reception to help keep the team’s first scoring drive alive. He was also second on the team in tackles with four solo and two assists.
The Bulldogs improved to 5-0 on the season and will hit the road this Friday to play Lawrenceburg. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.