The Batesville Herald-Tribune
---- — The Bulldogs entered Friday night with a chance to achieve something only one other team had done in the history of football at Batesville High School.
The Bulldogs were looking to go 9-0 and complete a undefeated regular season. Only the 2009 team has been able to claim this feat ... that is until now.
Coach Eric Heppner’s crew made short work of the Connersville Spartans to record a 35-0 victory.
They are now perfect at 9-0 entering the IHSAA sectional tournament, which begins on Friday with a home game against Indian Creek.
“I am so proud of this team for what they have achieved and how they have gone about,” Heppner said. “They have worked extremely hard to improve. It has now been easy for them, but they have stuck with the program and it is now paying off.”
The win over the Spartans and the success in the regular season is fine, but the Bulldogs want for more.
“We accomplished a 9-0 season and won a conference title,” Heppner said. “That is great ... we have bigger goals to chase now.
“The teams in the sectional are good. We feel we have as good of a chance as anyone, but it will not be easy. Whoever comes out of sectional is going to earn it,” he added.
If Friday is any indication, the Bulldogs seem to be peaking at the right time.
The defense has been good all season and the offense just keeps getting better.
The Bulldogs racked up 35 points with relative ease.
The Bulldogs scored at the 4:03 mark in the first quarter on 14-yard pass from Connor Schuck to Ben Wilson. Wilson displayed amazing concentration as the ball was tipped just in front of him. The BHS senior turned to find the ball and was able to gather it in while crossing over the goal line.
Boston Gowan took what looked to a short gain and turned it into a 14-yard touchdown run with under two minutes to play in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs entered the second quarter with a 13-0 advantage.
The lead grew to 21 points on 19-yard pass from Schuck to Austin Westerfeld. Schuck ran for the two-point conversion to make it 21-0.
Schuck added a 1-yard run late in the second quarter. Peter Heil tacked on the extra point to make it 28-0.
Batesville senior Taylor Henson capped the scoring with a 9-yard run late in the third quarter. Heil added an extra point to extend the lead to 35-0.
“Our defense has been very good to this point, but I am not sure we give them enough credit,” Heppner said.
The Bulldogs have allowed opposing teams to an average of 7.1 points per game and recorded a pair of shutouts.
“Then there is the offensive line ... they are the key to our success on that side,” Heppner added. “When we need to run the ball they open holes and when we need to pass the protection has been good.”
The Bulldogs finished the night with 126 yards through the air and 266 on the ground. Schuck connected on 6-of-12 passes with a pair of touchdowns. Westerfeld caught two passes for 41 yards, while Clayton McKinley hauled in one for 30 yards. Schuck led the way on the ground with 11 carries for 80 yards, while Westerfeld carried it four time for 48 yards. Zach Mears was third on the team with four carries for 44 yards in limited time in the second half.
The Bulldogs will host Indian Creek (7-2) on Friday. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Bulldog Leaders Passing: Schuck 6-of-12 for 126 yards Receiving: Westerfeld (2-41), McKinley (1-30), R. Wilson (1-22) Rushing: Schuck (11-80), Westerfeld (4-48), Mears (4-44), Gowan (5-39), Henson (5-31) Tackle points: Williamson (11), Brown (9), Westerfeld (7), Dickey (6), B. Wilson (6), Schebler (6)