The Batesville Herald-Tribune
The Batesville High School football team is one step closer to perfection.
An unblemished mark in the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference and for the regular season is within reach.
The Bulldogs defeated Franklin County 40-7 on homecoming night at BHS.
Batesville's win over the Wildcats puts them at 8-0 on the season and 6-0 against teams in the EIAC. Only the Connersville Spartans stand in the way of taking an undefeated record into the IHSAA sectional tournament.
"I am really excited about this team and what they have accomplished to this point," BHS head coach Eric Heppner commented. "I am really proud of them ... they work hard and want to keep improving."
The last time the Bulldogs were perfect through eight games was 2009. Heppner's crew ran their streak to 11 games before suffering a loss to Chatard in the regional finals.
The No. 7 ranked Bulldogs were given good field position on their first possession and took advantage. Eight plays later quarterback Connor Schuck powered his way into the end zone. Peter Heil added the extra point and it was 7-0 with 8:39 to play in the first period.
The defense made it tough on the Wildcats early in the game and eventually turned the ball over. Senior Ben Wilson intercepted a Kohl Holmes pass to give the Bulldogs the ball at the FC 30 yard line.
After runs by Bo Gowan and Austin Westerfeld pushed the ball deeper into Wildcat territory, Schuck found the sure-handed Ryan Wilson in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown with just under two minutes to play in the first quarter.
The Wildcats began to generate a little momentum on offense, but senior outside linebacker Curtis Davidson came up with a sack on fourth down. The 10-yard loss drove the ball back to the Bulldog 40 yard line.
A 30-yard run by Westerfeld and a 26-yard pass play to Ryan Wilson set up the team's third score of the first half. Schuck fired a strike to Westerfeld in the back of the end zone from seven yards out. The extra point attempt was blocked, but the Bulldogs still held on to a comfortable 20 point advantage.
The Wildcats managed their only score of the night right before halftime. Josh Orschell scored from one yard out. Heath Bauman added the extra point to cut the BHS lead to 20-7.
Schuck and Clayton McKinley tacked on rushing touchdowns in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 33-7.
Gowan capped the scoring with an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter. A Heil extra point made it 40-7.
Schuck finished the game with 116 yards passing with a pair of touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores. Ryan Wilson caught three balls for a total 66 yards and a touchdown.
The Bulldogs were very balanced on the ground. McKinley, Westerfeld and Gowan were all within 10 yards rushing. McKinley carried the ball 10 times for 65 yards. Westerfeld got the ball nine times for 60 yards, while Gowan finished with 55 on seven carries.
Batesville will next be in action Friday night when they host Connersville. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.