-- — The Batesville Bulldogs were coming off a nice win against Franklin County and seemed to be headed in the right direction with the sectional tournament around the corner.
Unfortunately, they took a step backwards Friday night against an improved Connersville football team.
The host Spartans defeated the Bulldogs by a score of 34-21.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first in a nontraditional way. A fourth down attempt led to a fumble, which was recovered by junior Colin Brown in the end zone. A Mike Hoeing extra point made it 7-0.
The touchdown was set up by a long pass play from quarterback Connor Schuck to wide receiver Hoeing.
The first quarter passed and the Bulldogs led by seven.
Then it went a bit sour for the Bulldogs.
Connersville scored 20 unanswered points to take a 20-7 lead into halftime.
Two of their scores came within the final 1:30 of the half. The second was a 60-yard punt return by Colton Gonzalez with :22 remaining.
Gonzalez scored on a 35-yard run in the third quarter to help put the Spartans on top 27-7.
The Bulldogs cut the margin to 13 points on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Schuck to Bo Gowan. Hoeing’s extra point made it 27-14.
Keeping the ball on the ground, the Spartans scored on a 52-yard carry by Dakota Ervin with 1:20 to play in the contest.
The Bulldogs answered in the final stages with a 45-yard run by Dylan Cook.
The Bulldogs finished with 106 yards on the ground and 59 though the air.
The Spartans rushed the ball 42 times for 241 yards.
The Bulldogs open sectional play at Edgewood on Friday.