Friday will mark the 12th time since 1994 that natural rivals Batesville and Greensburg have met during the football postseason.
The host Bulldogs (not an away game as previously reported) have won six of the prior 11, including last October’s 59-19 blowout win in Decatur County. BHS head coach Evan Ulery looks for another win against the school where he cut his coaching teeth.
However, the Pirates own the latest victory in the ongoing series, a 24-18 home win over the Dogs one month ago.
In that contest, Batesville had the ball at its own 29-yard line with 1:14 remaining. Sophomore quarterback Travis Lecher led the offense into Greensburg territory and a personal foul call on the Bucs moved the pigskin to the 26. Time having run out, BHS was given an untimed down; the game ended when Aaron Moeller sacked Lecher.
The Pirates went down to the wire against Franklin County in the sectional opener. Corbin Mathews’ second interception of the game sealed a 27-26 home win.
Toby Brogan, Greensburg’s junior quarterback, demands the most attention from opposing defenses. With good reason.
No. 12 has run for 1,197 yards (and 21 scores), nearly three times the total of second backfield option Daimon Austin (422). In the Batesville win, Brogan scored from the 17- and 38-yard lines. He also hooked up with Cole Nobbe from 23 yards away; through the air, Brogan has 949 yards and 6 touchdowns against 4 INTs. Avery Moore leads the team in receptions (20) and receiving yards (236).
Defensively, a pair of stocky seniors man each side of the linebacker level for the Pirates. Eric Lowe has 83 total tackles while Jacob Evans has been in on 66 of his own and recovered 3 fumbles.
Batesville surely benefits from a healthy Austin Pohlman. The junior running back, despite missing four games (including vs. Greensburg Oct. 4), leads the Bulldogs in rushing with 731 yards and has reached the end zone seven times.
Lecher is just shy of 1,000 yards passing in his first year at the helm, currently at 950, while adding 10 TDs and 4 picks. He’s gained 690 yards rushing and a dozen touchdowns, one coming against the Pirates.
Senior Jake Cruse has caught 19 balls while going for another 485 yards on the ground, making five house calls. Senior tight end Charlie Dice has grabbed 10 catches, half of those going for six points; his 285 receiving yards lead the squad.
On defense, senior Brayden Linkel has put together a great season. The middle linebacker is credited with 141 tackles (8.5 for a loss), 2 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. Another Linkel, senior JT, owns 83 tackles; sophomore Chase Hamilton has notched 74 (6 for loss). Lecher has snagged 3 interceptions in the secondary.
One more dynamic to the game comes on special teams.
If either side has a drive bogging down outside the opponent’s 20, all is not lost. Junior Ben Bausback has connected on five out of 10 field goal attempts, with a long-distance make of 48 yards among those. On the opposing sideline, sophomore Braiden Foster is just as capable, though he has just one FG this fall – a 37-yarder against the Pirates. Bausback nailed one (31 yards) in the regular season contest as well.
In the other Sectional 31 semifinal, Charlestown (8-2) – a 7-6 winner over defending sectional champion Brownstown Central last Friday – visits Lawrenceburg (9-1). Should Batesville advance, the Bulldogs will be 48 minutes away from a sectional title at their home stadium.
Game time temperatures will be fairly mild for November, with a low of 38 and no precipitation forecast.
Greensburg (6-4) at Batesville (4-6)
Game time: Nov. 1, 7 p.m., Dawg Pound.
Coaches: Scott Moore, 61-63 in 12th year at Greensburg. Evan Ulery, 25-18 in 4th year at Batesville.
Sagarin ratings: Greensburg, 41.99, 165th overall, 33rd in 3A. Batesville, 34.15, 197th overall, 40th in 3A.
Last outing: Greensburg defeated Franklin County, 27-26. Batesville defeated Rushville, 49-14.
Vs. common foes: Greensburg 4-3; Batesville 3-4.
Opponents’ records: Greensburg 46-54. Batesville 48-52.
Series last 35 years: Batesville, 26-22
Last meeting: Greensburg, 24-18, Oct. 4, 2019.