RUSHVILLE – Batesville has had Rushville’s number this fall in tournament action. The Bulldogs eliminated the Lions in boys soccer and volleyball and made it a 3-peat with a 49-14 victory in the first round of the football sectional.
The Bulldogs (4-6) advance to the sectional semifinal vs. Greensburg (6-4). The Lions end the season at 1-9.
Rushville opened the game with a strong drive offensively. The Lions went from their own 29-yard line to the Batesville 14-yard line. Nice runs by Nick Lawler and a pass from Austin Vance to Anthony Meo highlighted the drive. Batesville’s defense held on fourth down to turn the ball over after the Lions’ 13-play drive.
Batesville need just under four minutes to put the first score on the board. Austin Pohlman carried the ball seven times and quarterback Travis Lecher rushed for 48 yards on the drive, including a 1-yard touchdown run at the 1:57 mark of the first quarter. Braiden Foster, who was a perfect 7-for-7 on extra points, added the point after to make it 7-0.
On the next Lion possession, Rushville moved the ball into Batesville territory, but a fumble was recovered by Batesville’s JT Linkel to give the ball back to the Bulldogs with 9:55 left in the second quarter.
Batesville added to the lead with a 30-yard TD run by Lecher to make it 14-0 with 7:27 left in the half.
Both teams punted on the next possessions.
Batesville’s defense came up with another turnover and again turned it into points. Jeremiah Lemmel intercepted the Rushville pass with :52.7 left on the clock. Two plays later, Jake Cruse scored from 6-yards out to make it 21-0 at the half.
The break at the half did not slow Cruse as the Bulldog senior scored on a 38-yard run with 11:35 left in the third quarter. The Bulldogs were in control 28-0.
After a Rushville punt, the Bulldogs got a 7-yard touchdown run by Pohlman to push the lead to 35-0 and force a running clock throughout the rest of the contest.
Batesville’s defense turned the ball over on downs on Rushville’s next possession and the offense added to the lead with a 7-yard run by Pohlman.
On the ensuing kick-off, Lawler received the kick and went to the right. He then flipped the ball to Jake Vance on the reverse and Vance went the rest of the way for the 73-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion failed as Batesville led 42-6.
Batesville quarterback Lecher found the end zone for his third TD of the game to extend the Bulldog lead to 49-6 early in the fourth quarter.
Late in the fourth, the Lions got on the board again as Austin Vance connected with Meo for the 8-yard touchdown. Lawler added the 2-point conversion to make the final margin 49-14.
Pohlman rushed for 151 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Lecher added 91 yards rushing and three TDs. Cruse had 75 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
For the Lions, Lawler led the way with 91 yards on the ground. Jake Vance had 46 yards rushing. Meo added 38 yards receiving and one touchdown.