INDIANAPOLIS–For a second straight outing, the Batesville Bulldogs lined up against a talented and athletic senior quarterback.
And for a second straight week, said field general led his side to a 35-point output while passing around the 300-yard mark.
This time, it was South Dearborn’s Adam Dixon leading his Knights to a 35-7 win over the Bulldogs as part of the Southeastern Showdown in Lucas Oil Stadium.
“South Dearborn’s a really good football team,” said BHS head coach Evan Ulery from the press box high above the home of the Colts.
“I’m not going to fault our effort,” he continued. “There’s nothing here where I thought our guys didn’t give the effort. Their guys just made too many of those big plays (that made the difference).”
Senior tight end Jake Black hauled in three of the Knights’ touchdowns on the night, catching six of Dixon’s 23 completions (for an unofficial 301 yards).
Black’s first came on the opening drive, which began with a 41-yard bomb to Reese Willoughby. SD converted a 4th-and-7 ahead of the opening score. Black also caught the 2-point conversion for a quick 8-0 lead.
A nice return by Austin Pohlman and 1st-down grab by Trey Peters started Batesville’s offensive performance. The drive bogged down on the next series for a turnover on downs.
Both teams swapped three-and-outs, leading to one of Braiden Foster’s six punts. SD returned the latter to the Batesville 25-yard-line and, immediately, Dixon found Willoughby for a wide-open touchdown and 14-point lead.
Again trading punts, the Bulldogs began at their own 20 early in the second period. On a 3rd-and-9, quarterback Travis Lecher’s pass was picked off by Will Yauch. However, Sam Bowman promptly recovered a Dixon fumble, essentially advancing the BHS drive. Batesville avoided three consecutive turnovers when Karson Macke fell on Pohlman’s fumble. Four plays later, BHS was forced to punt.
The Knights began on their own 19. Dixon struck for a 35-yarder to Willoughby with a 15-yard personal foul tacked on. A play later, Black caught a 20-yard pass. With 1:39 left in the half, Black tipped a jump ball in the end zone to himself for a 7-yard score.
Despite a 40-yard gallop by Pohlman on the second play of the third quarter, the Dogs turned the ball over on downs in SD territory.
Looking to add to their 21-0 lead, the Knights got a 38-yard carry from Dalton Guthrie. After six run plays, Dixon dropped back to his right and threw left to a waiting Black for a 19-yard TD strike.
Batesville recovered another fumble to end SD’s next drive, but a three-and-out ensued.
To start the final quarter, the Knights faced 3rd-and-22 and converted with a 34-yard pass to Blake Bartley. Guthrie made it 35-0 on a 4-yard scamper.
“We gave up some pivotal plays ... on a 3rd-and-22 and a 4th-and-12,” said Ulery. “Those are things we have to take a look at.”
Batesville finally got on the scoreboard with 3:38 remaining, going 70 yards on 11 plays with Pohlman rushing in from the 2.
Pohlman rushed for over 120 yards but BHS managed just 8 first downs to SD’s 15. Guthrie went over the century mark on the ground and Willoughby caught 5 balls for 116 yards.
“Today defines where our season is now, but it does not define where our season’s going to be,” stated Ulery. “There are things we need to clean up and just continue to get better.”
BHS (1-2) is home to Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference rival Rushville Friday night, 7 p.m.