By CHRIS STONER
Corydon Central used a balance ground and air attack to wear down host Clarksville to a 34-14 tune Friday night in a Mid-Southern Conference matchup.
The Generals led 6-5 at the end of the first period, but were outscored 29-8 the rest of the way as they lost to the Pantheres for the fifth straight year.
“Corydon didn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Clarksville head coach Steve Cooley said. “They’re a well coached football team. We had a mistake here and a mistake there and that ended up costing us. We got a little tired at the end of the third and the fourth quarter. They wore us down some. Fatigue set in because we only had 32 healthy players tonight.”
The Generals’ (0-4, 0-3 MSC) special teams play put the home team in a hole early. Corydon (4-0, 3-0) scored first on a safety — their third of the season — and then a 24-yard Cory Thomas field goal on their next possession for an odd 5-0 lead.
“We had a long snap go over our punter’s head for a safety and then a 6-yard punt that gives them a short field where they only have to go 20-some yards to score, Cooley said. “Some weird things happened tonight, but we need to be able to flip the field and play field position better.”
Clarksville’s Nate Knight took matters into his own hands to turn the tide and give the Generals their first lead of the game. Knight intercepted Corydon quarterback Lannis Buck’s first pass attempt of the game and returned it to the Panther 22. Four plays later Knight scampered in from 11 yards out on a reverse to give the home team a 6-5 lead.
“We had some kids back tonight that we haven’t had the last couple of weeks and when we’re healthy we have a chance to be pretty good,” Cooley said.
Late in the second period, fullback Ezra Paden put the Panthers back on top with a 25-yard touchdown run. The Generals looked poised to regain the lead with a lightning fast hurry up attack that took the ball to the Corydon three.
Then the weirdness returned. After a Corydon timeout, the Generals had a run up the middle stopped. With no timeouts remaining, they were unable to stop the clock as quarter Wyatt Kissel inadvertently took a knee before spiking the football to stop the clock. The result was a 13-6 Corydon halftime lead.
“We were supposed to run power and down the ball and then we run power and take a knee,” Cooley said. “I’ve never seen that in 20 years of coaching but things happen. We did a lot of little things where we shot ourselves in the foot.”
The Panthers opened the second half with a 4:21 scoring drive capped by a 30-yard touchdown pass from Buck to Brayden Lander. Corydon never looked back by scoring on three of its four second half possessions.
“I give a lot of credit to Corydon’s football team,” Cooley said. “They outplayed us tonight. We just made too many mistakes.”
Clarksville, while short on numbers, was high on effort all night — evident of a 68-yard scoring strike from Kissell to Andrew Wright with just 39 seconds remaining for the game’s final score.
The Generals pounded the ball on the ground most of the night with 202 rushing yards. Marquise Parrish tallied 148 yards on 21 carries.
“I am proud of the kids and proud of our defense,”Cooley said. “Our defense played really well for the first 75 snaps. We wanted to shutdown [isolation] and power. We’ve been getting run all over the last few weeks so we made some adjustments and simplified things. We’re getting better but we have a long ways to go.”
Clarksville returns to the gridiron Friday at Salem. The Lions are 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the MSC after falling to Brownstown Central on Friday.
CORYDON CENTRAL 34, CLARJSVILLE 14.
Corydon Central 5 8 7 14 — 34
Clarksville 6 0 0 8 — 14
CC — Safety, 10:38.
CC — Thomas 24 yard FG, 6:28.
Cl — Nate Knight 11 run (run failed), 0:26.
CC — Paden 25 run (Buck run), 2:48.
CC — Lander 30 pass from Buck (Thomas kick), 7:39.
CC — Buck 1 run (Thomas kick), 9:50.
CC — Newton 5 run (Thomas kick), 2:37.
Cl — Andrew Wright 68 pass from Wyatt Kissel (Parrish run), 0:39.
Corydon Central: Buck 10-15-151-1
Clarksville: Kissel 7-12-101-1
Corydon Central: Newton 21-56, McAfee 4-14, Paden 9-44, Buck 4-8, Woodward 8-66, W. Thopmas 1-6.
Clarksville: Marquise Parrish 21-148, Knight 3-29, Kissel 8-29.
Corydon Central: Lander 8-122, Allen 1-15, Catlett 1-14.
Clarksville: Knight 1-5, Wright 4-93, Alex Hinson 1-7, Noah Edelman 1-minus 4.