CLARKSVILLE — Looking to the future with the possibility of a winning regular season on the table, Clarksville instead got an unwelcome visit from its past.
Corydon Central rolled to a 57-30 Mid-Southern Conference win Friday night at Guy Newcom Field. Almost nothing went right for the Generals during a disastrous second quarter, and that doomed them.
Clarksville (3-5, 2-5) started the season 3-1, but a four-game losing streak has Generals coach Justin Boser looking for answers as the postseason looms.
“We’re banged up and short-handed right now,” Boser said. “But we’re going to come back and try to regroup.”
Corydon (5-2, 4-2) got off to a fast start. On the second play from scrimmage, Panthers quarterback Tyler Fessel broke through the Clarksville line and rambled 69 yards for a touchdown for a 6-0 lead.
On Corydon’s next possession, the Panthers put together an 11-play drive that the Generals’ defense stopped at the 6-yard line. Ethan Lisher kicked a 24-yard field goal to make it 9-0.
Clarksville answered as time ran out in the first quarter. A 12-play drive, covering 69 yards, included a 23-yard pass from Keyshawn Minor to Dae’von Fuqua on fourth-and-13 at midfield. The Generals would have another fourth-down conversion before Fuqua scored on a 6-yard run to make it 9-6 with 30 to play in the period. That was the score going into the second quarter.
Early in the quarter there was a harbinger of things to come as Corydon got a break when a deflected pass was caught by Koleton Kaiser for a 16-yard touchdown.
Down 16-6, Clarksville looked to respond. Ten plays into a drive from midfield, Minor hit Fuqua for a 34-yard TD pass, which was called back due to a holding penalty.
“The holds killed us, we’d drive to the 30 and go backwards,” Boser said.
A fumble on the next play gave Corydon the ball. The Panthers needed just four plays to score as Fessel hit Kaiser with a 29-yard touchdown pass.
Down 23-6 and still very much in the game, Minor had a screen pass intercepted – the Generals’ second straight turnover. Four plays later, Fessel scored from 1 yard out and it was 30-6 with 3:09 left in the half.
The bad news continued for the Generals. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by Corydon and the Panthers looked to add on to their lead. However, Clarksville’s defense stood tall and stopped the Panthers at the 8-yard line.
On the ensuing field-goal attempt by Lisher, an air horn from the Clarksville stands led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that resulted in a new set of downs for the Panthers. Fessel then scored on a 4-yard run to make it 37-6. It was that kind of quarter for the Generals.
Clarksville got a boost when Robert Lamar took the ensuing kickoff 65 yards to score. A two-point conversion pass from Minor to Dakota Capps made it 37-14.
Before the break, Corydon made sure any of that momentum was squelched. The Panthers marched down the field and added a 2-yard run by Fessel with 17 seconds left. It was 44-14 at the break.
Corydon added a touchdown late in the third quarter for a 51-14 lead. It was a running clock after that.
Clarksville kept fighting, putting together an early fourth-quarter drive that was capped with a 9-yard touchdown run by Lamar. Minor added a 4-yard TD run later to make it 51-30. Then Corydon, perhaps remembering last year’s home loss to the Generals, added a score as time ran out.
Next up, Clarksville travels to North Harrison for the regular season finale on Friday at 7 p.m.