Dogs hold on for opening victory
Batesville opened the football season with a win on Friday over Indian Creek. The Braves opened the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to go up 7-0. The Dogs didn’t let that deter them and scored the next four touchdowns to take a 28-7 lead. The Braves fought back scoring in the third stanza and twice in the fourth, but Batesville held on for a 42-28 win.
The Braves scored first in the contest when Jalen Sauer connected with Bobby Emberton from 15 yards out. The Dogs came out for their first offensive possession after a Gage Pohlman kick return got them started at the 34-yard line. Pohlman then picked up several first downs to move the chains for BHS and get them inside the 30. A big run from Deacon Hamilton got them inside the 10-yard line, then Will Jaisle ran in a keeper for a six-yard touchdown. Sophomore Aiden Long added the extra point and the game was tied 7-7 with just over three minutes to go in the first quarter.
The Dogs stopped Indian Creek on their next possession when Damien Dance grabbed an interception near the goal line and returned it to the 26. Batesville used the ground game to slowly move the ball into the red zone and they capped off their possession with a one-yard touchdown run by junior Alex Krekeler; Long split the uprights for his second PAT of the game and BHS went up 14-7 with just over five minutes to go in the half. The Dogs shut down Indian Creek’s running game and forced a punt on a 4th-and-13. With three minutes to go, Batesville took over on IC’s 42-yard line and after three incomplete passes the Dogs punted. The Braves moved the ball near midfield and with 16 seconds to go in the half and facing a 4th-and-9, IC elected to go for it. Pohlman used his speed to shed his blocker, picked up a sack and got the Dogs the ball back on their own 32-yard line. With under 10 seconds to go in the half, that was all Jaisle needed; he connected with Cade Kaiser for a 32-yard touchdown pass, and Batesville took a 21-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Batesville started the third quarter on offense at their 42-yard line and electing to stay with the running game, the Dogs picked up two more first downs. A pass interference call got BHS into the red zone where Jaisle ran in his second rushing touchdown on the night. Long hit the PAT and the Dogs took a 28-7 lead with 7:00 to go in the third quarter. The Braves moved the ball through the air on their next drive and got the ball to the 3-yard line; the Dogs stuffed the Indian Creek rushers on the next two downs and a holding call on the Braves moved them back to the 15-yard line. Sauer then connected with a receiver and the Braves cut the Batesville lead to two scores.
Batesville used the ground game to eat up the clock and marched to the 24-yard line as the third stanza ended. On their first play of the fourth quarter, Pohlman picked up 17 yards giving Batesville a 1st-and-goal from the seven. Jaisle then dropped back and connected with Kaiser, who pulled in a touchdown over the head of an Indian Creek defender. Long put up the extra point and BHS led 35-14.
The Braves got a great return to begin their next drive on the 44 and Sauer took the first snap and ran 18 yards. A quick snap caught the Dogs’ defense off guard and a screen pass got the Braves down to the eight for a 1st-and-goal. Two good defensive stops against the run brought up a 3rd-and-4 for Indian Creek, then an incomplete pass brought up 4th-and-goal. Sauer then connected in the back of the end zone with Emberton for the second time and the Braves made it a two-score game again with Batesville still ahead 35-21.
Indian Creek caught a lucky break when they pounced on a BHS fumble on the kickoff return. Taking over on the 29-yard line, three plays later the Braves hit paydirt again with a touchdown pass and the score was Batesville 35, Indian Creek 28. With eight minutes to go in the game the Dogs took over on the 22-yard line. A few short runs ahead of a 12-yard pass from Jaisle to Nathan Shornick picked up a first down and BHS went back to the ground game. A Krekeler run got BHS to midfield with 4:30 to go in the game. Pohlman took the next handoff and scampered 48 yards, getting the Dogs to the 3-yard line. Krekeler finished off the drive following his left tackle into the end zone, and Batesville led 42-28 with under four minutes to go. The Dogs shut down IC on their final drive and secured a win to start the season 1-0.
Batesville was led by Jaisle who was 6-for-11 passing with 92 yards and two touchdowns; he added 35 yards and two more rushing touchdowns on the ground. Pohlman finished a career-high 178 yards on 25 carries, Hamilton had 25 on four rushes and Krekeler carried 11 times for 43 yards and two scores. Kaiser caught four passes for 66 yards, Pohlman one for 14 and Shornick had one reception for 12 yards. Pohlman also led the Dogs on defense with seven tackles and two sacks. Hamilton was next with six tackles, John Dirkhising, Dance, and Krekeler each had five tackles on the night. Quinton Elston had a sack and Dance and Krekeler each picked off a pass in the Dogs’ win.
Next up for Batesville is a home contest against Milan (1-0), who defeated Rushville by one touchdown on Friday, 27-20.
IC – 9:30 – 15-yard pass (kick) 0-7
BHS – 3:30 – 6-yard run (kick) 7-7
BHS – 5:27 – 1-yard run (Kick) 14-7
BHS – 0:06 – 32-yard pass (kick) 21-7
BHS – 7:00 – 5-yard run (kick) 28-7
IC – 3:37 – 15-yard pass (kick) 28-14
BHS – 11:20 – 7-yard pass (kick) 35-14
IC – 9:26 – 4-yard pass (kick) 35-21
IC – 8:19 – 11-yard pass (kick) 35-28
BHS – 3:55 – 3-yard run (kick) 42-28
Total Yards- BHS 377 (92 passing, 285 rushing) IC 179 (177 passing, 2 rushing)
First Downs – BHS 20, IC 12
Penalties – BHS 9-55, IC 8-49