Dogs remain unbeaten

AURORA- The Batesville Bulldogs improved to 3-0 after defeating the South Dearborn Knights Friday evening. The Dogs used the ground game to pull out the win, rushing for 184 yards on the night. The defense also picked off their opponent four times. The Knights fall to 1-2 on the season and 0-1 in EIAC games while Batesville starts 1-0 in EIAC play and will look to continue their win streak against Rushville Friday.   

The Dogs stopped SD on their first drive after Deacon Hamilton made a third-down tackle on running back Carson Cheek. Batesville took possession after a punt on their own 36-yard line. Two runs from Gage Pohlman and a quick pass from Will Jaisle to Cade Kaiser set BHS up across midfield with a fresh set of downs. Jaisle found Kaiser again before several runs (7,11) by the quarterback got Batesville a 1st and 10 on the 13-yard line. A fumbled snap set the Dogs back and they faced 4th and 12 and settled for a field goal attempt. Brady Wonnell’s kick was tipped and fell short, giving the Knights the ball back with just under four minutes to go in the half. 

Adam Kunkel was able to find some open targets on the Knights’ next drive and hit Ryan Richard, then Reid Thornton for a first down. Conner Huff was on the receiving end of a Kunkel bullet and Hudson Shackelford caught a 29-yard bomb setting SD up in Bulldog territory. With 30 seconds left in the stanza, Shackelford caught another reception, but two incomplete passes put the Knights in a 4th and 2 situation. Kunkel was unable to find a receiver on the attempt and Batesville got the ball back on downs. Batesville gave the ball to Alex Krekeler on a handoff just to close out the half but the junior took the carry for 44 yards and gave Batesville the ball near the red zone to begin the second quarter. 

A fumbled pitch started the quarter; luckily it netted the Dogs four yards after Pohlman fell on the loose ball. On the next play Batesviile went deep and Jaisle connected with Kaiser for a 24-yard touchdown. Wonnell added the extra point and less than a minute into the second quarter the Dogs led 7-0. After the kickoff return, a Kunkel pass found Thornton for a second time and went for a first down. Two incomplete passes brought up 3rd and 10 for the Knights. Kunkel tossed a quick pass intended for Olli Babcock that Hamilton read from his corner position and jumped the route; he took the ball 40 yards for a pick six. A blocked extra point kick by Griffin Davis made the score 13-0 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the half. 

The Knights got their longest run of the game when Cheek picked up nine yards to start the next possession. Hamilton made another great read and stopped Cheek in the backfield on the next play. Kunkel was unable to hit Richard on the third down attempt and the Knights punted. Batesville started the next drive near midfield and 15 seconds later they scored again; this time Pohlman took a handoff and broke a tackle, before outsprinting everyone for a 57-yard romp. Wonnell connected on the extra point and BHS led 20-0 with 8:14 to go in the half.  

The Knights started their next drive picking up first downs using the ground game, with Brady Ballart mowing down the defense getting SD across midfield. A 14-yard rush by Cheek and a six-yard Ballart run set the Knights up inside the 20. Unfazed by a holding call, Kunkel’s line held the Dog defense at bay long enough for him to connect with the streaking Richard who came down with the ball in the end zone to put SD on the board for the first time. Kunkel connected with Richard again for a two-point conversion and the Batesville lead was trimmed to 12 with 4:30 remaining in the half. 

The Dogs began their next drive from the 25-yard line but two stuffed runs by SD and an incomplete pass forced a Batesville punt. Krekeler got the ball right back for Batesville by picking off Kunkel at midfield and the Knights’ Caden Thompson returned the favor jumping on a muffed snap and corralling the fumble recovery for the Knights. After two incompletions Ballart picked up four yards and SD faced 4th and 6. Kunkel found Shackelford for a first down and then went to the end zone, but the Dogs broke up the pass; with under 30 seconds left, SD went back to the same play. Kunkel was unable to connect with Shackelford on the next two plays and a holding call put the Knights at 4th and 23. The Dogs picked off Kunkel on a Hail Mary pass and went into the half up 20-8.  

Batesville took over near midfield to start the third quarter and an 18-yard pass from Jaisle to senior Bobby Weiler and a busted play where Jaisle found Krekeler gave BHS 3rd and 5 from the 33-yard line. A flea flicker was called but the long pass to Kaiser fell incomplete and Jaisle took a fourth-down run two yards beyond the sticks, giving the Dogs a first down. The Knights were able to shut down the Dogs’ next three pass attempts, bringing up another fourth down. An incomplete pass gave SD the ball back on the 21-yard line. A stuffed run, incomplete pass and declined penalty brought up fourth down for SD with Kunkel punting out of the end zone.  

The Dogs started their next drive on the Knights’ side of the field, but the SD defense stuffed two BHS runs behind the line and a Jaisle keeper was good for just three yards. Penalties put SD back near the end zone and they punted on 4th and 23. Batesville with good field position again used the ground game to move the ball and Pohlman got BHS into the red zone as the quarter expired. 

Batesville began the fourth quarter on the seven-yard line facing 3rd and 3. A Jaisle keeper came up a yard short but the same play on fourth down made it 1st and goal with Jaisle getting the Dogs to the three-yard line. The Knights held Batesville out of the end zone; a holding call pushed BHS back to the 15 and SD got the ball back with eight minutes to go. The Knights went to the air and Kunkel found Richard for a 10-yard pickup, he then went deep but Kaiser came down with the long pass and the Dogs had their fourth interception of the game. The Dogs couldn’t get the offense going and punted after a three and out.  

The Knights started the next drive with six minutes left in the game on their own 30-yard line.  After two completed passes the Knights had the ball near midfield. A holding penalty gave SD a first down and Kunkel connected with Shackelford for 27 yards giving the Knights a first down on the 15-yard line. A second down pass from Kunkel found Shackelford again and the next pass to Richard got three-yards to the six-yard line facing 4th and 1. Ballart picked up a first down on the next play and with 2:28 remaining SD punched in a three-yard score with Ballart doing the honors. A two-point conversion attempt sailed over Kunkel’s target.

The Dogs used the ground game coming out in a power I formation to move the chains and force SD to use their timeouts.    

Scoring Summary 

Second Quarter 

BHS 11:09 Pass xp good 7-0 

BHS 10:52 INT xp no good 13-0 

BHS 8:14 57-yard run xp good 20-0 

S.D. 4:38 23 yard pass 2-pt good 20-8 

S.D. 2:38 3 yard run XP no good 20-14 

Individual Stats (unofficial.) 

Passing – BHS Jaisle 6-16-63-1-0, SD Kunkel 13-34-170-1-4 

Rushing – BHS Pohlman 18-115 -1, Krekeler 4-44-0, Jaisle 7-33-0, Weiler 1-6-0, SD Ballart 14-49-1, Kunkel 3-8-0, Cheek 10-13-0 

Receiving BHS Kaiser 3-42-1, Krekeler 1-6-0 Weiler 1-18-0, SD Shackelford 5-90-0 Huff 1-9-0, Richard 4-45-1, Thornton 3-26-0 

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