The Pirates were blanked by Greenfield Central on Friday evening 57-0. The #9 Ranked Cougars earned their second shutout in as many games after taking out Madison 49-0 in week one.
Three opening quarter scores put Greenfield up early with a 21-0 lead. The Cougars added another 20 in the second stanza, putting Greensburg down 41-0 at the half. With a running clock, Greenfield added nine points in the third quarter, and a final touchdown in the fourth, gave the Bucs a 57-0 loss. The Bucs are now 0-2 to start the season.
The Cougars put up 198 rushing yards on Greensburg while GCHS could only muster 24, led by Kaden Acton who picked up 15-yards. Bryson Abplanalp added 13-yards rushing and threw for 24 more. Owen Meadows was on the receiving end of 20 of those yards on his two receptions. Meadows also led the defense with nine tackles. Brayden Ranklin and Elliott Weber each recorded a tackle for a loss. Myles McKinsey forced a fumble that was recovered by Junior Camden Loudin as a defensive highlight in the contest.
The Bucs will look to get it together when they travel to take on Connersville (1-1) this Friday. The Spartans lost to Franklin County this past Friday.
The South Dearborn Knights started 0-1 after a loss to a talented Jennings County team.
SD matched the Panthers with a touchdown each in the first quarter. Quarterback Adam Kunkel tossed his first of three passing TDs when he connected with Ryan Richard for a 45-yard score. The Knights took the lead in the second quarter when Taytum Barker hit a 25-yard field goal to make it a 10-7 game. The Panthers finished out the half scoring on a nine-yard run, then Panthers’ quarterback Parker Elmore’s second touchdown toss sent the Knights into halftime, down 19-10.
The lone score in the third stanza was another Jennings County rushing TD. The fourth frame began with Elmore tossing another touchdown from seven yards out and SD was down 34-10. The Knights attempted a comeback scoring twice in the final quarter. Kunkel led SD downfield scoring on a nine-yard pass to Olli Babcock, Hudson Shackelford ran in a two-point conversion, and the Knights’ final touchdown was a Kunkel to Shackelford touchdown from 13 yards out. The Panthers got a fourth quarter rushing touchdown, and the final score was Jennings County 41, South Dearborn 25.
SD displayed a good mix of runs and passes putting up 300 yards of offense. Kunkel was 24 of 40 for 224 yards and three touchdowns. CJ Evans led SD on the ground pounding out 98 yards on 19 carries. Kunkel hit five different receivers with three of them each getting to the end zone. Babcock caught seven passes for 104 yards, Richard 6-76, Evans 4-13, Reid Thornton 3-15 and Shackelford 3-11.
Brady Ballart, a sophomore, was all over the field with seven total tackles and one for a loss. Tyeler Gulden picked off the Panther QB and Brayden Johnson recovered a fumble for the SD defense. Caden Thompson and Elliott Meek each made plays behind the line of scrimmage and the pair each finished with two tackles for a loss. Barker was 2-for-2 on extra points and hit one of her two field goal attempts. The Knights were plagued by penalties throughout the contest, getting whistled 15 times for 112 yards.
The Knights will look to pick up a win this Friday when they host Madison (0-1) who was shut out last week by Greenfield-Central.
Greensburg falls to Shelbyville
The Golden Bears took a 26-0 lead into halftime against the Bucs on Friday and parlayed that into a 39-14 win.
Kaden Acton was finally able to get Greensburg on the board with nine minutes to go in the third quarter. The junior rumbled for a 47-yard score and it was 26-6. Shelbyville scored again to match the Pirate touchdown, connecting on a 17-yard pass as they went up 32-7. Acton added another score in the fourth quarter, but the Golden Bears matched that score also and defeated the Bucs to open the season.
The Bucs’ new signal caller, sophomore Bryson Abplanalp, completed 50% of his passes going 14 for 28 with 119 yards in his debut. Acton finished the game with 126 yards on 24 carries. Junior Carson Miller and freshman Myles McKinsey both grabbed five receptions and Hunter Springmeyer and Camden Loudin grabbed two catches each. Springmeyer also led the Greensburg defense in tackles, tying senior Brayden Rankin with five each. Acton had four tackles with two for a loss. Freshman Jacoby Miller was 2-of-2 on extra point attempts.
Coach Wes Anderson had this to say about his Pirates after Friday’s game. “Acton played well. It’s good to have him back at full strength. He’s a difference-maker when he gets to the second level of the defense. Overall, a solid first career start for Abplanalp at QB. He made good reads and delivered the ball on time and on target.”
Anderson added, “In the first half, we honestly played about as poorly as I’ve seen us play. Too many mistakes on the offensive line and in the secondary.
“I was incredibly proud of us for coming out of halftime and playing hard. We got two quick scores on our first two drives of the second half. We battled and didn’t quit. We just couldn’t overcome that size of deficit quickly enough.
“The team everybody saw after halftime is a more accurate representation of the team, we can be than what we put out there early in the game. We must be more consistent and execute better. Neither of those things were up to our standard Friday night.”
The Bucs will host Greenfield-Central (1-0) this Friday; the Cougars blanked Madison 49-0 this past Friday and swiftly defeated Greensburg a season ago by a score of 44-0. They went on to finish the season 7-4 and lost in the sectional semifinals to New Palestine.
The East Central Lady Trojans went 3-0 on Saturday to win their own Invitational. EC defeated Franklin County (25-10, 25-7) and Connersville (25-10, 25-11) before taking down Union County (26-24, 25-11) to claim the trophy. Connersville defeated FC in three sets (25-17, 17-25, 15-10) and lost to Union County (25-13, 25-23) The Lady Cats also fell to the Lady Patriots (25-15, 25-18)
The Connersville Lady Spartans hosted New Palestine and fell in three sets 25-10, 25-13, and 25-5.
East Central was back in action taking on Greensburg in an EIAC matchup. The Lady Trojans improved to 4-0 on the season after taking three of four sets from the defending sectional champs. EC took the first two sets 28-26 and 25-23, Greensburg took the third set 25-10, and East Central won the fourth set 25-20.
The Rushville Lady Lions opened their season with a win over Franklin County. The Lady Cats took the first two sets 25-23 and 25-20, before the Lady Lions took the final three sets, 25-20, 25-18, and 15-9.
South Dearborn fell in five sets to Southwestern Hanover. The Lady Knights fell behind two sets 20-25, 23-25. They fought back to take the next two sets 27-25, 25-22, before falling in the final 15-8.
The Pirates’ longtime head coach Scott Moore has stepped down after 15 years at the helm of the Bucs; he ends his tenure with Greensburg with a record of 80-83 that included a 2012 sectional championship. The Pirates are now under the tutelage of first-year head coach Wes Anderson. Anderson comes from a successful New Palestine team where he was the Dragons’ wide receiver and special teams coach for the last seven years.
The Bucs are coming off a 4-7 season after a second-round shutout (0-28) at the hands of Lawrenceburg in the sectional. The Bucs finished the season strong with three straight wins before that loss and return one of the top offensive linemen in the EIAC. Senior Robert Eisert, a 6’4” 270 lb. tackle, was an all-conference selection a season ago. Complementing Eisert will be junior Reed Hungerford. The combo should move bodies and give the Bucs’ backfield another 2,000-yard rushing season and then some.
Anderson will deploy a stable of running backs led by junior Kaden Acton. Acton is a speedy back that has seen two years of varsity already; he took eight carries for 185 yards against Milan his freshman season and has gained 761 yards over the past two. Sophomore Austin Cruz will see carries this season along with Brayden Rankin, who got varsity carries in 2022.
The Pirates will be a ground-heavy offense after the loss of a two-year starter at the signal caller spot. The offense this season will be led by sophomore quarterback Bryson Abplanalp, who will replace the now Indiana Hoosier Sam West. The sophomore QB will have a handful of receivers stretching the field this season with juniors Carson Miller and Camden Loudin on the outside with senior Hunter Springmeyer and freshman Myles McKinsey on the inside. Anderson stated “All four are great weapons and I think Abplanalp is going to surprise some folks. He’s got a live arm and can make all throws.”
The defense returns linebackers Rankin (54 tackles) and Jesse Hadler (75 tackles and two sacks) along with defensive back Owen Meadows (85 Tackles, 1 INT) and the loss of several seniors will see several new faces step in on the defensive side of the ball.
The special teams will return kicker Hunter Springmeyer, who hit 22 extra points last season for Greensburg. Anderson is also excited about freshman K/P Jacoby Miller who is a dual-sport athlete football/soccer but has the potential to be a big-time weapon in the kicking game.
The Bucs will be one of the few teams that will play all seven other EIAC schools this season after dropping Milan from the schedule and picking up a week eight game against East Central. They will start the season on Aug. 18 with a new turf field hosting Shelbyville.