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Spartans moving to big stage for Week 3 game

Connersville’s Rudy Branstetter (13) turns the corner for a run against Franklin County while Wildcat Jacob Schatzle (23) prepares to make a tackle, last Friday evening inside the Connersville High School football stadium. Both Branstetter and Schatzle will journey with their respective teams to Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, for games on Saturday.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

Opportunities like the one the Connersville Spartan football team will have on Saturday don’t roll around too often. Just ask the hundreds (or even thousands) of former players that have come through the CHS system.

They’ll tell you that playing one of their high school games in the home of the Indianapolis Colts would have been nice, but was nothing more than a dream during their tenure here.

On Saturday, the 2019-20 squad will get that chance.

Part of an all-day focus on the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference, the Spartans will face Greensburg at noon, the first of four games to be played in the Southeastern Showdown inside Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Playing in Lucas Oil Stadium is a fantastic opportunity for our kids, which is what high school athletics is all about,” Connersville High School coach Adam Kelly said last Friday night. “I think it is terrific that the conference put this together, and that the CHS administration did everything it could to get us there.”

In addition to playing in the National Football League venue, the Spartans will encouter a Greensburg unit that has had mixed results through its first two contests.

In the opener, the Pirates went up a class and blitzed Shelbyville, winning by a score of 52-7. But in Week 2, facing a Triton Central team that is a Class below it, GHS wound up on the wrong end of a 37-13 score.

Greensburg is led by quarterback Toby Brogan, a junior who leads the team in passing (96) and rushing yards (189). Brogan has rushed 27 times through the first two weeks of the season, also a team high.

Two others who run the football are Isaiah Myer (15-97), Daimon Austin (15-81).

When Brogan throws the football, targets include Avery Moore (4 catches), Cole Nobbe (2) and Corbin Mathews (2).

Eric Lowe is the stalwart on defense, as the senior is head and shoulders above the rest of the team with 18 total tackles.

Spreading the offense out a little bit more this season, CHS quarterback Adam Kelly, Jr. has four times as many passing yards that Brogan has, coming into the game with 380 on 24 completions.

Gavin Lynch (9 receptions) and Braxton Myers (7) have been his top receivers to date, though he has competed passes to four others on the roster.

Running the football, the Spartans have gone to a committee approach, led by Lynch with 11 carries (74 yards) and Landon Cerqua (10 carries).

Connersville comes into the game still searching for the win column in 2019-20, having dropped its first two games by a combined 90-28 margin.

The Spartans last defeated the Pirates on Sept. 5, 2014, the team winning that one by a 48-43 score.

Other games being played at the special event include Franklin County vs. Rushville (2:45 p.m.), Batesville vs. South Dearborn (5:30 p.m.), and Lawrenceburg vs. Milan (8 p.m.).

Connersville All-Sport tickets will NOT be good at the event.

Price per ticket to the Showdown is $12 and will be good for all four games.

Tickets for the event are on sale at the CHS athletic office through the end of the school day today.

 GREENSBURG (1-1) vs. CHS (0-2)

Game time: Noon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Coaches: Scott Moore, 56-60 in 12th year at Greensburg. Adam Kelly, 20-53 in 8th year at Connersville.

Sagarin ratings: Greensburg, 39.79, 172nd overall, 27th in 3A. Connersville, 8.2, 277th overall, 55th in 4A.

Last outing: Greensburg lost to Triton Central, 37-13. Connersville lost to Franklin County, 49-7.

Opponents’ records: Greensburg 2-2. Connersville 3-1.

Series last 15 years: Greensburg, 5-1

Last meeting: Greensburg, 34-12, Aug. 31, 2018.

EASTERN INDIANA ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Standings

3A Division

Conference All Games

W-L W-L Streak

Batesville 0-0 1-1 Lost 1

Greensburg 0-0 1-1 Lost 1

Lawrenceburg 0-0 1-1 Won 1

Rushville 0-0 0-2 Lost 3

4A Division

Conference All Games

W-L W-L Streak

Franklin County 1-0 2-0 Won 2

East Central 0-0 2-0 Won 2

South Dearborn 0-0 1-1 Won 1

Connersville 0-1 0-2 Lost 16