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Connersville football taken down by EIAC foe East Central

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The Connersville defense lines up on the goal line against East Central in the third quarteron Friday night. The Trojans wound up scoring on the play, part of a 69-7 victory over the Spartans.
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Connersville senior Jayden Murray (52) chases East Central quarterback Ryan Bond, Friday night in an Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference game in St. Leon. Bond evaded the tackle on the play, and the Trojans wound up with a 69-7 win over the Spartans.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

ST. LEON — Believing that it was going to be a bit overmatched, the Connersville High School football team traveled to East Central High School for an Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference game on Friday night.

Facing the second-ranked team in all of Class 4A, it took one quarter for that belief to be confirmed.

The Trojans offense scored on each of its first three possessions, and the defense limited the Spartans to minus-8 yards of offense, the 21-0 lead morphing into a 69-7 final by night’s end.

“This was one of the best teams in the state, and we were playing a lot of sophomores and freshmen,” Connersville head coach Adam Kelly said. “We were undersized, making the game a true uphill battle.

“We were just overwhelmed, they’re a better team than we are.”

East Central (7-0) added three scores in the second quarter, and two more in both the third and fourth to created the lopsided margin.

Jake Fike scored twice on runs of one and seven yards, and receiver Trey Werner snagged a pair of 14-yard touchdown passes from Ryan Bond to help put the game out of reach.

Connersville avoided the shut out with a play-action pass from Adam Kelly, Jr. to Braxton Myers, the freshman receiver beating his cover for an 81-yard catch and run in the third quarter.

“Braxton did a nice job getting behind the defense and the quarterback made a very nice 30-yard pass on the run,” coach Kelly said. “The blocking gets a lot of the credit as well. That blocking allowed Adam to move to his left and make the throw.”

The loss dropped CHS to 0-7 on the season, but even with the one-sided final score, coach Kelly believes the game could be of some value for his charges.

“This was a team that shows us where it is we want to go,” he said of his opponent. “What they do correctly provides a great example for us. East Central does the little things really well. They are mentally focused on those small things.”

As the final horn brought down the curtain on the game, coach Kelly said that he was proud of how his team handled the loss.

“As soon as the game was over, the kids were ready to move on to (CHS’ next opponent) Lawrenceburg,” he said. “The kids don’t worry all that much about the scoreboard. We’ve taught them that if they do things the right way, the scoreboard will eventually reflect that.”

For the game, East Central finished with 470 yards of offense. Connersville wound up with 72.

Fike led the EC offense on the ground with 102 yards and two touchdowns. Through the air, Bond tossed for 148 yards on 10 completions. He threw for four touchdowns.

Kelly paced the CHS offense, the junior QB completing two passes for 89 yards.

The Spartans will host the Tigers on Friday, the game designated as senior night.

“Lawrenceburg will mix things up on offense, they’re very similar to what we saw with Jennings County,” coach Kelly said. “I do believe that their quarterback will be one of the best we will face all year, as far as being a dual threat to run and throw the football.”

 TROJANS 69, SPARTANS 7

(at St. Leon)

Connersville 0 0 7 0 — 7

East Central 21 21 13 13 — 69

Scoring

First quarter

EC — Jake Fike 1-yard run, Sophie Browndyke kick; 7:39

EC — Fike 7-yard run, Browndyke kick; 5:03

EC — Trey Werner 14-yard pass from Ryan Bond, Browndyke kick; 2:30

Second quarter

EC — Erik Perkins 10-yard pass from Bond, Browndyke kick; 11:41

EC — Werner 14-yard pass from Bond, Browndyke kick; 2:04

EC — David Badescu 27-yard pass from Bond, Browndyke kick; 1:26

Third quarter

EC — Hunter Sohns 30-yard run, Jules Breunker kick; 9:43

EC — Grant Ernst 1-yard run, kick failed; 3:00

CHS — Braxton Myers 81-yard pass from Adam Kelly, Cole Martin kick; 0:01

Fourth quarter

EC — Samuel Ringer 51-yard run, Breunker kick; 8:56

EC — Trae Ohmer 54-yard run, Breunker kick; 0:01

Team statistics

First downs — Connersville 3, East Central 25

Total yards — Connersville 72, East Central 470

Rushes-yards — Connersville 22-(minus 17), East Central 25-322

Passing yards — Connersville 89, East Central 148

Penalties-yards — Connersville 7-40, East Central 10-75

Fumbles-lost — Connersville 3-1, East Central 1-0

Time of possession — Connersville 25:35, East Central 21:41

Individual statistics

Rushing — Connersville: Gavin Lynch 2 (minus 1), Evan Shafer 9-(minus 2), Adam Kelly 10-(minus 6), Gavin Pearson 1-(minus 8). East Central: Jake Fike 12-102 (2 TD), Samuel Ringer 4-92 (TD), Hunter Sohns 2-67 (TD), Trae Ohmer 1-54 (TD), Erik Perkins 2-13, Troy Teepe 1-3, Grant Ernst 1-1 (TD), Lucas Grove 1-0.

Passing — Connersville: Adam Kelly 2-11-89 (TD, INT). East Central: Ryan Bond 10-12-148 (4 TD).

Receiving — Connersville: Braxton Myers 1-81 (TD), Chad Owens 1-8. East Central: David Badescu 3-51 (TD), Mac Studer 1-35, Trey Werner 2-28 (2 TD), Jake Fike 2-15, Erik Perkins 1-10 (TD), Trevor Becker (1-9).

Punting — Connersville: Cole Martin 7-161 (23.0 average). East Central: None.