LIZTON — Mistakes once again doomed Crawfordsville football as the Athenians battled Tri-West in a driving rain and wind with temperatures falling into the 40s and wind chills into the 30s.
The Athenians (0-8, 0-6) fumbled and lost the ball on the first play of the game, and that was a sign of many more misfortunes to come in a 40-0 loss to the Bruins (6-2, 5-1).
Tri-West converted the short field into a quick 7-0 lead on a six-yard score from Garrett Cora, and coupled with a Bryce Hendershot touchdown reception from Luke Robertson pushed the Bruins ahead 21-0 early in the second quarter, and they never looked back.
Crawfordsville managed just one first down in the first half, and had four consecutive three and outs offensively.
For the game, the Bruins out-gained the Athenians 306-128, led by Cora’s 168 yards on 23 carries and four scores.
“We struggled to tackle their running back,” Crawfordsville coach Kurt Schlicher said. “He’s obviously very talented.”
Jack Pendleton led Crawfordsville with 53 yards rushing.
Shots In The Foot
After falling into a 21-0 hole, Crawfordsville’s defense came up with four consecutive stops, including a pair of Mikale Willis interceptions, but penalties and negative plays prohibited the offense from moving the ball down the field. The Athenians were penalized 12 times for 122 yards, while Cale McCarty only completed 5-of-12 passes for 27 yards, and 13 times Crawfordsville ran the ball for two yards or less.
The Athenian’s defense also gave up a 31-yard touchdown pass on third and 21.
“A lot of penalties tonight,” Schlicher said. “I’m anxious to watch the film on a couple of them, but the penalties were called and you know you have to be able to handle those situations and tonight we just weren’t able to overcome. Too many mistakes in those areas.”
Defense Steps Up
Crawfordsville’s defense forced three turnovers in the middle part of the game, but the offense was unable to climb the Athenians back into the game, and Tri-West added three more second half touchdowns to break the game open.
“I thought our defense rallied and played pretty well there in the second and the beginning of the third. We created some turnovers,” Schlicher said. “Offensively we just weren’t able to sustain. I thought we had some efforts at times that was very good, and then some other effort that’s got to be improved upon.”
Crawfordsville falls to 0-8 on the season with the loss at Tri-West, and for the third consecutive season the Athenians will face a winless Frankfort team, who fell to 0-8 with a 41-0 home loss to North Montgomery on Friday, to close out the season.
“We are going to have to make a play, or we aren’t going to win any games. That’s what it comes down to,” Schlicher said. “With our backs against the wall we will certainly get Frankfort’s best shot. Both teams are in the same boat, and that will be a hard fought game.”
Tri-West 40, Crawfordsville 0
CHS 0 0 0 0 — 0
TW 14 7 6 13 — 40
TW: Cora 6-yard Rush (PAT), 10:50
TW:Hendershot 31-yard pass from Robertson (PAT), 3:09
TW: Cora 4-yard Rush (PAT), 10:07
TW: Cora 38-yard Rush (Kick failed), 5:50
TW: Cora 4-yard Rush (Kick failed), 11:15
TW: Joiner 20-yard Pass from Owens, 3:24
COMP-ATT-INT 5-13-0 7-13-2
Passing Yards 27 89
Rushing Yards 101 217
Total Yards 128 313
First Downs 5 18
Penalties-Yards 12-122 4-30
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Passing: CHS: Cale McCarty 5-13 27 yards, TW: Robertson 6-12 69 yards 1TD, Owens 1-1 20 yards 1TD
Rushing: CHS: Pendleton 13-53, Underwood 3-21, Simmons 5-17, McCarty 6-13, team 2-(-3); TW: Cora 23-168, Pugliese 2-17, Johnson 7-29, Hendershot 2-26, Owens 1-(-14), Team 2-(-8), Robertson 5-(-4)
Receiving: CHS: Scott 5-27; TW: Hendershot 4-42, Mohr 1-23, Joiner 1-20 Marlowe 1-14 Pugliese 1-2