LIZTON — The difficult stretch of games continued for Crawfordsville on Friday night as they traveled to take on the No. 9 Tri-West Bruins. After a Crawfordsville three and out on their first possession, the Bruins took over in Athenian territory and quickly scored on a one-play 35-yard touchdown from Ty Owens to Nik Joiner. The Athenians then responded with one of their best drives of the season as Zeke Cardenas capped off a 9-play 67-yard drive with a four yard score. Ultimately, the Bruins proved why they are a top-ten team as they ran away with the rest of the game and took home a 53-14 victory.
Owens ended the game 10-12 through the air for 193 yards and four touchdowns. Backup quarterback Landen Ross added one passing score and one rushing. The ultimate dagger came on the kickoff to begin the second half as Jace Mohr took the kick back 92 yards into the endzone to seal the win for the Bruins who move to 6-2 (4-2 SAC) on the season.
“He’s (Mohr) about as athletically gifted as we have in our league,” Crawfordsville coach Kurt Schlicher said. “They made some big plays tonight when they were able to get out into space and they had a little more speed than we did. That’s a difficult thing to simulate in practice and if you want to beat a team like Tri-West, you’re going to have to limit the big plays and we just weren’t able to do that tonight.”
The Athenians (0-8, 0-6 SAC) gave the nod at quarterback to Sophomore Kaden Patton who ended the game 12-20 for 88 yards. On the scoring drive that answered the Bruins first score, Patton found Austin Motz for a 31-yard catch, the longest play of the night for the Athenians.
“He’s (Patton) starting to gain confidence, and you can see that out there,” Schlicher said of the Sophomore signal caller. “There were some definite positives to take away from the way we played in the first half. I thought Zeke ran hard, Kaigen Fields and Evan Chaney both played well also. We’re seeing signs of improvement on that side of the ball for sure and its an encouraging sign as we begin to wrap up the season.”
Heading into the final week of the regular season Crawfordsville is in the same position as they were a season ago, winless heading into a matchup with Frankfort. For Schlicher and the Athenians its always been about improving week to week and not letting their record define their success.
“We’re seeing things that we think can move us in the right direction of where we want to go,” Schlicher said. “We’re hurting right now a little bit with injuries and COVID and we’re not the only team whose dealing with that, but when you as small of a roster like we do, it makes things a little more difficult.”
“Next week we’ve just got to put a clean game together and be stout in our execution on defense. We’re going to have to build off some of the momentum we built tonight while also cleaning up some things on special teams as well. I know our kids will be ready to go.”