Southmont made the right halftime adjustments, leading to a 30-24 win over county and conference rival Crawfordsville on Friday night.
And it was all in the pep talk instead of the scheme.
“The biggest thing was it was all of the kids,” longtime Southmont coach Desson Hannum said. “rallying around each other, rallying around Nolan (Boyer) as the quarterback and doing the things we needed to do to win this game. And doing anything and everything we could to win this game.”
Trailing 24-18 to start the third quarter, the Mounties (2-2, 1-2 SAC) forced three straight Athenian punts on defense and scored a late third quarter to tie it and early fourth period touchdown to grab the lead. Wyatt Woodall ran one in from 10 yards out, before Isaiah McMasters scored his second touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run to make it 30-24 Southmont with 10:49 to play.
Freshman quarterback Nolan Boyer replaced an injured Nick Scott in the first half.
McMasters and Carson Chadd helped Southmont to 369 rushing yards, outgaining the Athenians (0-5, 0-3) 369-17 on the ground. McMasters had 94 yards on 17 carries, while Chadd had 168 yards on just 14 rushes and scored twice. Woodall added 86 yards rushing. Southmont ran for 160 yards in the pivotal third quarter.
Southmont’s defense was the biggest key to their second half success.
“I thought they came out and really committed to playing and we shut down the run and forced them to throw the ball quite a bit,” Hannum said. “The kids played with good energy, we got stops and we were able to get off the field.”
Crawfordsville was held to 67 second half yards as quarterback Kaiden Underwood was 9-of-22 for just 70 yards. The Athenians have scored just eight second half points in five games this season.
“We struggled to run the ball in the second half and couldn’t quite execute,” Crawfordsville football coach Kurt Schlicher said. “We certainly had our chances, we just came up one play short.”
The Athenians did have opportunities to either tie or take the lead following Southmont’s game-winning touchdown.
Underwood found Andrew Martin on a 38-yard pass play to put the Athenians in the redzone, but the drive stalled and they turned it over on downs. Crawfordsville later recovered a Southmont fumble on the Mountie 11 yard-line, but once again failed to convert.
With their last chance, the Athenians threw an incomplete pass in the final seconds on fourth down as they were driving to tie the game. Schlicher felt like his team left it all on the field.
“I’m very proud of the effort of our kids tonight,” he said. “Our kids battled for four quarters and had a chance to win up until the last play. It was a hard-fought game by both teams, and I thought all the kids that played left it all out there.”
Underwood threw for 184 yards and three touchdowns (all in the first half). Martin caught nine passes for 107 yards and a touchdown , while Alex Hernandez had six catches for 60 yards.
Crawfordsville travels to North Montgomery next Friday, while Southmont host Danville.
Southmont 30, Crawfordsville 24
Southmont 6 12 6 6 — 30
Crawfordsville 8 16 0 0 —- 24
SM: McMasters 8-yard run (kick failed), 9:02 1Q
CHS: Hernandez 13-yard pass from Underwood (Conversion), 2:01 1Q
CHS: Hernandez 11-yard pass from Underwood (Conversion), 11:55 2Q
SM: Chadd 57-yard run (Conversion failed), 11:40 2Q
SM: Chadd 22-yard run, 8:06 @Q
CHS: Martin 28-yard pass from Underwood (Conversion), 5:03 2Q
SM: 10-yard Woodall run (kick failed), 3:52 3Q
SM: McMasters 4-yard run (Conversion Failed), 10:49 4Q
TEAM STATS SM CHS
Rushing: 48-369 16-17
Passing: 20 184
Total yards: 389 201
Turnovers 2 1
Penalties 7/40 6/40
SM: Chadd 14-168, McMasters 17-94, Woodall 8-86, Surface 4-17, Conkright 1-6, Scott 2-(-2), Boyer 2-(-4); CHS Fields 11-17, Underwood 4-2, Pendleton 2-(-2).
SM: Scott 1-4-20; CHS Underwood 20-41-184 .
SM: Conkright 1-20; CHS Martin 9-107. Hernandez 6-60, McLemore 1-11, Fields 3-2, Schroeter 1-4