Fountain Central stopped the streak against the same opponent and on the same field as where it started.
The Mustangs 19-game losing streak is behind them after a 25-7 WRC win over North Vermillion.
Running for 331 yards, led by Austin Pickett''s 231 rush yards and three touchdowns, there were miles of smiles on the FC sidelines after the win.
“These guys so deserve a win,” Mustangs coach Ryan Hall said. “These seniors, who have come out to practice every day and worked so hard, deserve a win. I'm so proud of them.”
Six different runners churned out the 331 rushing yards. Luke Adams had 64 and Dawson Blue had the other TD. The Mustangs had seven plays of 20 yards or more.
FC moves to 1-5 overall and 1-4 in the conference, while North Vermillion falls to 1-7 and 1-5 in the WRC.
“We executed very well,” Hall noted, “and it started with those seniors. “It started with the seniors on the offensive line, (Matthew) Alexander and (Cole) Kirkpatrick, It gave all our runners room to work, and when you get a character like Austin Pickett loose, you have something.”
Pickett's first touch produced 35 yards, and the junior added nine more carries over 10 yards on his way to a career-night, finishing with 231 yards on 23 carries. He scored the first three FC touchdowns.
With the run game on full throttle, Seth Gayler only threw the ball five times, but did complete three. He was picked off on the other two passes, but one was tipped at the line. Pickett caught two of the passes for another 39 yards.
“We made some changes offensively.” Hall said. “We have Pickett taking snaps in addition to Gayler, which opens up the offense more. Both these guys like being part-time quarterbacks, so it really works out well. Give Offensive Coordinator Larry Getts a huge amount of credit. He really knows the individual strengths of these offensive guys. We spread the ball out more, which also helped open up the run game. Our wide receivers blocked downfield so well tonight too.”
The boss was also quick to credit the rest of his staff.
“We went 0-10 last year and not a single coach quit,” Hall said. “”Every single one of them came back this season. They get the credit here.”
The Mustangs defense took advantage as well.
The Falcons lost their starting quarterback, Carter Edney, to a broken tibia last week, and backup quarterback Jerome White was injured on the third offensive play of the game. The hosts were left to direct snaps to running backs or an occasional dive play.
Cody Tryon finished as the leading rusher for the home team, going 68 yards on 15 carries. He had the lone NV score on a 1 yard run in the third quarter. The freshman also attempted three passes, completing two, and was picked off once by Pickett.
“We loaded the (run) box with 9 or sometimes 10 guys,” Hall said. “We knew even before their starter got hurt that they are run-heavy, so we just committed to stopping the run. Our defense came up with some big plays and some big stops. We didn't let them in when they were goal to go at the start of the fourth quarter, and that was big.”
The Mustangs also took advantage of four Falcons turnovers, the pick and three fumble recoveries. Two of the fumble pickups came courtesy of the special teams.
“Owen Acton was awesome for us defensively.” Hall said. “He does a great job for a freshman. Heck, we have six freshmen on the team, and they all see the field.”
The Mustangs finished with 386 total yards, compared to the Falcons 155. The only chink in the FC armor was 13 penalties, 10 against the offense.
But none of that mattered in the warm fall night and the celebration that the Mustangs and their fans were enjoying after kicking the losing streak to the curb.
“I saw a couple of the seniors just let out a huge sigh of relief, and it felt so good, I did too,” Hall said. “It just is fitting that the streak started here at North Vermillion and ends here at North Vermillion. I told the guys that they deserve, and should, just cherish the next 6-7 days. Enjoy the time, enjoy the win, because they have worked so hard for so long and deserve it.”
Both squads finish regular season action next Friday as the playoff pairings were announced earlier today.
The Falcons will play host to Park Heritage, while the Falcons are on the road at Seeger.
FOUNTAIN CENTRAL 25, NORTH VERMILLION 7
Score by Quarters
Fountain Central 0 13 12 0 — 25
North Vermillion 0 0 7 0 — 7
Team Stats FC NV
First Downs 15 8
Rush Yards 331 147
Pass Yards 55 8
Total Yards 386 155
Turnovers 3 4
Penalties 13-95 3-31
Pickett 23-231 3TD, Adams 5-64, Chirinos 4-15, Blue 8-11, Gayler 2-9, Lych 1-11, Team Rush 1 (-10). Totals 44-331.
E. Naylor 11-12, Tryon 15-68 TD, Ziebart 4-23, Bailey 2-11, Burns 5-25, L. Naylor 1-5, White 1-6, Peaslee 1 (-3). Totals 40-147.
S.Gayler 3-5-55 2INT.
Tryon 2-3-8 INT
Pickett 2-39, I. Gayler 1-16. Totals 3-55.
Aguirre 1-6, L.Naylor 1-2. Totals 2-8
FC Pickett 10 yd run (Chirinos kick) 1:41
FC Pickett 23 yd run (kick fail) 1:25
FC Pickett 23 yd run (pass fail) 10:54
NV Tryon 1 yd run (Crowder kick) 6:52
FC Blue 3 yd run (run fail) 4:13