SAC Football

Tigers pull away from Athenians in second half


LEBANON - The Lebanon football team knew they had to clean some things up in the second half of their game on Friday night against Crawfordsville.

While they were up 14-0, they felt like some plays were left on the board that could make their lives a little easier in the second.

But at halftime, they made the adjustments they wanted, scored touchdowns on all three of their actual drives and topped Crawfordsville 35-0 to improve to 3-4 on the year.

“That’s two weeks in a row where we came out of the half with the ball and put scores up,” Lebanon head coach Jeff Smock said. “That’s something they we haven’t always been able to do. We like to defer (the coin toss) and have the ball coming out of the half. Getting that first touchdown drive was huge, and then the defense backed it up. Last week we kind of petered out a little bit and this week we were able to ramp it back up when we needed to.”

Brendan Shockley got the second half started with a 54-yard touchdown run on the third play from scrimmage.

After a Crawfordsville fumble, Lebanon took advantage of a short field and scored on a Jackson Folden touchdown run.

Crawfordsville followed with a nice drive that got down to the Lebanon 1 yard line, but two good defensive plays by the Tigers kept them off the board.

The Tigers then went 97 yards, scoring on a 13-yard pass from Folden to Kaden Lark.

While it didn’t end in victory for the Athenians, who fell to 0-7 on the year, head coach Brad Clark was proud of the way his team battled for four quarters.

“I think that is as close to a four quarter game as we have had this season,” Clark said. “We had the one unfortunate fumble in the third quarter, but in terms of our ball security, I think that was the best game we have played. We moved the ball, we just have to be able to punch it in and take advantage in the red zone.”

The Athenians did some good things on the game’s opening drive, driving down to the Tiger 22 yard line before the drive stalled.

Crawfordsville had three drives in the game that got inside the Lebanon 30, but were unable to get any points.

“The field shrinks when you get down there and it’s tougher to pass the ball,” Clark said. “We have to be able to trust our run game a little bit more and I have to do a better job of making sure we do that.”

Lebanon scored on the ensuing drive, scoring on a 3-yard run by Shockley.

After Crawfordsville turned it over on downs near midfield, the Tigers made it 14-0 on a 4-yard pass from Folden to Trey Ries.

The Tigers had a chance to make it 21-0 after a short Crawfordsville punt gave them excellent field position, but were unable to convert.

Clark was also proud of the way his defense made things difficult for the Tigers’ offense in the first half, before the Tigers were able to execute a little better in the second half.

“I thought we tackled well in the first half and we were able to take some things away,” Clark said. “Our defense and flew around and made plays. They wore us down a little bit in the second half and got some more chunk pays, but we played pretty well in the first half.”

Crawfordsville travels to Tri-West next week, while Lebanon hosts Southmont.