Indiana Roundup: It’s On To The Sectional Finals for Batesville And East Central

If you are still playing football in November, you’re doing something right. Victories aren’t always a thing of beauty at this time of year as foes get tougher and sometimes very familiar. The playoffs are a time of survive and advance. That’s just what EIAC schools Batesville and East Central did on Friday night.

Class 3A, Sectional 31
Batesville 28, Lawrenceburg 22 – For the second time this season Batesville (9-2) got past EIAC rival Lawrenceburg (5-6) by six points or fewer. The Bulldogs set the tone early as Quinn Werner caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Trey Heidlage on their first play from scrimmage. It was Werner’s second touchdowns catch of the season and Heidlage’s 19th scoring toss. It gave Batesville a lead they would never relinquish.

The victory puts Batesville in the Class 3A, Sectional 31 title tilt at stalwart Brownstown Central (10-1). The Bulldogs are looking for their 10th sectional championship and ninth since 2001. The game has all the ingredients for a shootout. Batesville is averaging 35.1 points per game while the Mustangs are light up the scoreboard at 46.5 clip. Brownstown Central has scored 50 points or more in four of their last five contests. They have won 12 sectional championships in school history.

Class 4A, Sectional 23
East Central 9, South Dearborn 7 – A controversial pass interference call On South Dearborn with under a minute to go in regulation gave East Central (10-1) the ball on the Knights 10-yard line. Kicker Caden Browndyke connected on his third field goal of the game with six seconds to go, keeping the Trojans quest for a second straight Class 4A title alive. In rainy conditions, Browndyke tallied all nine of East Central’s points with a trio of field goals from 30-plus yards. East Central had trouble moving the ball on the ground, gaining just 119 yards on 50 carries. Quarterback Alex Maxwell led the way with 84 yards on 30 attempts.

East Central QB Alex Maxwell (photo by Linda Lyness Maxwell)

Despite the heartbreaking loss, South Dearborn still had a remarkable turnaround season finishing 8-3 after combining for just six wins in head coach Rand Ballart’s first three years at the helm. It was the most victories in a season by the Knights since going 9-1 for Jim Wheat in 1996.

To think that South Dearborn was even in this game at the end is pretty amazing. They lost the time of possession battle by more than 15 minutes and had minus-17 yards on the ground on 25 attempts. The Knights defense was stellar once again holding a foe to under 10 points seventh time this fall. The only team to score more than 16 points against them all year was East Central who put up a 42 spot in their regular season matchup.

As for the Trojans, they now go on the road to face Edgewood (8-3) for the Sectional 31 title. East Central beat Edgewood 48-6 in this same game a year ago. The Trojans are looking for their fourth consecutive sectional championship. East Central has won 18 sectional titles in school history.

South Dearborn 0-7-0-0-7
East Central 0-0-6-3-9

S: Dixon 1 run (z. Dick kick)
E: Browndyke 37 field goal
E: Browndyke 34 field goal
E: Browndyke 32 field goal

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