|FC moves to sectional finals|
By Simon Baumgartle
The 3-5 Jennings County Panthers come to the home of the 7-2 Floyd Central Highlanders for both of their first sectional game.
Floyd Central had a big 54-30 win against the Panthers earlier his season and in their last game they won a nail biter against New Albany. The final score of this game was 27-0, the Highlanders first shut out since2003.
They shut out both New Albany and Jeffersonville that year.
Floyd Central started out on the ground. After a three and out on their first possession, Gaige Klingsmith made another one of his big runs; this one was a 61yd touchdown. Brian Glesing was happy with Klingsmith’s run saying “Big deal to get ahead of them early.
To get on top, forcing them, to maybe, get out of their comfort zone and throw it a little bit more then they wanted to.” After the missed extra point the Highlanders were up 6-0.
Klingsmith wasn’t done with the first touchdown. The Highlanders were able to march the ball down the field and Klingsmith ran an 8yd touchdown. He made the 2 point conversion and his team led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. Gaige slowed down for the rest of the game, but still had 112yds and the two touchdowns.
The Panthers couldn’t get much done through the air or on the ground through most of the first half. The Highlanders defense held strong and their offence made them some points. On a few runs by Nick Uhl and a 20yd completion to Trevor Smith, the Highlanders were able to set up Garry Posey for a 2yd touchdown and got up 20-0.
Coach Glesing’s team had another strong running game, Glesing commented “We had to be able to run the ball, and we were able to do it better than they did.”
Jennings County had an interception as their only bright spot at the end of the half facing a 20-0 deficit.
The Panthers came out of the half a little bit more even. They threw the ball some and had a few good runs by Preston Teltow. At the beginning of the third quarter the Panthers forced their way down to the Highlanders 2yd line. They had to make some big plays on the shoulders of Quarter back Conner Byram, including a 4th and 13. Byram was forced out of the pocket and threw on the run.
His pass was completed on the sidelines to Nick Nixon, who had just enough for the first down. After that play they needed 2yds to be on the board.
Preston Teltow fumbled and the Highlanders took over. Coach Glesing said “That was the clencher right there. That, kind of, was the big deal.”
The Highlanders defense recorded 5 takeaways, two of which were interceptions by Gabriel Kennedy. Kennedy had a big second half. He had the two interceptions and made a 33yd touchdown run, which made the final score 27-0.
The Highlanders running game combined for 231yds and 4 touchdowns.
Elijah Miller forced a fumble in the red zone, stopping another potential touchdown.
Floyd Central, who is 8-2, will go on to face Whiteland, who is also 8-2, for county champion. “We were 2-8 last year, now were 8-2. So that’s a big turn around.” said Coach Glesing.
He also said about the sectionals “Were gonna go as far as we can go.”
As for Jennings County and Head Coach Darrin Fisher, they end the season 3-7. But according to coach Glesing they are “Better than their record indicates.” Despite the loss they have next season to look forward to and some good games to look back on.