Friday’s Mid Southern Conference showdown between Eastern and Silver Creek had just about everything – except defense.
Both teams scored early and often as the Musketeers won a thriller, 40-36.
The only defense administered by either team was when the opposing offense would shoot itself in the foot with costly turnovers or penalties.
And just when it looked as if one team had things under control, they would take possession of the firearm and pull the trigger.
“It was good offense, but not much defense by either team,” said EHS Head Coach John Dablow. “As much as we try to prepare these guys for Silver Creek’s speed, I don’t think they belived us about how fast they were. As coaches we also could have done better on our adjustments, especially on Silver Creek’s slant pass that they had a lot of success with.
“There is a lot we can improve on. We didn’t tackle very well and we had some turnovers and those really hurt us. I was glad to see us get down and not fall apart, and stay the course.”
Eastern fell behind early and spend the first quarter playing catchup.
They took the lead for the first time with 11:53 remaining in the second when Jacob Portela scored on a seven-yard run.
That score looked as if it was the start of a Musketeer blow out.
After scoring, Portela delivered a perfectly executed on-side kick that gave EHS the ball right back in Dragon territory.
The Musketeers failed to score on the drive, but the offense got the ball right back after a three-and out by the SC offense.
On the punt attempt, the ball was snapped a little high, which forced the Dragon Punter to bobble the ball and allowed the EHS rush time to block the punt.
The punt was recovered by Eastern’s Greg Lynn. At the SC six-yard line.
On the first play of the drive Austin Brown scored on a six-yard run. Thomas Sleepe took the ball into the endzone on a sweep play on the point after touchdown, and the Musketeers were rolling 26-13.
That’s where the scored remained until the third quarter.
Eastern got the ball to start the second and looked to add to the advantage, but costly turnovers allowed Silver Creek to get back in the game.
The Musketeers fumbled on their third play of the half. The ball was recovered by the Dragons and on their first play Layne Taylor took the ball 50-yards for a score. Brad Graham took the ball and scored on the PAT and Silver Creek trailed 26-21.
The Musketeers’ next possession went a little better. They ran five plays this time before they fumbled the ball.
The Dragons again recovered the ball and went on the attack. On the third play of the drive, sophomore quarterback Brooks Howell connected with Brant Myer on a 60-yard pass and run play.
Graham kicked the PAT and SC was back in front 28-26.
“We preached at halftime about coming out, driving down and going up by three scores and put the game out of reach,” Dablow said. “We didn’t do that, we fumbled the ball and let them back in it.”
The Silver Creek lead was short-lived.
On the ensuing possession, Eastern marched 48 yards and scored on a three-yard run by Austin Brown.
Sleepe took the ball and scored on the PAT and the Musketeers were back in front 34-28.
The Dragons quickly answered and were back in front five plays later when Howell connected with number six on a 41-yard pass play.
SCHS converted the PAT and were back up by two, 36-24 with 2:02 remaining in the third quarter.
With their backs against the wall, Eastern mounted their most impressive drive of the night. They went 62 yards in 13 plays and ate nearly seven minutes of the clock. They scored on a three-yard run by Brown. The Musketeers failed on the PAT attempt, but led 40-36.
Eastern’s solid offensive possession was followed by a defensive stand.
Silver Creek was marching late for the go ahead score, but Howell had a pass intercepted by the Musketeers’ Kaleb Nicholson.
Eastern (2-2) took over and ran out the final 4:35 of the game.
Several Musketeer players had good games, but Brown was every where.
“(Brown) was a workhorse for us tonight,” Dablow said. “He has done a nice job of stepping up with Trey (Albertson) being out. He is playing a position we didn’t rep him at very much in the summer, so he has had to learn it in the past two weeks.”
Eastern’s will play their third consecutive home game Friday when they host the 4-0 Corydon Central Panthers.
“Corydon is good, big, strong and fast,” Dablow said. “They are every bit as good as they were last year.”
Friday’s game is set to begin at 7 p.m. at Musketeer Field.
Eastern 40, Silver Creek 36
1st downs 18 24
Rushing yards 98 291
Comp/Att. 11-24 3-6
Passing yards 238 50
Total Yards 336 341
Fumbles/lost 1/1 3/2
Penalties/Yards 10/73 7/68
Time of Poss. 17:05 30:55
Eastern: Austin Brown (30-164), Luke Terry (5-44), Thomas Sleepe (8-44), Jacob Portela (6-18), Cody Hurst (7-14), Carson Newcomb (1-5), Aaron Burr (1-2).
SCHS: Layne Taylor (17-111), Brad Graham (4-9), Jacob Brooks (2-7), Ben Davis (1-1), Brooks Howell 1-(-2), David Moore 1-(-28).
Eastern: Cody Hurst (3-6-0-50).
Silver Creek: Brooks Howell (11-23-2-238), Layne Taylor 0-1-0-0.
Eastern: Austin Brown (2-21), Kyle Taylor (1-29).
SCHS: Grant Meyer (7-195), Layne Taylor (2-17), Jacob Brooks (1-18), Drew Sherror (1-8).