Not letting up: Owls hang on to best Jennings

Coach Josh Shattuck says his Seymour football team is going to have to raise its level of play over Friday night if it wants to put more marks in the win column this fall.

“Give Jennings County credit, they played inspired football,” Shattuck said following the Owls’ 30-19 Hoosier Hills Conference win.

It was breast cancer awareness night at Bulleit Stadium as the Seymour players and coaches wore pink jerseys in honor of cancer survivors.

“I’m not going to give our kids any excuses,” Shattuck said. “We came off of three straight games where we won at the very end. Jennings ate a ton of clock and the game kept getting tight and every time you thought we were going to pull away they’d make a play.

“Our punt return team let us down a couple of times, and we’ve got to get better there. I just didn’t think we played very inspired football and that starts with the head coach and that’s on me.”

The Owls scored on their only possession of the first period to lead all the way. That initial touchdown came on a 12-yard run by Nathan O’Mara.

Seymour has won four straight games, and extra points have been a key part of those victories, and Friday night PATs either kept the Owls in the lead, or extended leads that prevented the Panthers from being able to tie the game in the last three periods.

Jackson Morris, O’Mara and Alan Perry scored the 2-point conversions.

Perry and Morris teamed up on a 14-yard pass play for a score in the second quarter, and on a 27-yard play on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Perry scored Seymour’s final TD on a 2-yard run that put the Owls on top 30-13 with 5:48 remaining in the game.

The Owls tackled Jennings County backs for losses six times. Evens Cribs intercepted a Jennings County pass and Dustin Metz blocked a PAT kick by the Panthers.

The Owls had six possessions. They rushed 41 times for 243 yards, completed 8 of 13 passes for 87 yards and had 17 first downs.

“Offensively, we just couldn’t get into a great rhythm,” Shattuck said. “We had a dropped pass that would have been a long touchdown. Every time it seemed like we had a big play, we had a holding penalty. It was sloppy, uninspired football and that is 100 percent on me.”

The Owls were called for six penalties and the Panthers were called for three.

Nick Richert, one of the defensive leader on the team said, “I was trying to get to the quarterback but it’s a team game. There were a couple of plays where we played up to our potential but there are definitely some growing pains and we can definitely get a lot better.

“That’s not the final product that Seymour can put out there. We’ve got a lot more in us. After tonight, this game is over and we’ve got to look forward to our next one.”

The Owls move to 3-2 in the HHC, and sit in a tie with Jeffersonville for third place after the Red Devils lost 42-14 to New Albany Friday night.

“I’m not very pleased with the performance,” Shattuck said. “I know some guys did some good things, but overall we did not take a step forward tonight. We took a step backward. With the talent we have on this team we got away with it and got a win, but we have to get a lot better as we hit the homestretch.

“We’ve got to be better in every single unit and we will.

“Our defense played pretty well as far as keeping them out of the end zone a lot, but we couldn’t really get off the field at certain times. They converted some fourth downs.”

The Owls, at 4-3, have a winning record this late in the season for the first time since 2005.

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.