One of the things Seymour football coach Josh Shattuck tells his team each season is that he wants it to be playing at its highest level heading into sectional play.
The Owls hit a season high in points, yards rushing and first downs during Friday night’s 64-48 Hoosier Hills Conference win at New Albany.
That point total is Seymour’s highest since a 65-58 win against Evansville Harrison in the 2012 sectional.
Shattuck said rushing for 58 times for 428 yards, which took a lot of time off the clock, was a big part of the win.
“Mathematically, I think it would be almost impossible to lose,” he said. “I’d like to see how many teams can rush for (over 420) yards and don’t win. You just control the game that way. I thought our throw game was phenomenal. It kept them balanced.
“The offensive line is the single strength of our team. I love who we have at quarterback, I love our backfield, I love our skilled guys, love guys on defense, but in terms of a unit, our offensive line is the backbone of our team as it should be.”
The Owls were without defensive starters Todd Kiewitt (knee injury) and Bradan Thomasma (concussion).
“We have size, we have strength, and we have athleticism up there. We have a four-year starter, two three-year starters, a two-year starter and then Haden Mettert, 6-5, 300 pounds a really, really good player.
“We knew they were banged up a little bit up front, and that’s where our strength is. We’re banged up on the edge on defense, and that’s a strength of theirs, hitting the edge on offense,” Shattuck said.
Junior quarterback Alan Perry had an outstanding night running the football as he gained 264 yards rushing on 24 carries.
The Owls held a 50-42 lead in the third period when the Bulldogs marched to Seymour’s 9-yard line.
New Albany quarterback Dylan Clark attempted a pass and Seymour’s Alex Holt intercepted the ball at the 6-yard line.
On the next play, Perry ran 94 yards for his third touchdown of the game.
“I thought I could do it, but I didn’t know if I was going to hold up,” Perry said of his longest TD run of his career. “Kudos to my offensive line. They created a huge hole, right at the line of scrimmage, right at the point of attack. The guys are awesome, creating a huge hole, and that made my job easy. They did the hard work for me so that helped.”
The Owls rushed for 426 yards and seven touchdowns.
“We knew our offensive line had been rolling the past couple weeks with our run game,” Perry said. “So we knew we had an advantage up front.
“Our motto early was to pound it down their throats, run the ball, get Carp (Zach Carpenter) as many touches as we could, and that’s what we did. We knew they couldn’t stop us, and that’s the offensive line putting in a bunch of work.”
Carpenter rushed 22 times for 97 yards and three touchdowns. The Owls had 24 rushing plays in the first period, and 58 for the game and were only tackled for minus yardage twice.
Jackson Morris scored two touchdowns, and Tyler Bullard also scored one TD.
Perry said he felt like the Owls were capable of scoring over 60 points because last year they scored 42 “and their defense is very similar to what it was last year. So I knew it was a definite possibility, but to do it is pretty awesome.”
The Owls were forced to score a lot of points to keep the lead because of New Alban’s standout junior runner, Darquan Richardson.
He rushed for 147 yards, and touchdowns runs of 34, 15, 7 and 35 yards, plus he returned a kickoff 82 yards for a TD.
Perry said he was impressed with Richardson, who is receiving offers from Division I schools.
“He’s great,” Perry said. “He’s probably the best back we’ll see besides (Columbus East’s back). Richardson can hit you with moves.”
Shattuck said, “Richardson is a phenomenal player and he just makes plays. We don’t have the speed. Kiewitt and Thomasma are two of our fastest players.
The Owls (5-3) take a five-game win streak into Friday’s senior night game against Madison. With a win against the Cubs, the Owls will be assured of at least a tie for second in the HHC.
“Turning the page, opening up a new chapter, that’s the best thing we can do right now, continue this train, keep it rolling,” Perry said.
Shattuck said another key was winning the turnover battle as the Owls recovered three fumbles and had Holt’s interception.