— Simply miserable playing conditions.
Cold and windy with a steady rain, which left the field a mess – clearly not the best conditions for a game with one team’s season on the line.
Still, it was the same for both teams and a part of the game.
The Greensburg Pirates withstood the elements a little better and escaped with 14-0 victory over the Batesville Bulldogs in the semifinal round of the sectional.
The challenging environment was evident with the number of turnovers that plagued the game.
Maybe one of the biggest came on the first play from scrimmage for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs returned the opening kick to near the 20 yard line. On the first play, coach Eric Heppner opted for a quick toss from quarterback Connor Schuck to senior Dylan Cook. The ball came loose and the Pirates took over on the 20 yard line.
Momentum was clearly in favor of the host Pirates, but the Bulldogs did not relent.
The BHS defense turned back the Pirates and later took over on downs.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs stalled on offense much like they did most of the first half.
The Pirates drove the ball deep into Batesville territory before facing a fourth and goal situation from the three yard line. This time, the Pirates opted to try a field goal.
A mishandled snap – most likely due to poor conditions – led to another defensive stop by the Bulldogs.
The first quarter ended knotted at 0-0.
Again, Batesville stood their ground on defense with their backs against the goal line. A fourth down stop on the five yard line gave the ball back to the Bulldogs with 6:30 to play in the half.
Unable to move the ball, the Bulldogs punted and the Pirates took over on on the 45 yard line at the 4:35 mark. This time the Pirates were able to punch it into the end zone when deep in Batesville territory.
Quarterback Adam Meadows scored from four yards out and Riley Billieu added the extra point to give the Pirates a 7-0 lead with under a minute to play in the half. The scoring drive was aided by a healthy dose of fullback Ryan Martin carrying the ball.
The storyline was much of the same as the second half unfolded. The Bulldogs continued play solid defensively, but could not find much success on the other side of the ball.
Greensburg’s Derek Chambers scored the game’s only touchdown in the second half. A second Billieu extra point put the Pirates on top 14-0 with 10:26 to play in the game.
A series of turnovers by both teams failed to yield any points the rest of the way.
The Bulldogs finished the season with a record of 5-6, while the the 9-2 Pirates advance to the sectional finals where they will play Indian Creek for the title.