Seymour drops conference game at New Albany



In a game that featured two of the most explosive running games in the Hoosier Hills Conference, the home team controlled the scoreboard.

New Albany sophomore Austin Oppel finished with 274 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries, and the Bulldogs amassed 382 yards of offense, in a 21-7 win over Seymour at Buerk Field on Friday.

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The Owls’ lone score came in the second quarter, and Seymour head coach Mike Kelly said the team’s lack of offense was its downfall.

“We didn’t help out our defense,” Kelly said. “You can’t give them that many opportunities. I think our defense did a nice job in the first half, but they were on the field so stinking much because our offense was inept. It was the same in the second half. We need to do a better job offensively, and running the clock.”

SHS finished with 231 offensive total yards in the game.

In the opening quarter, both teams struggled to move the ball.

Seymour (5-3, 3-3 HHC) and New Albany (5-3, 3-2 HHC) both went 3-and-out on their first two drives before Bulldogs quarterback Dylan Clark got the first first down of the game, on a 27-yard run, with 3:54 left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs didn’t capitalize on the small amount of momentum, punting again after three more plays, and the Owls got the ball back with 2:07 on the clock.

The Owls finally got moving on the next possession, going 22 yards while taking the possession going into the second quarter.

After 12 minutes, the teams were tied at zero.

On the Owls’ second play of the second quarter, they fumbled the ball and the Bulldogs took over on their own 44. The Owls were able to hold the Bulldogs at bay, but disaster struck again for SHS after getting the ball back on a punt.

After a run by Nathan O’Mara, Owls QB Brendan Smith launched a deep pass that was intercepted by the Bulldogs’ Eze Ndubisi.

The Bulldogs capitalized on the turnover this time, scoring on two plays. After a 33-yard run by Oppel, he scored from six.

With 9:11 left in the half, the Bulldogs led 7-0.

Seymour responded on the ensuing possession.

After running for 24 yards on four plays, Smith heaved a long pass up the middle to Elijah Corwin. Corwin caught the ball over a Bulldogs defender and took it to the house for a 52-yard touchdown.

After a kick by the Owls’ Josh Guevara, the game tied at 7-7 with 7:03 on the clock.

Opel almost scored on the ensuing kickoff, getting into Owls territory on a big return.

New Albany then ran two plays before Opel busted a 20-yard TD run up the middle to put the Bulldogs up 14-7 with 5:19 on the scoreboard.

The Owls went 50 yards on eight plays on their last possession of the first half, but turned the ball over on downs with 49 ticks left.

While the Bulldogs ran three plays before the whistle, they weren’t able to add a score before intermission.

At the break, the Bulldogs led 14-7.

Both teams had two possessions in the third quarter, and neither team scored any points.

After a punt by each team, the Bulldogs used a 47-yard run by Oppel to get to the Owls’ 19 on seven plays. However, on a 4th-and-4, the Owls got the stop to force a turnover on downs.

The Owls ran the ball six straight times before the end of the third quarter, again holding on to possession.

Seymour continued to control the clock through the start of the fourth quarter, getting to the Bulldogs’ 20 after five runs by the Owls.

However, on the Bulldogs’ 20, SHS couldn’t move the ball, missing three passes and only picking up a 1-yard run before turning the ball over on downs.

The Bulldogs then ran the ball five straight drives before Opel broke free for a 44-yard touchdown with 5:40 left in the game.

After the Owls failed to score on their final drive, which included a fake punt that was called back due to a penalty, the Bulldogs ran the clock out for the final 4:11 of the game.

Smith led the Owls with 77 yards on 16 carries and O’Mara totaled a season-low 66 yards on 18 tries. The game was the first that O’Mara, who is averaging over 200 rushing yards per game, didn’t break 100 yards for a contest.

Kelly said the Bulldogs executed well on defense.

“They put a lot of people in the box like Brownstown did to us,” Kelly said. “They are tough and quick. They did a nice job of looping and doing line stunts. Tonight, they were better than us.”

Through the air, Smith went 5-for-6 for 87 yards with a TD and INT.

“Our losses this season have not been because of our defense, but because of our offense,” Kelly said.

After the sectional draws are released on Sunday night, the Owls will conclude regular season play at home against Madison.

“We have a long season ahead,” Kelly said. “We aren’t’ even in the fourth quarter yet. The fourth quarter starts in a couple weeks in the tournament. Then, it’s a whole new season.”

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