After three weeks on the road, the Seymour football team finally returned home to Bulleit Stadium and a packed house of anxious fans ready to see their Owls extend their undefeated streak.
Unfortunately, a late touchdown pass by Bedford North Lawrence in the final 20 seconds of the ballgame ended Seymour’s unbeaten streak.
A week after falling to Madison by a point; the Stars came out firing, punched the Owls in the mouth and gave them their first taste of ending a Friday night on the wrong end of the scoreboard, 24-21.
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Much like last week against Jennings County, Seymour coach Mike Kelly said his kids were sloppy with the football. Two interceptions and a fumble late proved too much for the Owls to overcome according to Kelly.
"Again, it’s just really sloppy football," Kelly said. "It’s the second week in a row where I felt we didn’t play the way we were capable of playing. We can’t do that against good teams."
The Stars struck first after another slow start saw the Owls have to dig themselves out of a hole early.
BNL took the opening kickoff and dinked and dunked their way down to 1-yard line before punching in their opening score.
Seymour’s defense adjusted and kept the Stars out of the endzone for the rest of the half but offensive mistakes set up a 35-yard Stars field goal to give them a 10-0 lead at the break.
Kelly was disappointed his team again started slow. He had hoped after starting slow the last several weeks, they would’ve came out ready to play.
"We did not come out with the fire, intensity and expectation that we want to play with," Kelly said. "It’s kind of been that way all year. We’ve been able to wear teams down in the second half … and, obviously, we’re frustrated and disappointed."
The Owls came out swinging in the second half, needing just one play to cut the deficit to three after Brendan Smith found Drew Vehslage on the quick slant for an 80-yard touchdown.
However, the Stars came right back with a big play of their own after a blown assignment saw a 52-yard pitch and catch extend the lead back to nine early in the third quarter. Yet, the Owls continued to show improvement and again used a big fourth-down conversion to cut into the Stars’ lead.
After a false start penalty, the Owls were staring down a 4th-and-long but were determined to go for it. Smith, who was more in sync with his receivers after a tough first half, was on the money finding Brayden Barker as time expired in the third quarter to put the Owls down just two points.
On their very next drive, the legs of Chandler Drummond, who had been held down for much of the game, came to life and pounded out a 10-yard scoring run to give Seymour their first lead of the game, 21-16, with eight minutes left in the game.
Even in defeat, Kelly was able to find a positive in his team never quitting on the game.
"If there’s a positive in all of this, it’s that we continue to fight, we continue to work and we’ve just got to get better," Kelly said.
Though they had been gassed and gashed in the first half, the Seymour defense and special team units came up huge for the Owls in the second half.
With the exception of the 52-yard touchdown the Stars had early in the third, the defense once again played its part and kept the Stars off the scoreboard for the rest of the game. They were put to the test in the final minutes of the game after an Owl fumble put the Stars in great field position to go get the game winning score.
Though they came up with some big plays, they were unable to keep the Stars out of the endzone one final time.
Seymour now heads into the weekend with their first loss and Kelly knows his kids will have to be ready to come to work to prepare for a Braves team that will certainly be juiced up to hand the Owls another loss.
The Owls welcome in Jackson County rival Brownstown Central next Friday at 7 p.m. for Jackson Bowl. The Owls won last year’s game, 44-34, and the two teams are split at six wins each. The Braves will come into Friday night’s contest 5-0 after shutting out North Harrison.
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Bedford North Lawrence (2-3);7;3;6;8 — 24
Seymour (4-1);0;0;14;7 — 21
BNL-Justice Woods 1-yard run (Ethan Baer kick good), 7:12
BNL-Baer 35-yard field goal kick; 4:09
S-Brendan Smith 80-yard pass to Drew Vehslage (Joshua Guevara kick good), 11:48
BNL-Dalton Nikirk 52-yard pass to Gavin Scherschel (Baer kick blocked), 9:07
S-Smith 36 pass to Brayden Barker (Guevara kick good), 0:00
S-Chandler Drummond 10 run (Guevara kick good), 8:09
BNL-Nikirk 7 pass to Woods (2-pt conversion good), 0:16
INDIVIDUAL SHS STATISTICS
Rushing: Drummond 14-103, Brendan Smith 8-39, Colin Greathouse 9-31
Passing: Smith 9-18-178
Receiving: Ely Henderson 5-48, Drew Vehslage 1-80, Brayden Barker 2-50