Seymour football working through opening loss


You can tell. There were moments the other night and there will be moments all season when the Seymour football team’s long-range offensive threat will make the lights blink.

Those would be scoreboard lights.

Quarterback Cody Ruble has the arm. Drew Vehslage has the feet. And with a little help from their friends, the Owls passing game, viewed favorably in periodic glimpses last Friday night in a 36-21 season-opening loss to South Dearborn, will produce fireworks.

Much newness was attached to the show as Tyson Moore made his debut as a head coach, coronavirus social distancing, facial coverings, and safety rules made their debut e at Bulleit Stadium, and the team hit against an opponent for the first time in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a no-scrimmage pre-season.

Moore searched for the right emotional description to describe his debut after being hired in May and let others sort out the difference.

“I thought I would be more nervous,” he said. “I was more anxious. The time was finally here. I was relieved, too.”

Relieved to get going after long weeks of conditioning and practicing, but also relieved to get going because neighbor Brownstown Central had its opening game called off at the last minute. A coronovirus positive test meant the Harrison County Health Department decided Corydon Central could not host the game.

“That’s unfortunate,” Moore said of the Brownstown situation. “It’s an unfortunate thing for their players and coaches. You just can’t control it. I hope and pray it doesn’t happen to us.”

Seymour played on, albeit displaying rough-around-the-edges play. Ball handling, especially on special teams, was out of sync and the blocking and tackling seemed a step slow coming off the snap.

“Everything we did they knew was coming,” Moore said. “Our offensive line had a rough game.”

Ruble unveiled a bazooka arm that did some damage. He threw two touchdown passes and gained 178 yards through the air. He also tossed three interceptions, but was on the run, being chased by the Knights’ defense, and made some throws off-balance and under pressure.

“He was flushed out of the pocket,” Moore said. “We didn’t move our feet very well (on the line).”

Vehslage’s feet moved quite well. The senior receiver scored one TD on a 12-yard grab, gained 80 yards on another catch and finished with four receptions for 105 yards. His route-running was an attention-getter, though several times Rubel throws were a tiny bit long, leaving the capacity-limited crowd groaning about how the play was oh-so-close.

“We missed a couple of times that could have been a big play,” Vehslage said. “I think that’s going to come.”

Vehslage said he studied the crispness of older receivers’ routes and their styles and worked hard since the layoff from school began in March and over the summer to develop his own moves.

“Now I do it myself,” Vehslage said.

He watches films of upcoming opponents with an eye to how defensive backs bring their coverage.

“I can get open faster,” he said. “I look for what gets them out of their steps.”

Moore was impressed by Vehslage’s showing.

“Drew made some great catches,” he said. “We felt we had an advantage with him.”

Although Ruble heaved a boatload of incomplete passes, close observation indicated there were many times the results hinged on having more time to throw, having time to plant, or just getting into rhythm.

Seymour threatened more often with the pass than with the run.

“I think they (South Dearborn) realized it is our strength,” Vehslage said. “We can use that weapon more.”

Dylan Fields made one early catch for 22 yards, but then injured a fibula and had to come out. He is also expected to miss this Friday’s home game against Jeffersonville.

Moore expects Seymour will perform better in Game 2 than it did in Game 1.

“We did some good things,” he said. “We did a lot of bad things. There are things we’ll clean up going forward.”

Moore told his players to adopt amnesia after 24 hours and go from there.

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