Scoreless second half results in 56-26 loss for Owls football

By Dylan Wallace

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It was a tale of two halves for the Seymour football team in its season-opener Friday night at South Dearborn.

The Owls went from putting up 26 points in the first half, battling the Knights point for point, to putting up a goose egg in the second half, getting outscored 28-0 en route to a 56-26 loss.

“It was rough tonight offensively and defensively,” head coach Tyson Moore said after the game. “That second half is why the score is what it is.”

The 2021 season for Seymour couldn’t have started any better, though. On the opening kickoff, Jack Pennington originally muffed the catch, but as soon as he scooped it off of the ground, the sophomore found a hole and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown.

It put the Owls on the scoreboard on the very first play of the season.

But not to be outdone, the home team responded quickly. In just a couple of plays, South Dearborn connected on a 63-yard touchdown pass with 9:32 left in the first quarter. The Knights missed the PAT, so Seymour still led 7-6.

The Owls came right back, though. On a 4th and 7, quarterback Will Gray threw a strike across the middle of the field to Pennington for a gain of 21 yards, which set Seymour up inside the 10.

From there, Gray connected on a 6-yard TD pass to freshman Jaylan Johnson to regain a 14-6 lead.

A couple of defensive stops from Seymour, and the Owls took that lead into the second quarter.

But on the first play of the second quarter, the Knights connected on a 40-yard touchdown pass and converted two points to tie the game at 14.

The scoring trend continued after that. A miscommunication by South Dearborn’s secondary left Dylan Fields wide open for a 68-yard touchdown pass. Seymour missed the PAT but took a 20-14 lead with 10:46 left in the second quarter.

But that was the last time Seymour would see the lead in the first half. South Dearborn answered with a 37-yard TD run and connected on the PAT to take a 21-20 lead.

Gray threw an interception on Seymour’s next possession, which led to another South Dearborn touchdown. Seymour’s tackling started to slip toward the end of the half, allowing the Knights to run the ball down the field then score a 16-yard TD pass with 5:35 left to take a 28-20 lead.

But the Owls received a gift toward the end of the second half. On fourth down at its own 10, South Dearborn decided to go for it, and Seymour got the stop, taking over with under two minutes to go until halftime.

Cameron Klakamp punched it in from two yards to tighten the score. Seymour missed the 2-point conversion and only took a 28-26 deficit into halftime.

“We were putting some drives together. Returning the kick was a great start,” Moore said. “The thing that hurt us the most was we were never in sync. We were just never on the same page. Good football teams find the way to get on the same page.”

Moore’s point became evident in the second half.

Seymour’s offense stalled, and the Owls’ defense started to slip. South Dearborn put up three touchdowns in the third quarter — plays of 63, 11 and 9 yards — to take a 49-26 lead into the fourth quarter.

“Defensively, we had too many reach tackles,” Moore said. “You can’t stop a running back like that. We weren’t getting in front of them. We weren’t getting leverage.”

The Knights’ final touchdown came with 8:16 to play in the fourth quarter. After Gray started to string together some solid throws and Seymour was moving the ball, he got rocked on one pass attempt that resulted in a pick-six for the Knights. It was Gray’s fourth interception on the night.

When asked if the second-half blunder was due to youth — Seymour lost 27 seniors from last season — Moore didn’t want to make any excuses.

“Are we young? Absolutely. Are we inexperienced? Absolutely. Is that an excuse? No,” Moore said.

Despite the tough loss, there were some promising moments. Treyton McCormick and Mikey Wright had some good pass breakups; Pennington, Johnson and Fields all had flashes in the passing game; and Evan Smith had some solid, tough runs.

Seymour, now 0-1 to start the year, will go on the road again next week to play at Jeffersonville at 7 p.m.

“Always an opportunity to get better, and that’s what I told our guys after the game,” Moore said. “Going to have to take hard criticism in the morning and get up next week and practice and get better.”