By Dylan Wallace | The Tribune
Seymour and Bedford went down to the wire Friday night as the two teams battled to get over .500 in the Hoosier Hills Conference, both entering Friday night’s contest 1-1 in the HHC.
It was the Stars who spoiled the party in Bulleit Stadium, outlasting the Owls 35-29.
The score suggests the type of the game it was — a back-and-forth battle from the coin toss.
On Seymour’s opening drive, the Owls went 3 plays for negative 4 yards and had to punt the ball away.
Bedford took advantage rather quickly, using the ground game to score a 19-yard touchdown via the legs of Brye Lewis.
But the Owls responded nicely. After a combination of pass and run plays — the biggest being a 30-yard reception by Jack Pennington — Seymour’s Cameron Klakamp punched it in from three yards out to put the Owls on the board. Javier Perez’s kick was blocked, so BNL still held a 7-6 lead.
After getting it done on the offensive side, Klakamp did the same on the defensive side. The Stars were once again running the ball down hard, but a muffed snap allowed Klakamp to jump on it and recover the fumble to give Seymour the ball back.
The Owls were faced with a 4th and 4 after the fumble, and a great play call had Jaylan Johnson go up and out and Bret Perry found him for a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Perry found Johnson on the two-point conversion to give Seymour a 14-7 lead.
But it didn’t take long for Bedford to respond. In fact, it took one play after the kickoff.
Off play-action, Lewis found Kole Bailey wide open across the middle of the field for a 59-yard touchdown pass-and-catch. The game was knotted at 14 heading into the second quarter.
There wasn’t nearly as much scoring in the second 12 minutes. Seymour got down in Bedford territory, but a couple of sacks on Perry knocked the Owls out of scoring range.
The only score of the quarter came with 1:59 left when Piaire Childs had a shifty run for 11 yards into the end zone.
Bedford took a 21-14 lead into halftime and received the second-half kickoff as well.
After both offenses stalled on fourth down to begin the third quarter, the fireworks began.
Lewis threw a deep bomb to Ryker Hughes for 64 yards to take a 28-14 lead with 4:19 left in the third quarter.
The Owls struck back quick. Perry threw a short pass to Johnson over the middle, but he bounced off a tackler, got to the outside and took it 69 yards to the house to get seven points back, cutting the Stars’ lead to 28-21 with 3:59 left in the third.
The Stars missed a field goal to go up 10 near the end of the quarter, and Seymour had a chance to go tie the ballgame up. Perry found Pennington for 58 yards and a touchdown, but there was a false start on the Owls, negating the score.
Perry got sacked after that and the Owls had to punt it back to the Stars.
Led by the dynamic playmaking by Lewis under center, Bedford was able to move the ball down the field. Inside the red zone, Lewis scrambled for 9 yards for a touchdown to put Bedford up 35-21 with 5:26 to go.
On a 4th and 3 with 3:48 to go, Perry lobbed it up to Pennington, who bobbled the ball as he fell to the ground but held on for a big completion.
The Owls turned that into 7 points via a 14-yard pass from Perry to Johnson — their third combination for points on Friday. The lead was cut to 35-29 as Seymour went for two after an offside penalty by Bedford on the PAT. Klakamp punched it in from 1 yard out to cut the deficit to 6.
The Owls attempted an onside kick, but BNL recovered.
Seymour needed one more stop, but Bedford’s rushing attack, like it was for most of the game, was too much to overcome.
The Stars picked up a couple of first downs and ran out the clock to spoil Seymour’s homecoming.
Perry had a huge game passing, going 23 for 38 with 373 yards and 3 touchdowns. Johnson had all three TD catches, having a big night with 12 receptions for 201 yards.
With the loss, Seymour falls to 1-3 on the season and 1-2 in the HHC.
The Owls will be back at home next Friday for the Jackson County Bowl when they host Brownstown Central, who is 5-0 on the season.