Every Wednesday and Thursday during practice, the Seymour football team practices its two-minute drills. On Friday night against Floyd Central at Bulleit Stadium, the Owls needed every bit of that practice to show itself on the field.
The Highlanders kicked a 44-yard field goal with 1:26 left in the game to take a 15-14 lead. As the Owls trotted back out there, they were telling themselves they could go score.
With five seconds left, the ball resting on Floyd’s 30-yard line, quarterback Bret Perry took the snap, launched it deep, and it came down into the hands of Kyle Hileman, who crossed the goal line with 0.1 seconds on the clock.
The Owls won the football game in walk-off fashion 22-15.
“What we practiced just showed out right there,” Hileman said. “It was crazy. I saw the ball coming, I bobbled it a little bit, but Jack Pennington helped me catch it. That’s a true teammate right there.”
The win was much-needed for the Owls after falling at Columbus East last week.
Seymour was in control for most of the game and had the lead on the scoreboard throughout.
On Seymour’s second drive of the game, the Owls marched down the field, which featured a trick play where Will Gray came on an end around and threw the ball to Pennington, who came down with a contested catch for 18 yards.
The Owls found the end zone with 2:13 left in the first when Perry threw a deep ball to Hileman for a 23-yard touchdown. Adrian Medina came in to successfully convert the PAT, and Seymour led 7-0.
“I wasn’t even expecting the ball to come to me,” Hileman said. “It was supposed to go to our running back, but Bret threw it up, and it was the first touchdown.”
That would be the last time Seymour’s offense touched the ball for a good chunk of time. The Owls’ defense was on the field for 11 straight minutes of game time as Floyd Central slowly moved the ball down the field, but Seymour kept the Highlanders out of the end zone.
The offense got the ball back for the first time since its first-quarter touchdown with 3:53 left to play in the second quarter. However, a quick three-and-out put the defense back on the field 53 seconds later.
Floyd Central finally found the end zone with 13.2 seconds left in the first half. Tristan Robertson found Cody Bibelhauser on a swing pass for 14-yard touchdown. The Highlanders missed the extra point, so the Owls took a 7-6 lead into halftime.
The second half started in the best way possible for the Owls. Treyton McCormick intercepted Robertson and returned the ball down to the seven yard line. From there, Nick Wheeler ran it in and the Owls took a 14-6 just 17 seconds in the quarter.
“I love our defense,” Hileman said. “All our defensive guys are nasty. They were just working their butts off, just doing their best.”
Floyd Central found its answer with 2:44 left in the quarter when Bibelhauser rushed it in from six yards out. The Highlanders failed the 2-point conversion, so Seymour stayed out in front 14-12.
It was 14-12 all quarter until Max Grangier nailed the long field goal to give Floyd its first lead of the game with under two minutes left.
That’s when the Owls put together the game-winning drive to improve to 2-2 on the season and 2-1 in the Hoosier Hills Conference.
Perry threw for two touchdowns, both going to Hileman, and Seymour got a nice boost out of its running game from Wheeler, who carried the ball 11 times for 73 yards and a score.
Next week, Seymour will go to Bedford North Lawrence for another big conference game.
“I hope we keep the momentum,” Hileman said. “When we beat Jeffersonville, we came out with big heads (against East). We can’t come in with big heads, not at all. We got to keep solid, keep straight, keep going and go win the next game.”