Seymour’s season ends in sectional loss at Bloomington North

BLOOMINGTON — The Seymour football team allowed the most points it had all season in the sectional semifinal against Bloomington North at Martin Field on Friday night.

The Owls allowed 56 points en route to an 18-point loss to the Cougars. After making a stop on North’s first drive of the game, the Cougars scored on every possession for the rest of the first half to take an 18-point lead at halftime.

Seymour played North evenly in the second half, but didn’t have enough to make up the difference in the first 24 minutes.

The Cougars get to now take on cross-county rival Bloomington South for the sectional championship next Friday.

For Seymour, it started the game in the best way possible. Mark Henson made a big tackle for loss to force a Bloomington North punt on the first possession.

When the Owls offense took the field, they marched right down the field. A Nick Wheeler 26-yard run and Bret Perry 15-yard run set up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Perry to Jaylan Johnson.

The Owls led 7-0, but the Cougars responded one minute and 22 seconds later. Aidan Steinfeldt caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Dash King to even the score at 7-7.

After a Seymour punt, North had one of those one-play strikes that head coach Tyson Moore was worried about heading into the game. Cody Mikulich took a 66-yard rush to the house to give the Cougars a 14-7 lead.

Then, Wheeler fumbled on Seymour’s ensuing possession that crossed the North 50, and the Cougars recovered. Jarno Hicks caught a 37-yard TD pass from King to make it 21-7 at the end of the opening quarter.

Seymour’s first possession to start the second quarter stalled at the North 12, and Jack Pennington came in and nailed a 29-yard field goal to make it 21-10.

The Cougars answered as Steinfeldt, whose brother Aaron plays for the Indiana University football team, caught his second TD of the game.

On a 4th and 4 on the North 7, Seymour ran a trick play to score its second touchdown. Will Gray took the snap, pitched it to Perry on an end around, and Perry threw to Kyle Hileman for the score.

But the Cougars added one more score before halftime after Seymour had three pass interference penalties in four plays, setting up a 4-yard run from Mikulich to make it 35-17 at the break.

Seymour got the ball to start the second half, and Pennington returned the kickoff 70 yards to the North 15 yard line, setting the Owls up with great field position.

Unfortunately for the Owls, they couldn’t take advantage of it. They turned it over on downs as North got a sack on Perry on fourth down. The Cougars took advantage of it as Mikulich found the end zone for the third time with a 38-yard rush.

Seymour got its first stop on defense since the opening drive of the game when Mitchell Mellencamp intercepted King late in the third quarter. That led to Perry finding Hileman for a 6-yard touchdown pass to make it 42-24 with 2:26 left in the quarter.

Mikulich added his fourth touchdown to begin the fourth quarter.

Wheeler got a touchdown with 9:27 left in the fourth quarter to add to his solid night on the ground. Wheeler finished with 20 carries for 147 yards.

Seymour’s last touchdown came from senior Will Gray, who Moore played on the final possession. Gray did a quarterback sneak from the one with 36 seconds left to score.

Moore said after the game it was an emotional night because of how much the seniors have meant to the program. This was the first full four-year senior class that Moore has had during his tenure, so he thanked him for all that they’ve given to the program.

Even though Friday night didn’t end the way the Owls wanted it to, it was still a successful season. Seymour went 6-4 and won a share of the Hoosier Hills Conference title for the first time since 2001.

The Owls also have a good young core, so Moore is looking forward to trying to build off this season heading into next fall.