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Chase Burton leads Corydon football past North Harrison, 41-0

August 25, 2012
Winners Choice Sports

RAMSEY, IND. — Senior quarterback Chase Burton threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth as Corydon used big plays to roll past North Harrison 41-0 in a Mid-Southern Conference football game Friday night.

Both teams benefited from drive-extending penalties in the first quarter, but it was Corydon that took the most advantage.

Starting with excellent field position, North Harrison went to the run early and often to get into Corydon territory. Brandon Craig gained 12 yards on three carries early in the opening drive as North Harrison’s game plan was obvious — run the ball, collect first downs and keep the ball out of Burton’s hands. Corydon’s stifling defense made that a challenge.

North Harrison got a break on the opening drive, facing fourth-and-4 at Corydon’s 47. On the punt attempt, Corydon was called offside and the Cougars were back in business.

But the Corydon defensive line redeemed itself by stuffing the two subsequent rushes, forcing North Harrison sophomore quarterback Jack Phelps into passing situations on third and fourth down. Both fell incomplete, and the Panthers took over at their own 37.

“We’re a bend-but-don’t-break defense,” said Corydon coach Darin Ward.

Corydon’s offense didn’t start well. A no-gain rush and a fumbled snap made it third-and-11 after the first two plays from scrimmage. But a pass interference flag on third down gave the Panthers new life — and they struck quickly. With the ball at midfield, Burton connected with a wide-open Tyler Ross for a 50-yard touchdown pass. Cory Thomas added the point after, and it was 7-0 lead at the 4:21 mark of the first quarter.

“We’ve got some quick-strike capability,” Ward said. “To have the ability to get down field with some elusive receivers is nice.”

It was still 7-0 early in the second quarter as the Cougars were fighting to stay close in front of the home crowd. But they couldn’t stop Corydon’s quick offense.

Corydon was facing second down and 25 at its own 15-yard line when Burton struck again, hitting Brayden Lander in traffic at the 30. Lander shook off two tackles and out ran the defenders to the end zone for an 85-yard touchdown. That made it 14-0 with 9:49 left in the half.

Corydon’s defense forced another three and out, putting Burton back in business. His 13-yard run after being flushed from the pocket, followed by a 28-yard pass to Lander, put the Panthers at the North Harrison 19-yard line. Three plays later, Burton connected with Ross for a 15-yard touchdown pass, and it was 21-0 with 4:36 left.

North Harrison continued to fight, looking to put some points on the board for a little momentum going into the locker room, but the plan backfired. After collecting a first down on a penalty to keep their drive going, the Cougars ran into trouble.

Phelps, throwing a rare pass, was picked off by Alex McAfee, who rambled 55 yards to score with 1:23 in the half. Thomas’ kick made it 28-0 at the break.

Burton made sure there wouldn’t be any second-half comebacks for the Cougars, capping the Panthers’ opening possession of the third quarter with a 17-yard touchdown run. Thomas added the kick to make it 35-0 at the 9:33 mark of the third quarter.

After a good punt put North Harrison on their own 1-yard line, the Cougars put together their best drive of the game late in the third quarter, gaining four first downs and making it into Corydon territory before a turnover squelched the drive.

With 7:18 left in the game, backup quarterback Buck Lannis, a freshman, connected with another freshman, Jordan Watson, for an 11-yard touchdown pass to make the final margin.

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