BATESVILLE — Two teams entered Friday night undefeated and something had to give. The Batesville Bulldogs went to a perfect 4-0 for the first time since 2009 with a 21-0 victory over the visiting Rushville Lions (3-1).
Defensively, the Bulldogs continued to provide the spark. The Lions were held to only 24 yards passing and 88 on the ground. The Bulldogs recorded three interceptions and recovered one fumble.
“The defense has been the heart and soul of this team for the first four games,” BHS head coach Eric Heppner said. “Tonight, they were put in some tough situations and got us out of them each time.”
Scoreless at the end of the first two quarters, neither team could establish much momentum.
The Bulldogs capitalized on a key fourth down run by quarterback Connor Schuck early in the fourth quarter. The play came right after a 12-yard pass play from Schuck to Austin Westerfeld, which set up the fourth-and-five situation.
Two plays later, Batesville senior Boston Gowan scampered 18 yards around the left side for the game’s first score. Peter Heil added the extra point to make it 7-0 at the 8:59 mark.
The Lions continued to struggle against the Bulldog defense. A three-and-out led to a punt on the next possession. Their next series resulted in a near interception by Tom Chaffee and later another punt.
The third quarter ended with the Bulldogs in front 7-0.
Batesville scored early in the fourth quarter and the momentum was visibly in favor of the home team.
Schuck connected with wide receiver Ryan Wilson for a 16 yard touchdown. Wilson battled his way to the goal line with a host of Lions trying to bring him down. Heil’s second extra point made the score 14-0 at the 10:09 mark.
Rushville’s Garrett Hittle came up with the team’s biggest play from scrimmage soon after the second BHS score. Hittle busted through the line and sprinted to the 25 yard line before being cutoff at the sideline.