One play. All the effort from Rushville and New Castle on the gridiron Friday night came down to one fourth-down play from the 1-yard line with :02 left in the game.
After two unsuccessful rushing attempts by New Castle’s Damon Dailey from the 1-yard line and a quarterback spike of the ball to stop the clock, the Trojans went back to Dailey on fourth down. The Lion defense was up to the challenge as the defense met Dailey at the 2-yard line and held on to post the 21-17 victory.
Rushville improves to 2-0 and the Trojans drop to 0-2.
The Lions had the game under control with a sure win in their pocket up until the 7:58 mark of the fourth quarter. Rushville had a 92-yard touchdown run by Garrett Hittle at the 5:19 mark of the first quarter to give the Lions a 7-0 lead. The Lions took that lead to the half.
After a 23-yard Ryan Jones field goal for the Trojans cut the lead to 7-3, Hittle struck again with a 37-yard scamper to the end zone to push the Rushville lead to 14-3 with 11:53 to play in the game.
The Lions’ defense forced another New Castle punt and the offense was using up the clock with the ground game to seal the win. Then a Clay Tressler pass was picked off by New Castle’s Jackson Haynes and the Trojan cornerback took it all the way back to cut the Lion lead to 14-10 with 7:58 to go.
Rushville ran nearly four minutes off the clock before being forced to punt. The snap was high and the Trojans took over on the Rushville 5-yard line with 4:00 on the fourth-quarter clock.
New Castle’s Caleb Smith scored from the 1-yard line to give the Trojans a 17-14 lead with 2:37 left.
The Lions then marched 80 yards in just over one minute to regain the lead as Tressler connected with Austin Yurack for the 19-yard touchdown pass. The Lions led 21-17 with 1:14 to go.
Two penalties on the Lions allowed the Trojans to move the ball to the Rushville 20-yard line. Smith then hit Dalton Engle with a 19-yard pass play to set up the Trojans at the 1-yard line setting up the Lions goal-line stand to squash a New Castle comeback.
The Lions travel to Franklin County (2-0) Friday.
Contact: Aaron Kirchoff at 765-932-2222, ext. 114