Highlanders hand Red Devils first conference loss
Floyd Central coach Brian Glesing knew time of possession would be crucial for the Highlanders entering their Friday-night bout with Hoosier Hills Conference foe Jeffersonville.
Glesing’s bunch executed its game plan almost flawlessly in a 35-7 win over the Red Devils, totaling 357 yards on 63 plays – 304 yards on 57 rushing attempts alone – and holding Jeffersonville to just 134 yards of offense on 30 plays. The Red Devils ran only seven plays in the second half.
“Time of possession, as I told one of my coaches, was a big key,” Glesing said. “Time of possession was key, because they’ve got great weapons with (senior quarterback Cameron Northern) and all those receivers and running backs that they have. Time of possession was huge. Kept their best players off the field.”
Floyd Central (3-2, 2-1 Hoosier Hills) handed Jeffersonville (3-2, 3-1) its first conference loss and solidified a three-way tie for second place in league standings between the Highlanders, Red Devils and New Albany, loser of a 56-15 decision to Columbus East – now the league’s No. 1 at 3-0 – on Friday.
GALLERY: Jeffersonville at Floyd Central
Junior Devon Stikes led the Highlanders with 81 yards on 12 carries for a touchdown. Junior Jason Cundiff added 71 yards on 14 carries for a score, and senior Colt May recorded 13 carries for 68 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Junior quarterback Matthew Weimer added 88 total yards and a score on the ground.
Floyd Central made things difficult for Northern, who completed just three of 10 attempts for 39 yards through the air and two interceptions. Senior running back Jordan Barnett had 68 yards on 11 carries while junior Kameron Fuller tallied 161 all-purpose yards, including a 100-yard kickoff-return touchdown.
“Other than our kickoff coverage,” Glesing said, “best all-around performance we’ve had in a couple years.”
The Highlanders totaled 141 rushing yards on 23 carries in the first half alone, as the Red Devils had no answer for the hosts’ run game early. Floyd Central posted just three attempts through the air in the first half all the while scoring on two runs of three yards and one from two yards out.
A tipped interception and untimely penalties – four for 30 yards – doomed the Red Devils’ offense in the first half. Jeffersonville recorded just 101 total yards through the first two periods.
Cundiff opened scoring with a three-yard run that capped an 11-play, 63-yard drive on the first possession of the game. On the following drive, Northern’s attempted strike to Jeffersonville sophomore receiver D’Andre Rutherford ricocheted off his fingertips and into Floyd Central junior Zach Spurgeon’s grasp inside the Highlanders’ five-yard line.
Spurgeon returned the interception to the Highlanders’ 41-yard line, setting up a six-play, 59-yard scoring drive capped off by Weimer’s three-yard run. Back-to-back Jeffersonville penalties set up the Highlanders with first-and-five from the Red Devils’ 33. A two-yard score by Stikes – after a 25-yard dash by the junior – then gave Floyd Central its 21-0 halftime advantage.
Fuller opened scoring for the Bulldogs in a big way to start the second half. The junior speedster took the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, and the ensuing extra point cut the Highlanders’ lead to 21-7. After Jeffersonville forced Floyd Central into its first punt of the game on the following possession, though, the Red Devils’ offense went three-and-out – the only three plays run by the visitors in the third quarter.
The Highlanders regained momentum with an 11-play, 84-yard drive that culminated in a three-yard touchdown run by senior Colt May to end the third period and begin the fourth. Floyd Central used four running backs and some sound blocking from its line to eat up clock and add to its advantage.
“Our defense held their own in the second half after we gave up seven and then had to punt to them,” Glesing said. “Then our offense controlled the line of scrimmage the rest of the way.”
After yet another Jeffersonville three-and-out, Floyd Central pounded the ball again for four of its 19 first downs and an eventual five-yard touchdown run by May, making the 35-7 final.
Jeffersonville: 0 – 0 – 7 – 0 – 7
Floyd Central: 14 – 7 – 7 – 7 – 35
F – Jason Cundiff 3 run (Cole Hussing kick good), 6:20
F – Matthew Weimer 3 run (Hussing kick good), 1:23
F – Devon Stikes 2 run (Hussing kick good), 3:02
J – Kameron Fuller 100 kickoff return (Jordan Conn kick good), 11:44
F – Colt May 3 run (Hussing kick good), 11:55
F – May 5 run (Hussing kick good), 1:59