Bulldogs are title game bound
PHOTO BY RICH FOWLER
Batesville football trailed Indian Creek with under a minute to go in the ballgame on Friday night but heroics with only seconds remaining lifted the host Bulldogs to a 35-34 upset win over the Braves in the semifinals of the Class 3A Sectional 31 Tournament.
The shootout win for Batesville avenged a 37-25 loss to Indian Creek on the road back in the season opener on August 19. A postseason loss negated a Braves team coming in having won four of their last five games. Indian Creek’s overall record wraps up at 7-4 for the year.
A wild and whacky contest saw Indian Creek lead 34-28 in the final minute of the game but Batesville quarterback Will Jaisle led the game-winning charge, marching the Bulldogs down the field and wrapping up the drive when he hit Bobby Weiler on a two-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. Moments later, freshman Bobby Wonnell delivered the final blow, connecting on an extra point with just 14 seconds left and putting the blue and white into the driver’s seat.
Bryson Bonelli was credited with a strong kickoff return to begin the Batesville drive and a pass play from Jaisle to Cade Kaiser served as a big play deep into Indian Creek territory just prior to the touchdown throw to Weiler.
Indian Creek had one more opportunity to win the game on the ensuing possession and nearly pulled off a stunner but the ball carrier was brought down after a 30-plus yard sprint and stopped near the 20-yard line, sending Batesville into jubilation. The final score was the Bulldogs’ first lead since a Jaisle touchdown run made for a 28-20 game in the third quarter.
Batesville led for the entire first half, using a Jaisle quarterback sneak to go up 7-6 by the end of the first quarter and a Gage Pohlman touchdown run kicked off the second frame that saw the Bulldogs stay out in front 21-20 by halftime. That was followed by the 28-20 score in the third quarter and the two teams trading shots until the very end ensued.
Jaisle unofficially ran for 126 yards according to The Daily Journal in Franklin. Official statistics from the game were not provided by time of print.
Batesville (6-5) will play for a sectional championship this Friday night for the first time since 2018 but quite the challenge awaits. The Bulldogs, who are looking for their first title since 2015, visits Class 3A No. 5 Lawrenceburg (10-1) in the title tilt. The Tigers, who are three-time defending champs, beat Greensburg 28-0 in the semifinal round.