The Switzerland County varsity football team welcomed conference foe South Decatur on Friday night, but the Pacers weren’t charitable hosts — moving out to an early lead on their guests and cruising to a convincing, 41-7 victory.
The Pacers got off to quick start when Bryce Turner scored on a one-yard run, and after the Sam White PAT, the score stood at 7-0 early.
That’s how the first period would end, but as the second stanza got underway, Coach Ryan Jesop’s Pacers would go on an offensive tear that sealed the win early.
Less than two minutes into the second quarter, the Pacers got on the scoreboard again when Hunter Records powered his way into the endzone on a three-yard run. This time the PAT failed, giving Switzerland County a 13-0 advantage.
Moments later, after the Switzerland County defense held strong, the Pacers blocked a South Decatur punt attempt, and senior Zach Howlett scooped up the ball and returned it 26 yards into the endzone for a touchdown. Going for a two-point conversion, Dez Lange found pay dirt, and with eight minutes to go before halftime, Switzerland County’s lead was 21-0.
The Cougars tried to get things stabilized, but with two minutes to go before halftime, South Decatur fumbled the ball as they were threatening to score, and it was recovered by the Pacers on their own 20 yard line.
With a lot of territory to cover, it didn’t take long for the Pacers to strike again, as Lange broke free and rambled 71 yards for another touchdown. Again the PAT was no good, and with just 1:17 to go until the halftime break, the Pacers had blown the game open, 27-0.
The Cougars looked to run out the half and try and catch their breath, but the Pacers used their timeouts, forcing South Decatur to punt with 28-seconds left in the quarter.
The South Decatur punt was fielded by senior Cade Rider, and as Rider raced to his left, he fell awkwardly as he was tackled, suffering a dislocated hip. The injury stopped the game while Rider was being attended to; and after he left the field, Switzerland County quarterback Damion Courter found Dathan Brown on a long pass play; and followed that up with another pass to Lucas Hutchinson that resulted in another two play drive for a touchdown by the Pacers.
In the second half, the Pacers were content to run the ball and run out the clock, but South Decatur got a one yard touchdown run and followed that with a successful PAT, and after three quarters of play, Switzerland County led 35-7.
The Pacers would dent the endzone one more time in the contest, as Turner scored his second touchdown of the night on a six-yard run with 3:15 to go that made the score 41-7 after the PAT failed.
From there both teams ran out the clock, and Switzerland County ran its winning streak to four straight and its overall record to 5-2 — ensuring the first varsity winning season in school history. The win also kept the Pacers undefeated in conference play at 3-0.
Offensively, Courter was 6-for-13 passing for 119 yards and a touchdown; while on the ground is where the Pacers pummeled the Cougars.
Switzerland County finished with 194 yards rushing, led by Lange’s 78 yard, one touchdown effort. Records finished with 45 yards and a touchdown; Dominic Klem had 43 yards; and Turner had 25 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Receiving showed Rider with two catches for 34 yards before he left with the injury; Nick Gatto had a catch fro 28 yards; Brown netted 27 yards on one catch; Turner had a catch for 10 yards, as did Hutchinson on his touchdown grab.
The defense also had a strong game for the Pacers, led by Records with four solo tackles and four assists; while Rider was credited with three tackles and two assists. Brown had three tackles, including one for a loss and two assists; Turner had two tackles and an assist; Klem contributed two tackles; and Lange had two tackles and three assists.
Harrison Griffis finished with two solo tackles including one for a loss, two assists and a sack; while Zach Weaver had a tackle for a loss, three assists and two sacks; Dakota Wallace had a tackle and an assist; Howlett had a tackle for a loss and three assists; and Kyzick Byrum had a tackle and two assists.
The Pacers close their home season tomorrow (Friday) night when North Decatur (3-4) comes to Vevay; and the regular season will then wrap up on Friday night, October 12th, when Switzerland County travels to Milan (5-2) in what should be a showdown for the conference championship.