Pacers fuel big homecoming win with strong play on both sides of the ball

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After traveling to Gallatin County in late August for a game; then having last week’s game postponed due to heavy rain, the Switzerland County varsity football team was ready to come home on Friday night; and in fact – the Pacers did celebrate Homecoming.

Highlighting that return home was a 44-6 beat down of visiting Edinburgh, which gave Switzerland County its first victory of the season heading into tomorrow (Friday) night’s game against Oldenburg Academy, which will be played on the campus of Mount St. Joseph’s University in Cincinnati.

Edinburgh actually got on the board first in Friday’s game, with Lancer quarterback Tyson Sackman connecting with wide receiver Dillon Simpson on a 25-yard pass play with less than a minute to play in the period. The two-point try failed, and after the first quarter, Edinburgh held a 6-0 lead.

Although they were trailing early, Switzerland County was controlling the field, with the Pacers piling up big yardage with hard running from Kyle Whitham and Cameron Niswander. The Pacers were also in control on defense, as well, and when Dathan Brown stepped in front of a Sackman pass deep in Lancer territory, the sophomore defensive back returned the interception 63 yards and put Switzerland County in business from the 17-yard line.

Freshman quarterback Damion Courter then raced around the left side of the Edinburgh defense, taking the ball all the way down to the three-yard line; and with seven minutes until halftime, Trystan Kielbasa took the handoff and powered into the end zone. Whitham followed that with a two-point conversion run, and the Pacers held an 8-6 lead that they would never relinquish.

Edinburgh couldn’t get its offense moving, and on the Lancer punt, Pacer sophomore Tre Batchelor picked up a big punt return that brought the ball to the Lancer 27-yard line, and again the Pacers were hunting the end zone.

It didn’t take long, as Courter connected with Niswander on a 29-yard pass play. Again Whitham ran in the extra point, and at the 3:44 mark, Switzerland County had extended its lead to 16-6.

Edinburgh threatened to score just before the half, but again it was Batchelor, who stepped in front of a Sackman pass for another interception that quelled the Lancer charge, and the teams went to the halftime break, with the Pacers holding that 16-6 lead.

Switzerland County received the second half kickoff, and Kielbasa fielded the kicked and raced all the way to midfield before going down, and again the Pacer offense was in business.

Grinding down the field and controlling the clock, Courter found Kielbasa on a 16-yard touchdown pass with seven minutes left in the third; and again Whitham provided the two-point conversion to make the score 24-6.

Edinburgh was under pressure all night long by the Switzerland County defense, and on the Lancers next possession, the guests fumbled near midfield, and this time Pacer Logan Skaggs jumped on the loose ball, giving possession back to Switzerland County.

Courter went back to work, as the freshman guided the Pacers down the field with a collection of passes and runs. With 4:22 to go in the third, Courter connected with Whitham on a 20-yard pass; and this time Kielbasa handled the two-point conversion duties; and as the third quarter wound down, Switzerland County was in firm control, 32-6.

The third quarter ended in dramatic fashion, as Edinburgh advanced the ball to its own one yard line and looked for another score; but as the second wound down to end the period, the Lancers fumbled and Pacer lineman Isaac Slover – who was celebrating his 18th birthday – picked up the ball and raced the entire length of the field to score a birthday touchdown, much to the delight of his Switzerland County teammates. The extra point kick attempt failed, and the quarter ended with the scoreboard showing the Pacers in front, 38-6.

The final quarter was about running out the clock and getting on to the Homecoming festivities; but Switzerland County did add on one more score when Batchelor raced 36-yards for a touchdown. The kick attempt failed, making the final score 44-6 and sending the Pacer faithful home very happy.

The win upped Switzerland County’s record to 1-2 on the year, and 1-0 in conference play.