The Switzerland County Pacer varsity football team notched another piece of history on Friday night when the Pacers earned their first win in the Mid-Indiana Football Conference with a last second, 12-8 win over Edinburgh.
But it didn’t come easy.
In fact, it came on the power running of senior tailback Jonny Thompson, who took a handoff off of a fake reverse from the four yard line and powered over the goal line to take the win on the very last play of the game.
It was a defensive struggle all game long, as Switzerland County scored first on their hosts when Thompson scored on the opening drive on an eight-yard run to give the Pacers a quick 6-0 lead.
It stayed that way until halftime, as neither team could mount any sustained offensive drive.
In the third quarter, with 6:13 left Edinburgh got on the scoreboard when Lancer quarterback Jacob Antha scored on a one-yard keeper; and then added two points points when he scored on the point-after conversion that put Switzerland County behind, 8-6.
The Pacers then marched down the field and looked to be ready to retake the lead, and early in the fourth quarter Switzerland County found itself on the Edinburgh two yard line. The Pacers scored moments later, but the touchdown was nullified because of a penalty; and that was followed by a fumble with 4:53 to go that gave possession to Edinburgh and snuffed out a great scoring chance for Switzerland County.
Coach Ryan Jesop’s squad didn’t fold, marching methodically down the field after a big defensive stand to get all the way to the Lancer 9-yard line with 1:28 to go. Switzerland County got closer as time wound down, and with enough time to run just one more play, the coaching staff was faced with a decision: try and score a touchdown or attempt a field goal that would have also given Switzerland County the win if it was good.
“The boys voted to go for it instead of kicking the field goal,” Jesop said. “All credit goes to them and my coaching staff on making great calls when we needed them. Adam Pietrykowski does a fantastic job managing the play calling on the offensive side and deserves all the credit in the world for our offensive successes this season.”
Thompson continued to be a monster offensively, racking up 161 rushing yards on Friday night on 23 carries. Dakota Baatz contributed 19 yards rushing; while Kyle Whitham and Will Pike each had seven yards rushing.
Switzerland County had no passing yards in the game, so the Pacers were leaning heavily on the power running game -and it worked to perfection.
Defensively, Gabe Streett had four tackles and an assist, including a tackle for a loss; while Trystan Kielbasa also had four tackles and recovered a fumble. Isaac Slover continued to wreak havoc on defense, finishing with four solo tackles, two of those resulting in losses; and he also had a sack.
Cody Wilson had two tackles, a tackle for loss, and a sack; Cameron Niswander had two tackles; Dalton Roark had two tackles, including one for a loss; and Brad Rickett also had two tackles. Logan Skaggs contributed a tackle; as did Baatz, Justice Bledsoe, and Casper Stow.
Now standing at 2-2 on the season and 1-0 in conference play, Switzerland County has the chance to up their conference slate to 2-0 and push their overall record above .500 tomorrow (Friday) night when Oldenburg Academy comes to the Pacer Field for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The game will be preceded by the Homecoming Parade at 5:30 p.m.; and the Homecoming Queen and King will be crowned at halftime of the contest.