Nicodemus returned the kickoff 50 yards down to Elwood’s 37 yard line. After seven plays, the Eagles connected on a 14 yard pass from Jay Petrie to Corey Sarrazin for Churubusco’s first touchdown of the night with 8:12 still on the scoreboard.
“We’re real pleased with how we performed tonight,” said Head Coach Lee Etzler.
Then it was the defense’s turn. The Eagle defense held the Panthers to 21 yards before Elwood turned the ball over on downs.
Churubusco started on their own 41 yard line. Corey Miller started the series with a 10 yard run, and then Nicodemus took over. Nicodemus carried the ball five times for 49 yards to score another Churubusco touchdown making the score 14-0 Eagles with 1:55 left in the first quarter.
Elwood started on their 39 yard line and fought hard. The Panthers were able to get down to Churubusco’s 36 yard line and score on a pass from Austin Dauenhauer to London Leavell for a Panther touchdown with: 43 seconds to go.
The Eagles received at their 20 yard line and made it to their 26 yard line before the quarter ran out. The Eagles led after the first quarter 14-7.
The Eagles then went to work in the second quarter on both sides of the ball. The offense started out on their 26 yard line. First play was from Nicodemus with a 31 yard run. Second play was Nicodemus again with an eight yard run. Then the Eagles got a holding penalty to move them back seven yards but Nicodemus gave them that seven yards back and then some with an 11 yard carry. Next play, Petrie was sacked for a loss of 3 yards to put the Eagles on the Elwood 35 yard line. Then came the “Play of the Week” from WANE TV. Petrie handed the ball to Nicodemus. Nicodemus ran the ball 10 yards and had it stripped out of his hands. The ball went into the air and Busco’s Travis Glick caught the ball and ran it in for a 25 yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 21-7 lead.
Elwood received the ball on their 20 yard line. The Panthers had the ball for six plays and only got 13 positive yards before they had to kick it back to Churubusco.
The Eagles began on Elwoods 38 yard line with 5:58 left in the half. Churubusco marched right down the field to score on a Petrie five yard run to make it 28-7.
The Panthers then started their run. Elwood started on their 20 yard line. Got a four yard run from Sammy Mireles and then Mireles ran the ball again for nine yards. After an incomplete pass, Dauenhauer connected to Jared Bourff for eight yards.
The Panthers got one more four yard run from Dauenhauer before the Churubusco defense took control as they stopped Mireles for minus one yard and then sacked Dauenhauer for a loss of six yards turning the ball over to the Eagles on downs.
“Their running back is an outstanding athlete,” stated Coach Etzler. “He is a handful and I thought our guys did a good job keeping him contained on the night.”
The Eagles got 16 yards before the buzzer went out at the end of the half making is 28-7 Eagles. “I wanted to control the ball on offense and we did that tonight especially in the first half,” explained Coach Etzler. “A few things didn’t go well for us in the second half but we really controlled the ball and scored on all four of our possessions in the first half which we are pleased about because that kept their offense off the field.”
Elwood started the half with the football and were forced to punt after four plays. The Eagles received the ball and after four plays was forced to punt as well.
Next the Panthers would go nine plays getting 47 yards before they were forced to punt the ball again. Churubusco went 45 yards in eight plays before Petrie threw an interception giving the ball back to the Panthers with: 49.5 to go in the third quarter. Elwood would get 24 yards before the whistle blew to end the third quarter still 28-7 Eagles.
“With Kuznar being out this week that was a big concern for us with their running back and a pretty good offensive line,” said Coach Etzler. “With him being out on the defensive side especially but on both sides of the ball is something that we aren’t use to. He is a kid that has been starting for the last four years and hadn’t missed a game for four start years and to come into a pretty important football game without him is worrisome so hopefully he can be back next week and that’s the plan.”
Elwood started the fourth quarter on their 37 yard line and marched right down the field. The Panthers had 11 plays going 63 yards to score their second touchdown of the night. Churubusco’s Parker Conrad blocked the extra point making it 28-13 Eagles with 7:32 left to play.
“Teegan Brumbaugh was out as well this game,” stated Coach Etzler. “He is still pretty sore today, but should be back next week. We want him back for next week.”
The Panthers tried an onside kick but the ball only went two yards. The Eagles received the football on Elwood’s 42 yard line. Nicodemus ran for five yards and then again for no yards. Then Churubusco went back one yard. Then on fourth down and five yards to go, Sam Siddons caught a Petrie pass for 15 yards to give the Eagles a drive sustaining first down. Nicodemus ran three yards before he ran the ball again for an 18 yard touchdown making it 35-13 Churubusco with 4:51 left in the game.
On the first play for the Panthers, they were pushed back four yards. Then two incomplete passes were thrown and they were forced to punt with 4:08 left to go.
The Eagles managed the time on the clock with runs from Cody Conwell, Kane Johnson, and Chandler Brown to take a knee and win the game 35-13.
The Eagles will travel to Fort Wayne to compete in the Sectional championship against Bishop Luers. Kick off time is 7:00 p.m.
“Luers is a very talented team and we are going to have our work cut out for us,” said Coach Etzler. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to play them again and we understand we are going to have to play a very good football game if we are going to beat them.”