Blackford unable to stop Mississinewa's run game, falls to 3-4

<p>Blackford Bruins players hold hands on the sideline during the coin toss Sept. 20, 2019, in Hartford City, Indiana. The Bruins finished the regular season at 5-4. <strong>Eric Pritchett, DN</strong></p>

Blackford Bruins players hold hands on the sideline during the coin toss Sept. 20, 2019, in Hartford City, Indiana. The Bruins finished the regular season at 5-4. Eric Pritchett, DN

After the first quarter of Friday night’s game between the Blackford Bruins (3-4) and Mississinewa Indians (4-4), it looked like both sides would be in for a shootout, showing off their running games early.

However, Mississinewa put that belief to rest quickly. The Indians took advantage of three rushing touchdowns — from 10, 45 and 31 yards out — in the first half from junior running back Carson Campbell, jumping to a 20-7 lead before halftime and eventually winning 41-7.

“From our point of view, I thought we played really well at points,” Bruins’ head coach Randy Sehy said. “Defensively, we came out a little tentative. In the first half, we had chances to do some things. We just hurt ourselves a little bit and lost some momentum.” 

Campbell was hurt in the first half, prompting him to stay on the sidelines for the remainder of the game. However, Mississinewa found three more rushing touchdowns — two from sophomore Hayden Nelson and one from sophomore Greg O’Banion.

“Even before Campbell’s injury, we started playing better on defense,” Sehy said. “We quit being so worried about him beating us. We played a little more aggressive to try and not let him get started because that’s when he hurts you. Hopefully, he is OK, and we wish him the best.”

Blackford’s defense could not find a solution to the Indians’ run-dominated offense, surrendering 397 yards — 340 from the ground alone. The Bruins also struggled in third down conversions, finishing 2-for-11. 

“We need to work hard on offense, especially our running game,” senior quarterback Carson Sehy said. “We struggled tonight, but overall we just need to prepare for Oak Hill and have a good week next week.”

In Blackford’s huddle after the game, Randy talked to his team about its attitude leading up to the game. 

“After looking at Mississinewa’s scores the past two weeks, I think our kids had a feeling that we could not compete, and that’s what really stood out to me in the first quarter,” Randy said. “You can’t spot a team like Mississinewa — two or three touchdowns — and try to play with them.”

Blackford’s only touchdown of the game came in the first quarter, a 3-yard run from Carson at the 7:36 mark. It was also Blackford’s only lead of the game. 

“We were all a little bit frustrated tonight,” Carson said. “We got on each other a little bit, but that’s what happens with teammates sometimes. We’re just trying to have a winning mindset.”

Carson completed 4-for-9 passes on the night for 82 passing yards, while Indians’ quarterback Landry Rock threw 4-for-16 and 57 passing yards.

On the ground, Bruins’ junior running back Scott Winger finished with 107 rushing yards, while Campbell had 178 rushing yards and three touchdowns for Mississinewa.

Blackford returns to action Oct. 16 against Oak Hill, while Mississinewa will travel to Elwood to close its 2020 regular season.

Contact Evan Weaver with comments at erweaver@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @evan_weaver7.

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