Indian Creek ended its season the way it began it — with a loss to Lawrenceburg.
Unlike the season opener, the Braves didn’t get run over by the Tigers. But Lawrenceburg capitalized on two Indian Creek fumbles in the second half and then got an interception return for a touchdown to finally put away the Braves 44-21 in a Class 3A sectional semifinal.
Despite the score, this game wasn’t like the 42-21 drubbing the Braves (6-5) suffered at the hands of Lawrenceburg back in August. This was, for at least a half, one of the toughest games the Tigers (9-1) have had this season.
The Braves put a scare into the Tigers, holding the score at 13-13 for most of the third quarter against a high-powered Lawrenceburg team that entered the game averaging 49.3 points and 448 yards a game.
Tiger running back Austin Bowling had torched the Braves for 339 yards rushing and five touchdowns in the first game, and he came into Friday’s contest leading the nation with 36 rushing touchdowns.
Bowling added to that tally, but it wasn’t easy. Indian Creek made nothing easy for the Tigers.
And the Tigers did themselves no favors early, either. Lawrenceburg missed numerous opportunities to score. Two interceptions in the red zone stalled drives, a 15-yard touchdown run by Bowling was called back due to a holding penalty, a pass in the end zone was dropped and two first-half field goal attempts missed.
Add 100 yards in penalties, and it almost made for a very miserable night for Lawrenceburg. Almost.
The key play that doomed Indian Creek and inspired Lawrenceburg was a fumble by the Braves’ Avery Welch late in the third quarter.
By the time the period concluded, the Braves were down 10 points and minutes away from an even deeper hole.
Another fumble was turned into a 4-yard score by Bowling, and Indian Creek quarterback Taylor Voris was then intercepted by Mason Parris, who ran 21 yards untouched into the end zone.
Bowling finished with 246 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
On offense, Indian Creek, who had been averaging 47.4 yards the past five games, moved the ball against the Tigers, something it couldn’t do earlier in the year.
Voris completed 18 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns. Welch ran for 119 yards and a touchdown. Senior Bryce Hogue caught a 27-yard scoring pass from Voris.
Although the season is over for the Braves, next year looks promising. Indian Creek coach Mike Gillin loses only eight seniors, and he should have a more experienced group returning including Voris, Welch and receiver Brad Trietsch.