NORTH VERNON — Jennings County coach Rick Zimmerman used a little trickery Friday night to claim his latest victory in a turnaround season.
After Austin Grunden scored on a 23-yard run late in the third quarter, the Panthers fooled visiting Seymour with a fake extra point. Holder Jake Hahn passed to a wide-open Matt Cornett for the 2-point conversion for a 15-14 lead.
Despite numerous late fourth-quarter drives by the Owls, the Panthers’ defense stood its ground to preserve the one-point Hoosier Hills Conference win.
About 45 minutes prior to kickoff, rain started to fall, and as the game wore on it affected both teams’ ability to handle the football. Jennings (5-2, 4-1) committed four fumbles, and Seymour (1-6, 0-5) lost two fumbles and two interceptions.
The first quarter was all Owls. They scored on their first two possessions of the game.
Quarterback Alan Perry ran for a touchdown from four yards out to put Seymour on the board. Perry passed 28 yards to Luke Dover for another touchdown, and Seymour had a 14-0 lead.
The Panthers struck back in the second quarter with a strong running attack that was capped off by an Ethan Chandler 4-yard run to cut the lead 14-7.
The Owls had a chance to extend the lead just before halftime but coughed up the ball inside the Jennings 10-yard line. On the ensuing Panthers possession, they gave the ball right back to Seymour after only a few plays. On the Owls ensuing possession, they could not move the ball closer to the end zone and turned the ball over on downs.
After Jennings took the 15-14 lead, Seymour simply could not move the ball down the field in the fourth quarter. With time starting to run out, Perry threw the ball to the right side of the field and was intercepted by Grunden.
For the Panthers, quarterback Garrett Day had 81 yards passing. Grunden and Chandler ran for 116 and 91 yards, respectively. Cornett finished with 66 receiving yards, and Justin Pettit added 30 yards receiving.
For the Owls, Perry finished with 82 passing yards and added another 45 rushing yards. Zach Carpenter had 55 rushing yards. Dover recorded 41 yards receiving, and Chris Knight added 19 receiving yards.