BATESVILLE — On a night in which neither team could get the ball moving offensively, it was the Batesville defense and special teams that rose to the occasion.
Those facets helped the Bulldogs knock of visiting Jennings County 21-6 in a sloppy defensive battle in the season opener for both teams.
The Panthers capitalized early when senior Tucker Marsh returned an interception for a touchdown with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter. Batesville regrouped, putting together a 6½ minute scoring drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by senior Brett Williamson.
Both teams would go on to struggle offensively for the next two quarters, with neither team able to put a score on the board.
The Bulldog defense put together a strong showing however, recovering three fumbles and intercepting Jennings quarterbacks three times.
Batesville senior Nathan Kirschner turned the jets on, returning a punt early in the fourth quarter to seemingly knock the wind out of the Panthers.
Jennings sophomore running back Brooks Wathen rushed 12 times, gaining 19 yards. Quarterback Benton Hamann completed 4 of 11 passes for 33 yards, with two interceptions.