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NORTH VERNON — A five-touchdown eruption in the second quarter propelled Jennings County to its third consecutive victory Friday as the Panthers topped off Senior Night by rolling past Seymour 49-3.
The win pushed Jennings’ overall record to 3-4 while they stand above .500 in Hoosier Hills Conference play at 3-2.
The Owls, meanwhile, fell to 0-7 (0-5 HHC) and suffered only their third loss to the Panthers in the last 10 years.
The hosts held just a 7-3 lead before taking complete control in the second quarter.
Senior tailback Preston Teltow, duplicated a 5-yard scoring run to get the quarter going and added a 25-yarder late in the period to put the score at 42-3.
Teltow finished with 177 yards on 24 carries and four touchdowns to pace the Panthers’ offense that rolled up more 300 total yards. Quarterback Conner Byram also tossed a 14-yard scoring pass to Dakota Bott in the second, while Jennings County’s defense and special teams also chipped in.
In a span of less than five minutes, the Panthers got a 62-yard punt return from Nick Nixon, a 40-yard fumble return from J.T. Gilliam, who also recovered a fumble on the next series that led to a 25-yard scoring jaunt by Teltow.
“That was the turning point for us,” Jennings County coach Dustin Roller said. “Seymour came out strong and forced us to change some things. The guys responded in a big way.”
The Owls did, indeed, open with confidence. They stopped the Panthers’ offense in three plays to force a punt and then worked down the field in 10 plays to come away with a 23-yard field goal by Zach Schlatterer.
With senior quarterback Austin Sutton sidelined with an injury, the Owls turned to Jackson Morris to lead the charge. The freshman lead the team’s ground attack with 20 carries and combined with a stable of other backs to finish with nearly 150 total rushing yards.
Elijah Toborg had 10 carries on offense and just as many tackles on defense for Seymour, which also relied on several players to man both sides of the line.
“We are able to have a solid drive, but just not yet capable of maintaining them throughout the game,” Seymour coach Josh Shattuck said. “It’s hard to do when you’re outmatched physically in just about all positions.”
Ahead 42-3 at half, Jennings County added one more score in the third before both squads began substituting freely.
The Panthers’ defense maintained keeping the guests out of the end zone all game as several players came up with key stops along the way, including Gilliam, Austin Grunden, Gabe Wilson and Steele Case.
“We’ll take this and use it to help us prepare for Floyd Central,” Roller said. “The kids are playing well right now and we hope to keep that way against them.”
Shattuck explained that injuries have hampered a team already void of many upperclassmen as several sophomores and freshmen dot the starting lineups.
“We are not going to feel sorry for ourselves,” Shattuck said. “We know what direction we are going and will continue to work for it.”
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