The Batesville Pioneers (7-3, 6-1) capped off their regular season with a big win over conference rivals the Valley View Blazers (5-4, 3-3). Friday night the Pioneers took down the Blazers 37-16.
Both teams got off to a sluggish start to open up the game. Jose Mendoza hit a field goal to give the Blazers the early lead.
The Pioneers answered back quickly with a Eli Livingston one- yard rush. The score was set up by a 67-yard strike from Livingston to Will Storlie. Alejandro Medina connected with the extra point to give the Pioneers the lead.
Medina had the first points of the second quarter with a 13-yard field goal to extend the Pioneers lead.
Livingston loaded up another long pass on the Pioneers next drive. This one was a 62 yarder to Jace Daugherty that went for a touchdown. Medina’s PAT was good.
The Blazers then went on a 12-play drive to add six to their total on their next drive. Jeb Rapert punch the ball in from one-yard out. The kick after was good.
With just 54 seconds left before halftime the Pioneers went into the hurry up offense. After getting the ball inside the Blazer 10, Livingston found Storlie for a four-yard score. Medina hit his extra point once again to give the Pioneers a 23-10 lead before halftime.
“Tip of the hat to Eli Livingston on that drive,” King said. “All the offensive players did good.” “That was a backbreaking drive.
Medina was the first scorer in the third quarter with a 15-yard field goal.
The Pioneer defense made their first big play of the night when senior Justin Lewallen striped a Blazer ball carrier. Same Gates jumped on the loose ball to give possession back to the Pioneers. Ethan Ridgel capitalized on the good field position with an eight-yard touchdown. Medina split the uprights once again.
In the second half, the Pioneers defense only gave up three first downs. Defensive Coordinator Tim Howard said Lewallen “has been playing really well the last few games.” “He’s a player, we definitely want him on our side.”
In the fourth, Lewallen picked off a Blazer pass to give the Pioneers the ball.
Medina hit his final field goal of the night midway through the third to give the Pioneers a 37-10 lead.
King had high praise for his special teams, especially the kicking game.
King said overall “the kids played well.” “The passing game was really good.”
The one thing King wanted to improve was the running game. “The deep ball is working, but if we want to make a run in the playoffs we’ve got to get the run game going.”
The Pioneers will host the Jacksonville Titans (2-5, 0-3) this Friday in the first round of the playoffs