GREENFIELD — One thing Greenfield-Central hopefully will take out of its last three games, all decisive defeats, is the tough schedule has prepared the Cougars well for next week’s sectional.
Pendleton Heights gave G-C another rough go on senior night Friday on Clayton Myers Field at Cougar Stadium.
The Arabians, aided by seven Cougar turnovers — one of which could qualify for next week’s ESPN Not Top 10 — swung away to a 45-0 victory that put a merciful end to G-C’s regular season.
The Cougars (3-6, 2-5 Hoosier Heritage Conference) over the last three weeks were outscored a combined 146-20 by HHC champion Mt. Vernon, New Palestine and PH (7-2, 5-2 HHC).
G-C now will focus on Muncie Central (2-7), which will host the Cougars next Friday in the opening round of Class 4A-Sectional 13.
“We’d like to be playing a little better football than we have been the last three games, the sectionals certainly,” G-C coach Roger Dodson said, “We’ve played some very good football teams, but (Friday) we were our own worst enemy.”
The Cougars coughed the ball up four times on fumbles and three by interceptions, and managed just 58 total yards.
The Arabians turned the miscues into 28 points.
PH jumped on the Cougars for three touchdowns in the first seven minutes, this while G-C initially struggled to move the ball and when its offense finally got going, shot itself in the foot with three first-half picks by the Arabians.
Jon Furrow ran for scores of 23 and 9 yards and in between, Furrow’s older brother Jesse hit Austin Coffel for a 33-yard TD pass.
The Cougars twice crossed PH territory in the second quarter, but both times Jimmy Baggott was intercepted — by Jon Furrow inside the Arabians’ 10-yard line and the other by Chandler Wilson at around the 20.
Baggott got the start at quarterback while the Cougars’ usual QB, Derek Conley, moved to splitback in place of Brant Boles-Lattimore, who is no longer with the team.
G-C received the second-half kickoff, but on the first play from scrimmage Mason Irbe caught a short pass and lost a fumble. Three plays later, Jesse Furrow threw a TD pass to Kurt Talbert.
Late in the third quarter, the Arabians capitalized on a bizarre mistake by the Cougars.
A premature snap to Conley out of the Wildcat formation went well to the right of Conley, and while the G-C offense was awaiting the snap count Chandler Wilson picked up the ball and coasted 20 yards in for PH.
“The turnovers kept us from moving the ball,” Dodson said. “You definitely aren’t going to win by getting 60 total yards.”
Muncie Central looks to be a relative breather for the Cougars, but Dodson said he has plenty to be concerned about.
“We’ve got to worry about Greenfield,” he said. “We’ve got to take care of the mistakes we’re making and get better.”
Notes: PH has defeated G-C six straight times...The last time the Cougars were shut out before Friday was by PH in the 2010 sectional final...G-C has not won a regular-season finale since 1995...Before the game, 14 Cougar seniors were honored...G-C and PH are in the same sectional, but in opposite brackets.