Does Murphy’s Law apply? Not for Raiders

Photos by Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Southridge's Brad Springer carries the ball as Mt. Vernon's River Snodgrass makes a tackle during Friday's football sectional opener in Huntingburg. Southridge defeated Mt. Vernon 43-14.


HUNTINGBURG — Everything that could have gone wrong, didn’t.

Already leading the Mount Vernon Wildcats (6-4, 4-1) by 20 points in the waning minutes of the first quarter, Camden Gasser dropped to a knee and prepared for an extra-point attempt that would push the Class 3A No. 10 Southridge Raiders’ even higher.

The snap soared high and the play broke. Raider Nation could have exhaled a collective groan.

But with the ball in hand, Gasser leapt to his feet, juked a defender and made a miraculous dive to the pylon at the front of the endzone.

That successful attempt was one of many big moments that underscored a dominating 43-14 Southridge victory, on a night when most everything that could have gone right, did.

Southridge assistant coach Kelly Murphy cheers with Adam Jochem, left, Alfredo Ferruzquia, and Cort Gerber after Friday's football sectional opener in Huntingburg. Southridge defeated Mt. Vernon 43-14.

“We were definitely clicking on all cylinders,” Gasser said after the game. “Offensively, defensively. We were in our groove tonight, and it showed clearly.”

Southridge head coach Scott Buening said he believes his team makes its own breaks. After last week’s heart-wrenching, last-second loss to Gibson Southern, Buening was proud of how his team responded against the Wildcats.

“Just really happy (with) the way they played,” he said after breaking a post-game huddle. “I think they came out aggressive and they really, I thought, kind of set the tone early. We felt like we needed to play an aggressive, physical game of football.”

Southridge (8-2) did that early and often in Friday’s chilly contest. Senior running back Cole Calvert pounded in a one-yard touchdown on the Raiders’ opening drive, and following a subsequent Mount Vernon three and out, junior quarterback Chase Taylor — who was playing in his first game since breaking his collarbone against Forest Park in the team’s third game of the season — scampered 19 yards for his second-ever rushing score as a high-schooler.

“I think the four or five weeks let me get healthy and get my legs back under me,” Taylor said. “Not even get my legs back under me, it was more of training to get more of that speed and cut ability. It helped a lot, and I think it was very beneficial.”

A pick six return by Jadon Culbertson prompted Gasser’s improbable two-point dive, but the Wildcats responded with a long drive punctuated by a beautiful touchdown pass thrown by Mount Vernon senior quarterback Rhett Snodgrass to junior receiver Blake Rizert.

Second-quarter Southridge rushing scores by senior running back Brad Springer and Taylor, as well as a receiving touchdown by Calvert, inflated the Raider lead to 43-7 at the half. With a running clock in the third and fourth quarters, Mount Vernon mustered just one more trip to the endzone, a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back River Snodgrass.

“It feels good,” Gasser said of the game. “Had a great atmosphere, like always. So, it’s always cool to get a win here at Raider Field and show off for the community.”

Next week, the Raiders will face off against the North Harrison Cougars in Ramsey. Buening said he respects the grit his next opponents bring to every game.

“They are a very tough, physical, hard-nosed team,” Buening said. “They’re well-coached, and they hit the weight room hard. And they’re very tough.”

More on