AURORA - The Batesville Bulldogs lost a close game Friday at South Dearborn, taking their first loss on the season. In the road affair, a fourth-quarter touchdown got the Bulldogs within striking distance of the Knights. The Bulldogs’ last chance came when they had the ball with 20 seconds to go and facing a 4th-and-23. BHS quarterback Travis Lecher’s Hail Mary pass fell incomplete in the last-ditch effort. Batesville now sits at 2-1 on the young season following the 24-17 loss. The passing game was on display for the Bulldogs as Lecher tossed for 265 yards on 25 completions, both career-high marks for the senior. The Bulldog defense largely shut down the potent South Dearborn offense, allowing only 175 yards total offense. The Knights needed three touchdowns and a light rain shower midway through the fourth quarter to secure the home victory. 
     The BHS offense started the game out quickly, scoring on a Lecher to Bryson Bonelli touchdown pass with 5:36 to go in the first quarter. The South Dearborn secondary held BHS to a missed field goal attempt on the only other scoring opportunity in the first half. The host team scored their first points with just over four minutes to go in the first half, when the Knights’ backup quarterback Adam Kunkel found receiver Austin Ballart for a seven-yard touchdown; the Knights ran in the extra point attempt, putting them up 8-7 going into the half. 
      Batesville took the opening drive of the third quarter down the field and scored on a 37-yard field goal by senior kicker Braiden Foster, taking the lead 10-8. After turnovers by both teams, the Knights struck next with another touchdown and two-point conversion when South Dearborn quarterback Logan Thies found senior receiver Reese Willoughby for a 33-yard score that put SD back on top 16-10. 
The Bulldogs’ first fourth quarter possession resulted in a turnover on downs on 4th-and-5, but the defense got the ball right back with an interception and 20-yard return by BHS junior cornerback Trenton Kincade. On the Dogs’ next play, South Dearborn junior Ryan Willoughby returned the favor, taking a Lecher pass away from his intended target and nearly scoring on the interception. The BHS defense was right back on the field with their back against the goal line. 
The Knights, starting inside the BHS 5, scored on a one-yard dive by Thies and another Thies dive on the extra point attempt put the Knights up 24-10. It started raining during the Bulldogs’ next possession. Lecher didn’t let that stop him as he took the offense 60 yards and connected with classmate Trenton Roell for a touchdown, taking only 1:36 off the clock in the process. The Bulldog defense put a roadblock up on the next South Dearborn drive and forced a Knights’ punt on fourth down. 
Unable to gain any ground after the punt return, the Bulldogs faced 4th-and-8. A Lecher scramble, after pressure from the Knights’ defense, left the quarterback’s efforts just short of the sticks when he was brought down at his own 32-yard-line. The Bulldog defense stood strong after the turnover and another South Dearborn 4th-down punt was fielded by sophomore Carter Bohman, who returned it 36 yards. 
The BHS offense started the final drive 58 yards away from the end zone with just under two minutes remaining. Two incomplete passes before an 18-yard strike to Bonelli got the Bulldogs to the 29-yard line with 50 seconds to go and no timeouts remaining. The Knights blitzed five and brought Lecher down for a 13-yard loss on the sack. Lecher couldn’t find an open receiver on the next three downs and turned the ball over after an incomplete pass on fourth down. 
Bonelli topped 100 yards for the second time this season, and now has 16 receptions for 267 yards on the year. Lecher tossed his third 200-yard-plus game of his career and is now only 262 yards away from 2,500 career passing yards. The BHS defense is only allowing 13.3 points per game, second in the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference behind Franklin County, who has only allowed one touchdown this season against league foes. Batesville will host Rushville this Friday night. The 0-3 Lions were shut out this past Friday for the second time in three games.

South Dearborn 0 8 8 8-24
Batesville    7 0 3 7-17
First Quarter:
Batesville- 5:36 Lecher 5-yard pass to Bonelli, Foster kick
Second Quarter:
South Dearborn- 4:03 Kunkel 7-yard pass to Ballart, 2pt attempt good
Third Quarter:
Batesville- 9:44 Foster 37-yard FG
South Dearborn- 3:40 Thies 33-yard pass to Willoughby, 2pt attempt good
Fourth Quarter:
South Dearborn- 8:31 Thies 1-yard run, 2pt attempt good
Batesville- 6:53 Lecher 3-yard pass to Roell, Foster kick
South Dearborn: Total Offense: 175 yards- Passing-93, Rushing-82
Passing: Thies 3-5 51 (INT), Kunkel 4-11-26 (INT)
Rushing: Rogers 18-71. Evans 6-18, Thies 2-4
Receiving: Ballart 2-23, Willoughby 1-33, McGraw 2-15, Otto 1-2
Batesville Total Offense: 297 yards- Passing-265, Rushing-32
Passing: Lecher 24-50-265 (2 INT)
Rushing: Lecher 9-7, Pohlman 5-5, Williamson 4-(-6), Kaiser 2-1
Receiving: Bonelli 10-120, Roell 5-59, Hornberger 3-22, Pohlman 3-16, Meer 1-45, Jaisle 1-5, Westerfeld 1-3