FORT BRANCH-- They say all good things must come to end.
Such was the case for Gibson Southern football, who saw their 33 game regular season win streak snapped Friday night by Henderson County. The Kentucky class 6A No. 8 Colonels beat class 3A No. 4 Titans, 23-0. It was the first time the Titans have been shutout in Nick Hart's tenure.
The first quarter didn't see points on the board from either side, despite two Gibson Southern drives that ended in the red zone, via strip sack fumble that looked like it could have been called an incomplete pass, and a missed field goal.
"I thought that (missed field goal) was big. I thought we dominated the first quarter, quarter and a half of the game offensively and defensively," Hart said. "The problem was it was 0-0, we didn't capitalize. I think we got inside the 30 twice and came up with zero points."
The game remained scoreless until Henderson County quarterback Skip Patterson found senior receiver Nick Cissell over the middle for a 13-yard score. The Colonels got the ball back with 49 seconds to play in the half after a Titan three-and-out.
Patterson found Daymian Dixon for a 38-yard completion and snuck it in on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line with 3 seconds remaining. This put Henderson County up 14-0 at the break.
"He's a player. He knows how to make plays, he wants the football, he wants things to go good and when the lights come on he plays the game the right way," Henderson County coach Josh Boston said of his senior signal caller.
Things stalled out for the Gibson Southern offense in the second half, as they struggled to sustain long drives like they did in the first quarter. The Titans were without junior running back Mitchell Spindler, who had 446 yards rushing through three games this season, and suffered an ankle injury against North Posey. The injury moved to slot Ben Butler to running back, and he ran for 56 yards on 24 carries.
"He (Butler) did a great job. Where that hurts you a little bit is Mitch is a good player too, so that takes Ben out of the slot. I thought Andrew Smith did a great job of filling in for us," Hart said. "We had to get out of some of our four-wide sets. But Ben did a great job of stepping up and played really well for us."
Neither team scored in third quarter, as a sequence of punts came due to strong defensive play on both sides. Hart was pleased with the performance from his defense, but felt like a few big plays did them in.
"I thought we were really good on defense minus a couple plays. We let them pop a couple in the passing game, and that was kind of our thing coming in, not to give up big ones in the passing game," Hart said. "We did a relatively good job, I know their yards are going to be good on the ground, but I thought we did a relatively good job against their ground game."
Henderson County added a field goal and a late touchdown in the fourth quarter, on a 40-yard run from Isaiah Easley to seal the deal. As for how the Colonels were able to keep Gibson Southern off the scoreboard, Boston felt they did a good job executing a gameplan.
"We knew coming in, we had to do two things. We had to get after the quarterback and we had to contain 4 (Butler). 4 is unbelievable football player. We had to contain him and limit his yards and his big plays. We did those two things," Boston said.
Neither quarterback put up huge stats, as Patterson finished 4-13 with 129 yards and a touchdown through the air. Brady Allen finished 13-30 for 104 yards and an interception. Allen's main target was Dawson Witte, who caught 6 passes for 60 yards.
Despite the loss and the streak being snapped, all the goals for the Titans remain in front of them. They are still striving for championships, and Friday's loss doesn't change that mindset for Hart and his team.
"When you don't prepare well for a team like Henderson County, bad things are going to happen. The nice thing is for us we can still go win a conference championship, still have a chance in the playoffs," Hart said. "We got a lot in front of us, and hopefully it was a lesson learned tonight against a really good team."
The Titans will move into next week to face cross-county rival Princeton. Both teams enter the game 3-1. That contest will be played from Tiger Stadium Friday night at 7 p.m. Hart hopes that Gibson Southern can get back to playing Titan football against the Tigers.
"We got some big ones coming up. We got a few more of these tests coming up through," Hart said. "I told our kids they got less than 12 hours to get over it, we're going to be in at 8 a.m. tomorrow to get back to work. Hopefully we got a little bit of a wake up call and we know how to prepare next week."
GS 0 0 0 0-- 0
HC 0 14 0 9 -- 23
Total Yds. 175 334
Possession 17:14 30:34
Rushing 33-71 49-205
Passing 104 129
Turnovers 2 0
First Downs 12 16
Third Downs 4/15 3/18
Penalties 4-25 8-50
Rushing Leaders (Att-Yds)
Gibson Southern: Ben Butler 24-54, Brady Allen 5-10, Tucker Boes 2-9, Seth DeLong 1-1
Henderson County: Logan Green 24-98, Isaiah Easley 6-76, Skip Patterson 16-53, Nick Wimber 2- -1
Receiving Leaders (Rec-Yds)
Gibson Southern: Dawson Witte 6-60, Andrew Smith 5-36, Ben Butler 1-6, Seth DeLong 1-2
Henderson County: Nick Cisell 3-91, Seth Goben 1-38
Passing Leaders (Comp-Att-Yds)
Gibson Southern: Brady Allen 13-30 104
Henderson County: Skip Patterson 4-13 129