INDIANAPOLIS — The Batesville Bulldogs hit the road Friday night for the first round of Sectional 22 football action.

The destination was Indianapolis and the home of the Thomas Carr Howe Hornets.

The outcome was a 36-14 victory and the right to play defending state champion Chatard in the second round.

The first hurdle in tournament play was not an easy one to clear.

The Bulldogs needed an 88-yard kick off return for a touchdown by Jeremy Cook and a 28-yard interception return by Ryan Hartman within in a 1:12 time span near the end of the third quarter to break the game open.

The Hornets had just scored on a 57-yard run by Bryant Green to cut the Batesville lead to six points at 20-14 with 4:32 to play in the third quarter.

Cook countered on the kick off followed up by a Connor Kelley pass to a wide open Michael Lanning for the 2-point conversion at the 4:17 mark.

Two plays later, the Howe quarterback appeared to under throw his pass and it was knocked around near the line of scrimmage. Hartman scooped it up and it did not take him long to find the end zone. Cook added the 2-point conversion and the Bulldogs were quickly on top 36-14 with 3:05 to play in the third.

Just like Connersville did one week earlier, the Hornets took the early lead with a touchdown on the opening drive. Green scored from 10 yards out and Markus Glover added the 2-point conversion with 4:59 to play in the quarter.

Batesville looked to be in trouble on their first possession, but Kelley weaved his way down the sideline. After a key block down field by Matt Werner, Kelley completed a 61-yard scoring run at the 3:14 mark. Hartman added the 2-point conversion to knot the score at 8-8.

Batesville took a 14-8 lead on a 13-yard pass play from Kelley to Werner with 1:14 to play in the first half.

The BHS lead grew to 20-8 on a 5-yard run by Werner with 6:06 to play in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs improved to 8-2 on the season and will host Chatard (7-3) next week.

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