PENDLETON, Ind. — Jesse Furrow and the Pendleton Heights football team had a record-breaking night, but it still wasn’t good enough against No. 2 New Palestine as the Arabians fell 62-40 in the first round of the Class 4A sectional on Friday night.
Furrow threw for a school-record 561 yards and six touchdowns, completing 36-of-62 passes. He broke Kyle Tweed’s record of 454 yards set against Highland in 2006.
“We knew we couldn’t run the ball and had to pass it,” said Pendleton Heights coach John Broughton, who called only two handoffs to running back Jim Arney in the contest. “Jesse was doing a good job getting rid of the ball and reading the defense. We worked real hard with Jesse all week.”
New Palestine hadn’t given up more than 20 points all season, but Pendleton Heights finished with twice that many points and 627 yards of total offense. New Palestine finished with 717 yards of total offense, including 432 on the ground. The Dragons had two backs surpass 150 yards rushing.
“Tonight our kids battled, and I was proud of how hard they played, and we didn’t quit,” said Broughton. “We lost the ball inside the 10-yard-line three times, and if you add those three scores, it’s a ball game. That’s going to drive me nuts for a long time … when you get the ball inside the 10 and don’t put it in.”
The first missed opportunity came on a fourth-and-10 when the official ruled that Eren Davis was stopped inside the 1. The second chance was fumbled away as the Pendleton receiver was trying to stretch the ball over the goal line and lost it in the end zone for a touchback. The final nail in the coffin came on a fumble at the 9-yard line in the second half.
Senior Chandler Wilson led the receivers with 10 catches for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Davis added 12 receptions for 157 yards and three touchdowns. Senior Brandon Riggs added five catches for 40 yards, and Cody Cochran chipped in with two receptions for 29 yards. Nathan Grile had four catches for 54 yards, including a touchdown.
“We lose some good receivers in Davis, Wilson, Riggs and Cochran,” said Broughton. “I’m depressed we lost, but I’m proud of the team.”
Pendleton Heights finished the season 4-6 overall.