Terre Haute South quarterback Timmy Herrin returned from a knee sprain at less than 100 percent Friday night at Franklin Central. The tall left-hander got off to a hot start, connecting on 11 of 12 to start the night on his way to 302 passing yards and three touchdowns.
But Herrin and the South offense couldn’t finish off enough drives, with penalties and turnovers playing a part. The Braves’ defense struggled to stop the Flashes’ power running game at times and the result was a 28-24 loss for South, the team’s fifth straight.
Herrin gave the Braves a chance to win by spreading the ball around to seven different receivers. Coach Tim Herrin said his son was playing at about “75 percent” because of the injury.
“He came out and played well,” coach Herrin said. “He was going to be a game-time decision and came out and felt good. He had a good first half and moved well in the pocket, took some hits that we didn’t want to have to. He did a really good job tonight, we just came up short. Some penalties in the first half to stall drives.”
Franklin Central’s Zach Harris intercepted a Herrin pass for the second time — and third by Herrin for the night — to secure the Flashes’ win with just more than a minute to go in the game. Terre Haute South’s defense came up with three consecutive stops, giving the Braves’ offense the ball on their own 35-yard line with 1 minute, 36 seconds on the clock.
Jacob Johnson caught an 11-yard pass for a first down and his sixth reception of the night, but Herrin’s interception came two plays later.
Timmy Herrin finished the night with 25 completions on 41 attempts, with Jenkins leading the way with seven receptions for 89 yards. Johnson had 88 yards receiving. Logan Deady led the Braves with 59 yards rushing on 11 carries.
The host Flashes dominated the third quarter behind tailback Aaron Austin, who finished with 168 yards and three touchdowns. Austin darted 59 yards on the second play of a Franklin Central drive in response to South’s third-quarter score, a 19-yard grab by sophomore Justin Jenkins in traffic.
Franklin Central finished with 290 rushing yards, but the Terre Haute South defense stepped up the last 18 minutes of action to give the Braves a chance to rally from a 28-18 deficit.
“The first half, we weren’t aligning quite right so we were giving them some plays,” coach Herrin said. “The second half we made adjustments, we played better from the middle of the third quarter on. Once we started getting some penetration from the defensive linemen, we were doing well.”
In the first half, both teams racked up yardage, the Flashes on the ground and the Braves mostly through the air.
Timmy Herrin had plenty of time to pick apart the Flashes’ defense, completing 11 of his first 12 attempts and finishing with 146 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
Jonathan Rogers keyed the Braves with three catches for 44 yards including a 13-yard touchdown catch.
Deady had runs of 8, 14 and 11 yards on the Braves’ first scoring drive of the night.
South just didn’t come up with enough drives. The Braves were penalized for 80 yards on the night, helping to end some drives prematurely.
“We’ve done that the last couple weeks. Every time we get down in the red zone, we get a holding call and shoot ourselves in the foot or give up a turnover,” coach Herrin said.
During the current losing streak, South has lost four of the five games by an average of five points.
The Braves will play host to Bloomington North on Senior Night in next week’s regular-season finale.
“We’re close,” coach Herrin said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to get over that hump. That’s a play in each game that can impact the difference.”
Franklin Central 28, Terre Haute South 24
Terre Haute South 6 6 6 6 — 24
Franklin Central 6 6 16 0 — 28
THS — Logan Deady 11 run (kick failed), 10:12 1Q
FC — Aaron Austin 12 run (run failed), 6:04 1Q
THS — Jonathan Rogers 13 pass from Timmy Herrin (run failed), 11:52 2Q
FC — Robi Ford 6 run (pass failed), 5:19 2Q
THS — Justin Jenkins 19 pass from Herrin (kick failed), 7:53 3Q
FC — Austin 59 run (Ford run), 7:38 3Q
FC — Austin 4 run (Austin run), 1:40 3Q
THS — Jacob Johnson 6 pass from Herrin (run failed), 2:50 4Q
Rushes-yards 33-93 35-290
Comp-att-int 25-41 5-9-0
Passing yards 302 84
Return yards 0 27
Punts-avg 3-33.0 2-31.0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 7-80 2-20
Rushing — Terre Haute South, Deady 11-59, Ian Newton 10-48, Jenkins 2-6, Rogers 1-6, Velasquez 2-6, Herrin 6-(-32). Franklin Central, Austin 23-168, Ford 5-89, Corey Durm 7-89.
Passing — Terre Haute South, Herrin 25-41-3 302 yards. Franklin Central, Durm 5-9-0 84.
Receiving — Terre Haute South, Johnson 6-88, Jenkins 7-89, Rogers 5-58, LaMarkis Stevenson 2-36, Deady 3-24, Newton 1-3, Velaxquez 1-4. Franklin Central, Ford 1-10, Austin 2-17, Marcel Price 2-57.
Next — Terre Haute South (2-6, 1-5 Conference Indiana) plays Friday against Bloomington North. Franklin Central (4-4, 3-3) plays Friday at Terre Haute North.