After their tough loss at the hands of the Eastbrook Panthers, Kyle Buresh took the Mississinewa Indians back to the drawing board.
The team put their nose to the grindstone throughout the course of the week, correcting their mistakes and working out the kinks in all three phases as well as taking the time to learn from both the good, and the bad, in their previous three contests.
On Friday night in Fairmount, their hard work paid off.
Carson Campbell collected 261 scrimmage yards and scored three touchdowns, while the Indians’ defense allowed less than 200 yards in Mississinewa’s 34-12 triumph over the Madison-Grant Argylls – their most complete performance of the year so far.
With the victory, Mississinewa improved their record to 1-3, 1-1 in the CIC, giving Kyle Buresh his first win at the helms of the Indians’ program.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” Buresh said. “We did a better job this week of just locking in at practice and focusing, and the results showed. The guys are understanding that, they see that, and they are buying into it. I’m just really proud of the performance tonight.
“We’ve got a long way to go, and we’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s great to see some positive results tonight.”
Madison-Grant dropped their second straight, falling to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the CIC.
As a team, Mississinewa outgained Madison-Grant 354-187. The Indians’ defense held the Argylls to just 93 yards on the ground and 94 through the air.
“They did a phenomenal job,” Buresh said of his defense. “There were three [only] three big plays [we gave up.] Tonight was a great step forward.”
The first quarter was a defensive struggle, as neither team found much offensive success.
However, in the second quarter, after Campbell took over the primary running back spot for an injured Hayden Nelson, the Mississinewa offense really started cooking.
“When Carson came in, he just gave those guys an extra spark at running back,” Buresh said. “He was obviously able to do some extremely special things. He’s a special athlete, and he was super explosive for us. He was able to bust a lot [of runs,] and also pick some more tough yards than he has been able to pick up this season. I was really proud of the way he stepped up.”
Burning over six minutes off the clock, the Indians embarked on a 11-play, 78-yard drive, capping it off with a one-yard touchdown plunge from Mississinewa quarterback Landry Rock.
Madison-Grant responded with a touchdown drive of their own, going 80 yards in just seven plays. Clayton Powell finished off the possession with a 29-yard run, breaking through Mississinewa’s defensive line and rumbling into the end zone.
The Argylls failed to pick up the extra point, and in the final 3:24 of the first half, the Indians scored 17 unanswered points. Campbell recorded his first touchdown on a 56-yard run, and after a Jayden Crick interception, Rock hit Campbell perfectly down the right sideline for a 31-yard score.
Andre Sallade capped off the first half with a 25-yard field goal, giving the Indians a 24-6 lead at the halftime break.
“You take away that last five or six minutes of the first half, it’s a different ballgame,” Madison-Grant Head Coach Brady Turner said. “Our defense in the beginning was playing great, we just couldn’t do anything offensively. We were fumbling the ball and dropping the snap, so we have to get that corrected.”
Campbell scored his third touchdown of the evening from 47 yards out late in the third quarter, and Andre Sallade added a little more insurance with a 20-yard field goal early in the fourth.
Madison-Grant put together one last touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, showcasing some positive results in the passing game. Argylls’ quarterback Jack Thompson completed a 48-yard pass to Seth Lugar on a crossing route, before capping off the drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brad Hasty.
“We executed some things in our passing game that we haven’t done in the past,” Turner said. “If we give Jack some time, he is going to complete a lot of passes – we just have to figure out how to give him more time.”
Despite the final score, Turner was proud of how his team continued to battle throughout the contest.
“Other than those five or six minutes, I thought our kids played really hard,” Turner said. “Mississinewa is a good team. They’ve got a lot of weapons.”
From the second quarter on, Campbell was an unstoppable force. Mississinewa’s star junior collected 181 yards on just 12 carries, while also recording five receptions for 80 yards. Rock completed seven out of 12 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Thompson threw a touchdown and an interception for the Argylls, completing five passes, while Powell led the rushing attack with 47 yard and a touchdown on 11 carries. Hasty recorded two receptions for 43 yards to go along with his touchdown reception, while Lugar finished with two receptions for 53 yards.
For Buresh, the burden of getting his first win is finally off his shoulders. Now, going forward, he and the Indians plan to keep working, keep building, and keep improving.
“It’s a whole new year, a whole new team, and a whole new program,” Buresh said. “We are all figuring it out together, and we are starting to gel a little bit. It’s fun to see. We get to come back to work tomorrow morning and Monday and just keep getting better and better each and every day.”