Big plays and mistakes were the difference when Attica hosted Fountain Central in the opening round of 1A football Sectional 45 action.
The Red Ramblers scored three times in the opening four minutes of the contest including two touchdowns in less than a minute to take a 20-0 lead on the way to a 54-0 defeat of the Mustangs.
Attica kicked off to open the game and the apparent on-side kick bounced off a Fountain Central player and into the arms of Eli Kirkpatrick who returned the ball to the Mustang 43.
The Ramblers showed what they wanted to do as quarterback Kirkpatrick immediately went to the air, connecting on two passes to move the ball to the 19-yard line.
After a two-yard rushing loss, Kirkpatrick threw to Jorden Douglass for a 12-yard gain and then ran a keeper for the remaining nine yards for a 6-0 lead with less than two minutes gone.
Fountain Central got the ensuing kickoff and sent Zach Groff for a two-yard gain but then the team made back-to-back movement penalties that killed the drive and force a punt.
Attica took over on their own 36 yard line and, on the first play of the drive, let Kirkpatrick keep it for a 64-yard touchdown run that made it 12-0 as for the second time in the game, the two-point try resulted in an incomplete pass.
The Mustangs started their second drive on their own 35 and things looked promising when quarterback Seth Gayler ran for a 12-yard gain, but on the next snap, the ball went over his head with Douglass recovering for Attica on the Fountain Central 27.
Kirkpatrick took one play to score as he threw to Douglass for a 27-yard touchdown pass that made it 20-0 when John Britt caught a pass to complete the two-point play.
There were still over eight minutes to go in the first quarter when Fountain Central got the ball back and they started with a run that gained two yards.
Gayler then threw three passes, one to Austin Pickett and one to Jordan Melvin, but once again, penalties by the Mustangs forced them into a punting situation.
Needing a momentum changer on fourth-and-twelve, Fountain Central ran a fake punt that picked up 29 yards only to see it come back as there were offsetting penalties called on both teams and on the second fourth down of the series, the Mustangs punted.
Attica got the ball on the 21 and used seven plays to score, capped off the drive with a one-yard run by Kirkpatrick for a 28-0 lead when he added a run on the two-point try.
That ended the first quarter and the Mustangs got the ball to start the second period, but they went three-and-out.
Facing a fourth-and-nine, they once again faked a punt and passed, but the receiver came up about a yard short of the marker so the ball went back to Attica.
They ran six plays, scored again with Kirkpatrick throwing to Bradley Britt to lead 34-0 when the two-point run came up short.
The next Fountain Central drive was three-and-out despite a completion from Gayler to Layne Lynch and the Mustangs punted on fourth down.
Attica continued to go to the air, getting a 51-yard completion to Douglass followed by a 17-yard pass to Bradley Britt for a touchdown that made the score 40-0 when the extra point kick was wide.
The 40-point lead also meant that there would be a running clock for the second half of the game, but Attica scored once more before halftime on a pass to Zach Black that put the Ramblers up 47-0 when Douglass kicked the extra point.
The hosts got the ball to start the third quarter, scored on a 20-yard run by Kirkpatrick to lead 54-0 when Douglass kicked another extra point, but that would be the final scoring play of the night as the two teams just traded possessions for the remainder of the contest with neither team finding the end zone.
Attica head coach Ryan Good said his team was at full strength for the first time since the Parke Heritage game in week four.
“We haven’t had a solid group since that game,” he explained. “We’ve had to fit people in where ever we needed them, but tonight we got to run our number-one group.”
Asked what he told his team when the game began to be one-sided and Good replied, “I told them it didn’t matter who was on the field. I said if you are one of the eleven out there, I expect you to play to your potential – don’t take plays off, don’t relax – play as hard as you can.”
With the win, Attica advances to take on Parke Heritage, a team that defeated the Ramblers by the score of 26-6 in week six of the season.