Sesser-Valier earned a playoff spot and cost the Carmi-White County Bulldogs a share of the Black Diamond Conference championship by dealing the Bulldogs a 26-7 loss in Sesser Friday.
The Red Devils finished the regular season at 5-4 and coach Kurt Simon’s Bulldogs at 7-2. Eldorado and Fairfield tied for the BDC crown, each with an 8-1 mark. Sesser-Valier will travel to unbeaten Mt. Carmel for the first round of the Class 3A playoffs this weekend and Carmi will host Shelbyville (6-3) in the 2A playoffs.
The Bulldogs uncharacteristically turned the ball over twice in Friday’s game and failed to score after driving inside the Red Devils’ 20 on three occasions.
Carmi senior quarterback Jake Simon was held to a season-low five completions in the game and was under pressure from the Red Devils’ defense all night. He finished 5-for-19 for 52 yards.
The Sesser-Valier defense also became the first unit all season to hold Bulldog senior running back Andrew Burnett under 100 yards. Burnett had 74 on 18 tries, breaking his string of eight consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Carmi trailed only 8-7 at halftime, but the Red Devils scored 18 unanswered points in the second half, including an 88-yard breakaway run by Zach Ashby late in the third. Fullback Peyton Rock scored the Devils’ other three touchdowns on runs of one, 30 and one yards.
J. Simon had Carmi’s TD on a one-yard run.
Ashby finished with 122 yards on 14 carries and Rock had 63 yards on nine attempts.
Senior Braxton Williams and junior Colton Yates led Carmi’s defense with nine and eight total tackles, respectively. Yates had a pair of sacks and Williams one.