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Guerin Catholic Defeats South Putnam, Wins Regional Title
November 17, 2011VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Indiana
By Damani Dickerson
For VYPE Magazine
Frigid temperatures and strong winds didn’t stop the offensive fireworks from igniting during Friday night’s regional championship game in Noblesville.
In a seesaw battle that had four lead changes and two ties, host Class 2A No. 15 Guerin Catholic (10-3) put together a late 21-0 run to defeat No. 16 South Putnam (10-3) at the VYPE Football Game of the Week, 41-27.
“You have to give them credit. It was tied 27-27, somebody had to make some plays and their kids did,” South Putnam head coach Troy Burgess said following the game. “They got the ball into their athlete’s hands and their athletes made the plays when they needed to make them. You just have to take your hat off to the Guerin Catholic players.”
South Putnam took the lead 27-20 late in the third after junior defensive back Justin Bumgardner intercepted Guerin Catholics senior quarterback Tino Smith and returned it 64 yards for a touchdown.
Smith immediately regrouped and responded. His next three passes were all touchdown throws. The first was a 50-yard screen pass from Smith to senior receiver Conner Howard that tied the score 27-27.
The second was a 23-yard fade to the corner of the end zone on second-and-12 from Smith to junior receiver Sammy Adams. The score gave the Golden Eagles a 34-27 lead with just over 11 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter.
In the third it was Smith to Howard again. On third-and-5, the speedster turned a short Smith pass into an 82-yard touchdown with 7:35 left in regulation that put the game out of reach for South Putnam.
“We work together every day at least an hour after practice to put more and more work in so we can do what we did tonight,” Smith said of him and his receivers. “We all came together in the end. We fought together and came out with the victory tonight.”
Smith had a solid night. He finished the game 10-of-19 with 274 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception. His coach was very pleased with his perseverance.
“He’s an extremely tough young man. He’s a really talented player and one of our leaders,” Guerin Catholic head coach Andy Kremer said about his starting quarterback. “He had his moments where it was a little tough here and there. I’m really pleased with despite the adversity how he was able to handle himself, comeback and make really big plays for us.”
South Putnam and their senior running back Rob Gibson gave Guerin just about all they could handle. Early on Gibson and the Eagle offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage but as the night went on Guerin was able to tighten up, wear him down and made things tough for him. He finished the game with 143 yards rushing on 35 carries with one touchdown.
“We knew he was going to be really good. Rob Gibson and is a heck of a football player. They have a good offensive line, they’re physical and they get downhill on you. That’s what they do,” Kremer said. “That’s a heck of a football team. We knew they were going to be a really tough.”
Burgess’s echoed praise for his star running back.
“”Rob’s done what he’s done for us all year long. We’ve road him for 13 weeks now,” he said. “He’s a tremendous athlete, a tremendous player. He’s the best football player I’ve coached in 23 years.”
1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
South Putnam HS 6 6 15 0 27
Guerin Catholic HS 7 13 7 14 41
SP -- Wade Custis 10 pass from Seth Hammond (kick failed)
GC -- Paige 75 kickoff return (Greg Goodin kick)
SP -- Rob Gibson 9 run (pass failed)
GC -- FG Goodin 22
GC -- Drew Dehnke 17 run (Goodin kick)
GC -- FG Goodin 34
SP -- Custis 7 pass from Hammond (Gibson run)
SP -- Justin Bumgardner 65 interception return (Zane Yon kick)
GC -- Connor Howard 50 pass from Tino Smith (Goodin kick)
GC -- Sammy Adams 23 pass from Smith (Goodin kick)
GC -- Howard 82 pass from Smith (Goodin kick)