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FB 8/31 Saturday Morning QB: Hoosier Heritage Conference
September 2, 2012By Andrew Smith of Hancock County Sports
The first two weeks were a dress rehearsal for the Hoosier Heritage Conference teams. Friday night, the games began to count. And we found out quite a bit. Going into the season, I expected this year to be a wide-open race -- there wasn't that truly dominant team like New Palestine and Pendleton Heights were last year, but several good teams and several great programs in rebuilding phases.
What we saw last night: Pendleton Heights' skill players are very good, and the Arabians are excellent at executing their system and making people pay for mistakes. PH was outgained, yet still scored 40+ points for the third straight game, and wrested possession of the Helmet after it had been in New Palestine's possession for two years.
Not time to call PH the team to beat yet, but it is safe to say the PH-Mt. Vernon game in two weeks will go a long way in determining a conference champion. Mt. Vernon's offense has piled up points so far this season -- scoring 46 in a half last night. Delta is extremely young, but might have had the most impressive victory of the night last night, scoring 41 first-half points against Greenfield-Central. With as many sophomores as the Eagles feature, that could bode well for Delta -- and not necessarily for the rest of the conference.
Of the four teams that lost last night, New Palestine is doing just about everything right except turnovers. The Dragons have a solid line and defensive front seven, and gained nearly 300 rushing yards last night, but they've turned it over nine times in their two losses, including four more last night (and that doesn't count two times when they recovered their own fumbles on fourth down and lost the ball on downs, once on the PH 5).
Last night's games (note: some of these take you to sites that require you to have a subscription to see content)
Pendleton Heights 43, New Palestine 13: PH used explosiveness -- Jim Arney had TD runs of 38 and 92 yards to give the Arabians their first 14 points -- a defense that produced four turnovers and a fine special teams play to beat NP. The Arabians' special teams produced three Jon Furrow field goals and a touchdown off a fumbled punt return. NP's Collin Hill ran for 176 yards and a TD to lead the Dragons, who gained 325 yards of total offense. Arney (132) and Furrow (116) each broke the century mark and scored two TDs. It was the NP's first loss in an HHC game since 2009, ending a conference-record 20-game winning streak in HHC games. Archived webcast | Hancock County Sports story | Anderson Herald-Bulletin | Daily Reporter (subscription)
Mt. Vernon 52, Yorktown 14: The Marauders scored 46 first-half points and Anthony Burnett ran for 268 yards and four touchdowns -- including TDs of 68 and 99 yards -- to give MV an impressive road victory. The Marauders scored often on offense, but also added a defensive score with Cody Baker's interception return and one on special teams with Tyler Dicks' punt return. Chandler Carroll had 147 rushing yards and a TD to lead Yorktown. MV had a 433-260 yardage advantage. Muncie Star-Press | Daily Reporter (subscription)
Delta 48, Greenfield-Central 8: The Eagles were more than impressive in routing Greenfield-Central. Delta scored 21 points in just seven offensive snaps in the first quarter and averaged more than 20 yards per play in the first half, rolling up a 41-8 halftime lead. G-C had a 10-minute drive in the first half for a touchdown, but Delta was explosive in its victory. Fullback Joe Spegal ran for 149 yards. Halfbacks Mason Bechdolt and Bryce Dischman combined for more than 130 yards and each scored two TDs. QB Cade Jones has shown a capable replacement to Ozzie Mann, he threw for 71 yards and two TDs. Delta forced four Greenfield-Central turnovers -- Alex Fuatavai had two interceptions. QB Derek Conley led G-C with 22 yards rushing and 68 yards passing. He had a rushing TD. Muncie Star-Press | Daily Reporter (subscription)
Shelbyville 21, Rushville 20, OT: The Golden Bears rallied in the fourth quarter, scoring two TDs in the final quarter to tie the Lions, then winning it when Jake Laker threw a TD pass to Ben Orem and then stopped Rushville's two-point conversion attempt in overtime. Adam Price ran for 125 yards for the Golden Bears, including a TD after a fumbled punt gave Shelbyville the ball deep in Rushville territory. Jake Laker had a TD run for Shelby. Rushville relied on the big play -- QB Cole Tressler threw a 36-yard TD pass to Brandon Wilson, a 73-yarder to Ashton Wilson and a 10-yarder to Isaac Sliger in OT. Due to Rushville's leaving the HHC for the EIAC at the end of this year, this is the final meeting in a series that had been played annually for 86 years. Shelbyville News
Looking ahead, we get a look at everybody, as we all head to Lucas Oil Stadium for a Saturday quadrupleheader. First up, Pendleton Heights faces Shelbyville at noon. PH will be a heavy favorite as Shelbyville hasn't scored more than 14 points in regulation this year. Then, Mt. Vernon meets Rushville, and again, the Marauders will be a pretty substantial favorite. In Game 3, Greenfield-Central meets Yorktown in a game between two teams that suffered losses on Friday night. In Game 4, Delta faces New Palestine in the renewal of what has become one of the more interesting games in the conference race. The PH-Shelby game is the only one between teams who are 1-0 in the conference, and two others (MV-Rushville and Delta-NP) are between a 1-0 team and an 0-1 team, we could see the conference race either tighten up or shake out very quickly.
Delta 1-0/2-1. Next Saturday: vs. New Palestine, 7:30 (webcast: Hancock County Sports)
Mt. Vernon 1-0/2-1. Next Saturday: vs. Rushville, 2:30 (webcast: Hancock County Sports)
Greenfield-Central 0-1/1-2. Next Saturday: vs. Yorktown, 5 (webcast: Hancock County Sports)
New Palestine 0-1/1-2. Next Saturday: vs. Delta, 7:30 (webcast: Hancock County Sports)
Rushville 0-1/1-2. Next Saturday: vs. Mt. Vernon, 2:30 (webcast: Hancock County Sports)
Yorktown 0-1/1-2. Next Saturday: vs. Greenfield-C., 5 (webcast: Hancock County Sports)