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Noblesville shuts down Lafayette Jeff, 20-6 - Bronchos struggle to move the ball in defeat
September 9, 2012Lafayette Jefferson High School
Lafayette Jeff’s football team executed a textbook final drive on Saturday, with Matt Johnson passing to Austin Albrecht for a touchdown as time expired.
Yet that burst came far too late for the Bronchos, who never got on track offensively in a 20-6 loss to Noblesville at Scheumann Stadium.
In a game postponed by Friday night’s thunderstorms, Lafayette Jeff trailed only 6-0 midway through the fourth quarter. But the Bronchos (2-2 overall and in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference), in pursuit of their first three-game winning streak since 2008, did not take a snap in Millers territory until the final play of the third quarter.
Previously winless Noblesville had scored one touchdown in three games before Saturday.
“We knew their offense wasn’t very good; I was just pretty sad that our offense didn’t move the ball,” Jeff coach Andy Kennedy said. “They’re averaging 2 points a game when you stretch it out. I’m just disappointed in our offense.”
Broncho junior Darian Green carried 21 times for 121 yards and has topped 100 in all four games this season. But quarterback Matt Johnson started the game 2-for-11, though he was also victimized by a few drops. One in the fourth quarter by senior Lucas Wallace likely would have resulted in a touchdown and cut into Noblesville’s 13-0 lead.
By contrast, Jeff’s defense found big plays through three quarters. Tramell Abbott and Dennis Archibald intercepted T.C. McKiernan passes in the end zone in the second quarter. Noblesville led 6-0 entering the fourth on the strength of 36- and 40-yard field goals from Logan Gray.
“We had a great game plan,” Jeff junior defensive back Irving Madden said. “Practice was very, very high, and we came out focused. After the cancellation, we knew we’d have more energy and that’s what we came out with.”
The backbreaker for Jeff came with 6:18 left, when McKiernan connected with Cody Sullivan for a 24-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-7. The Millers went up 20-0 on another fourth-down score in the final minute, this time a 10-yard run by Hayden Stinnett.
The game could have turned in Jeff’s favor late in the first quarter, when Johnson broke off a 21-yard run. But he fumbled at the Noblesville 43, the Millers recovered, and Jeff would not cross the 50 again until the final seconds of the third quarter.
“That back and their quarterback have some really good speed,” Noblesville linebacker Luke Kseniak said. “So we just played down the line and let them come to us and made the plays when they needed to be played.”
Johnson went 4-for-4 on the final drive, but the Bronchos are still looking for offensive consistency heading into the tougher stretch of their schedule.
“We didn’t run our offense very well at all when it comes down to it,” Jeff coach Andy Kennedy said.