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Mavs grind up Millers

October 27, 2012
McCutcheon High School



Moments after driving Noblesville quarterback T.C. McKiernan into the turf, McCutcheonlinebacker Lukas Robinson leapt to his feet and pumped his arms in celebration.

More than nine minutes remained in the teams’ Class 5A, Sectional 4 semifinal at Hare Chevrolet Field on Friday. But the sophomore’s enthusiasm was emblematic of the confidence and intensity with which the Mavericks played all night.

Behind a shutdown performance from its defensive front, McCutcheon defeated Noblesville 26-10 and earned its first sectional finals appearance since 2002.

“During pre-game, we were crisp,” Robinson said. “We thought, ‘Oh hey, this is pretty good.’ As the game went on, we just kept getting more and more and more hyped up after every play.”

McCutcheo

n (3-8) will play at Fishers (8-3) in next week’s championship game. The Mavericks, who avenged a 21-14 regular-season loss to Noblesville, lost to Fishers 34-6 on Sept. 21.

Robinson’s sack was one of five for McCutcheon, and Alex Nicoson and Kyle Brewer intercepted passes. The Mavericks pulled away from a 10-10 halftime tie to win their first game outside of Tippecanoe County since 2005.

“It’s all about confidence with us,” McCutcheon senior quarterback Matt Marencik said. “I think we’re a great football team. We just needed some confidence. We’re going to get on a roll.”

Nate Deno carried three times for 37 yards on a four-play McCutcheon touchdown drive early in the third quarter. He scored on a 10-yard run to make it 16-10 and finished with 156 combined rushing and receiving yards and three touchdowns.

When McCutcheon’s next drive stalled at the Noblesville 32, Mavericks coach Ken Frauhiger sent junior Jake Shake out to try a 49-yard field goal. Shake, who had made a 40-yard field goal in the second quarter but later missed an extra point, kicked a low line drive that cleared the crossbar to give McCutcheon a nine-point lead.

“After that, everybody was getting into it,” Robinson said. “We all just felt the momentum go right through us and took it out on the field.”

From there, the Mavericks turned up the pressure. Senior defensive lineman Derrick DeLancy led a McCutcheon defensive front that held the Millers to a net 4 rushing yards in the second half.

The Mavericks sacked McKiernan four times in the fourth quarter, including one by Harper that turned the ball over on downs at the Noblesville 5. Deno ran in from 2 yards out on fourth down to make it 26-10 with 2:58 left.

“The plan was just to shut them down,” DeLancy said. “We knew we could do it.”

Noblesville (5-6) seemed to take the momentum into the second half. A Millers punt with three minutes left before halftime bounced off of a McCutcheon player, and the Millers recovered at the Maverick 43.

On third-and-11 with less than a minute to play, McKiernan hit a wide-open Joey Herron for a 30-yard touchdown pass that tied the game 10-10.

“We just threw it away,” Robinson said. “Once we got in the locker room, we‘re like, ‘Hey, that’s in the past.’ Brand new half, and we went out there and got it.”


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