Dragons beat Richmond 46-2.
August 31, 2013By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School
For the second straight week, the Dragon defense produced two scores – this time, both were first-quarter touchdowns – and the top-unit defense kept the opponent off the scoreboard as New Palestine opened its home schedule with a 46-2 win over Richmond.
Richmond’s lone score was a safety after an errant shotgun snap pinned the Dragons inside their own 1.
The Dragons jumped out to a quick 20-0 lead after a quarter, and then finished with a flourish, scoring three TDs in 2:28 of clock time sandwiching halftime to go up 46-0. After starting with two turnovers, they scored the next seven times the ball touched their hands, building quick momentum.
The Dragons gained 305 total yards – including 286 in a 39-point first half – and held Richmond to 148.
But it was NP’s defense that got things going, as the Dragons had to play through early adversity. The first four plays produced an interception and a lost fumble, but a defense led by the linebacking corps of Gabe Estes, Brian Wagner, Noah Grable, Sterling Curran and Nick Brickens got things going. They responded by forcing Richmond to punt on its first possession, and on the second, Garrett Kuhn came over the top and picked off a pass intended for Auntonio Brown. He broke down the sideline and took it back 65 yards for a TD with 8:02 left in the first quarter.
That was the spark that got the Dragons going. The defense produced another stop, setting up a 65-yard drive on their next possession that was capped by Blake Luker’s 2-yard TD run. On Richmond’s next possession, Estes scooped up an errant pitch and ran it in 33 yards for a score. The Dragons led 20-0 late in the first quarter, and the defense had produced two scores.
The Dragons added three more scores in the second. Tyler Walden capped a 92-yard drive with a 12-yard TD run, but the flurry came late in the quarter. Brickens’ interception and 45-yard return set up a 57-yard drive that made it a 32-0 game with a minute to go in the half. Richmond was held to three-and-out, and went for it on fourth down. Grable sacked quarterback Tyler Ripperger on the 29 with three seconds left. That gave the Dragons one play – and Luker took advantage. He hit Walden in stride for a touchdown pass at the first-half horn. NP recovered a muffed kickoff and added another score on the first drive of the third.
After an interception on his first throw, Luker completed eight of his next nine passes – the only incompletion was also an on-target pass. He threw for 119 yards. Walden was on the receiving end of four for 61 yards. The Dragons ran for 189 – with Nolan Hill carrying the bulk of the load, carrying 17 times for 86 yards. Luker ran for 46.