Dragons improve to 3-0 with record-setting night
September 7, 2013By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School
Blake Luker and Tyler Walden connected 14 times for 212 yards, allowing Walden to break nearly every New Palestine receiving record on the books, as the Dragons beat Pendleton Heights 46-7 Friday at Kelso Stadium.
Luker was 23-of-29 for 331 yards and four touchdowns – the second-highest passing total in NP history – and ran for 64 yards and a score.
Walden broke Josh Marshall’s 20-year-old mark for receptions in a game and shattered his own record for receiving yards. For his career, he now has 80 catches, breaking Brandon Collins’ two-year-old record, and 1,282 total yards, surpassing a mark Jay Ehle held for 20 years.
Walden broke the 200-yard mark on his last catch, a bubble-screen to the left side that he took down the sideline for his last 16 yards. He had seven catches of more than 15 yards.
In addition to the 331 through the air, the Dragons broke the 300 yard mark on the ground, too, with James Young rushing for 159 yards and Nolan Hill running for 98. Each had a TD.
The Dragon defense – which hasn’t allowed much in three games this season – was again stifling. It dominated the line of scrimmage, held the Arabians to minus-23 rushing yards, a number bolstered by eight sacks of QB Jesse Furrow. The Arabians’ lone score came after a 60-yard pass to Chandler Wilson in the final minute of the first half, which set up Furrow’s 1-yard sneak.
On the Dragons' fourth possession, Luker hit Nolan Guedel on a 6-yard slant to cap a 45-yard drive, set up by an 18-yard pass to Noah Grable and a 15-yarder to Walden. He then led a 68-yard drive that finished with Luker’s 5-yard dash to the pylon. Luker found Walden from 55 yards out to cap a quick 89-yard drive in the final two minutes of the half.
In the third quarter, the Dragons forced three straight three-and-outs and scored after each one – as Luker and Walden hooked up for an 11-yard TD, Young carried much of an 82-yard drive that led to another score, and then his running helped set up an 11-yard TD to Guedel. Nolan Hill also carried all 43 yards in two plays on an early fourth-quarter drive that made it 46-7.