NEWS AND TRIBUNE
FLOYDS KNOBS —
Floyd Central rushed for 446 yards in Friday’s record-shattering 84-43 victory over Seymour. Behind Gaige Klingsmith, Garry Posey and Gabriel Kennedy, the Highlanders had 357 yards on the ground in the first half alone.
Klingsmith had 265 yards on 20 carries and seven touchdowns — a school record — all in the first half. Klingsmith played junior varsity last year but was a state-qualifying sprinter.
“He’s put on a little weight. He is fast, obviously,” Floyd coach Brian Glesing said of the junior. “Garry is more of a power runner and Gaige is more of our breakaway guy. We’ll use them both. We have Gabriel Kennedy, as well. So we have a good stable of backs.”
After giving up 62 points to Male and 34 to Providence, Floyd appeared to have its defense fixed by giving up just 13 to a hot Madison offense.
While the Cubs like to run with back Mitchell Sandlin, the Owls preferred to go to the air. The Highlanders and Owls combined for a Floyd Central — an presumably Seymour — school record with 127 points because the Highlanders couldn’t stop Owl quarterback Austin Sutton and receiver Zach Schlatterer.
Sutton, who was playing in his first game of the season, threw for 315 yards and five touchdowns. Schlatterer caught 10 passes for 193 yards and four of Sutton’s TD passes.
“Seymour kept scoring. We couldn’t stop them, so we had to keep our No. 1 offense out there for three quarters,” Glesing said.
— Greg Mengelt
HOWELL WINS IN RELIEF
Whether the New York Yankees make the baseball playoffs this season is yet to be seen. And whether you’re a Yankee fan or not, it will be sad to see the ending of the career of reliever Mariano Rivera, who is not only one of the greats to ever play the position but also one of the great ambassadors of baseball.
Silver Creek quarterback Brooks Howell turned in a “Rivera-like” relief effort in the Dragons’ 21-14 win over Eastern on Friday.
Howell, who suffered an injury the previous week against Corydon Central, was expected to see action. Silver Creek coach Mike Donahue said earlier in the week that more than likely Howell would see playing time but that Jake Meadors would get the start.
Silver Creek trailed 8-7 at halftime and were in a definite football mental funk. Howell came on and played the entire second half, completing 7-of-11 passes for 85 yards. He threw one interception, but also threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Haines, then ran for the two-point conversion to give the Dragons a 15-8 lead.
Howell started that scoring drive with three straight completions and later hooked up with Cameron Cook for a 26-yard gain and a first down at the Eastern 25-yard line.
“We didn’t do two different preparations because we didn’t know if he was going to play or not,” said Eastern coach John Dablow. “You’ve got to give [Howell] credit, he came in and did a great job.”
“We’re 2-2 and not 1-3,” said Donahue to his team after the game.
Like the Yankees, yet to be seen, but this could have been a turning point in the Dragons’ season.
— Mike Riley
FIELDS LAUDS DOGS’ DEFENSIVE EFFORT THIS SEASON
After his team recorded its second shutout of the season with a 48-0 win last Friday at Bedford North Lawrence, New Albany coach Charlie Fields praised the performance of his defense. The Bulldogs rank sixth in the state in scoring defense at five points per game, which is the second-best average in Class 6A.
“We think our defense can get us out of trouble,” Fields said following the victory over the Stars.
Fields gave a particular amount of credit last Friday to his defensive line, which consists of seniors Rhygis Barbour, Javier Santiago, Isaac Hipsher, Ethan Atkins and Damian McDuffy and sophomore Derek Griffin.
“Those guys are men. I told them that was big-boy football they played out there today,” Fields said. “You get great on defense up front. I would hate to have to block those guys. As an old offensive lineman, I don’t know what I’d do against them. They’re just phenomenal.”
In Fields’ post-game speech to the Bulldogs at BNL Field, he gave a pep talk for this coming Friday’s contest at Class 4A No. 1 Columbus East. Fields says New Albany will need to play very well to knock off the Hoosier Hills Conference rival Olympians, who have the sixth-best offense in the state and the top offense in Class 4A at 55.3 points per game.
“We’re going to need the Army, the Air Force, the Marines, the Avengers, the Justice League and more,” Fields quipped. “They used to talk about the Red Army — well, they’re the Orange Army. I’ve not seen them on film, but I’ve seen what they’ve done to quality people. When you have wins against Columbus North and Bloomington North — two programs I think our quality programs — that’s pretty impressive. The kids know what the challenge will be and I think they’re ready for it.”
— Kevin Harris
JEFF “D” CAN’T BE OVERLOOKED
In its season opener, the Jeffersonville football team needed the 60 points it registered to outlast Evansville Bosse.
But the 61 points it hung on Seymour, the 60 on Bedford North Lawrence and the most recent 34 in a convincing win Friday at Madison all came with quite a bit of padding. The lopsided victories didn’t come about just because the Red Devils possess a potent offense — the defense has been just as dominant the past three weeks.
The latter unit could largely be patted on the back for the triumph over the Cubs. Senior running back Austin Hines had another banner evening — the second of his three touchdowns moved him past Edward Wright-Baker as Jeff’s all-time leader for rushing TDs in a career — and sophomore quarterback Jamal Britt had multiple connections with his pass catchers for significant gains.
However, it was the Devil “D” that was most impressive on this night.
Jeff stacked the box against the run-happy Cubs and basically built a wall lining the line of scrimmage that Madison rarely cracked.
Running back Mitchell Sandlin, who had 100 yards in each of the Cubs’ first three games, ended up with 117 yards rushing, but he needed a whopping 33 carries to do it. The Devils set the tone by limiting the Cubs to 3 total yards on their first three possessions.
On the rare occasion when the Cubs did throw, they were largely ineffective. Quarterback Kody Boles went 1-for-5 for 16 yards.
Jeff’s calling card is its explosive offense. However, a defense that has allowed a mere 18 points combined over its past three games is proving that it can’t be ignored.
— Adam Pruiett
TURNOVERS KILL PIONEERS
After a shutout in Week 3 against Holy Cross, Providence’s defense was stellar in the first half of a 41-21 loss at Indian Creek last Friday.
The Pioneers trailed 12-0 at the half, but one interception had set up the Braves at the Providence 15. The second score came on a halfback pass.
“We were down 12-0 at halftime and we felt pretty good. We played fairly well,” Providence coach Larry Denison said.
With a touchdown drive to open the second half, the Pioneers could have pulled to within five points. Instead, Indian Creek intercepted another pass and returning it for a score.
“Now, we’re looking at 20-0 and it’s a whole different scenario there,” Denison said. “We had to try to throw the ball to get back in the game and threw another interception. You can’t be turning the ball over, especially against good teams like Indian Creek.”
PIRATE DEFENSE COMES UP BIG
Early in Charlestown’s 28-14 win over North Harrison, a turnover in Pirate territory allowed the Cougars to take a 7-0 lead. It was a lead they had the rest of the first half.
In the second half, however, Charlestown’s vaunted defense played lights out, allowing the Pirates to score 28 straight points en route to the Mid-Southern Conference victory.
In all, C’town surrendered just 131 total yards in the win.
“We’ve been putting our defense in some bad situations. We put [North Harrison] inside the 30-yard line three more times,” Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins said. “[The defense] played well in the second half. They played really well. I think they’ll play even better when they’re not put [in those situations].”
Hawkins’ new offensive philosophy of pounding the football continued to pay off with the Pirates rushing for 245 yards.
“I think the power running game looks good,” Hawkins said, “but I think we need to add something to what we’re doing. I don’t know what that is yet. Right now, teams are going to come out with nine or 10 in the box. We’re either going to have to be able to run against that or figure out something else to do.”
CLARKSVILLE HANGS WITH PANTHERS FOR A HALF
Sometimes things aren’t as bad as they appear.
In six quarters against Eastern and Charlestown, Clarksville was outscored 128-0. After getting four players back from injury and suspension, the Generals turned in an impressive performance — at least for the first half — against unbeaten and ranked Corydon Central.
The Generals led 6-5 after one quarter and trailed just 13-6 at the half before the Panthers were able to eventually score 29 straight points to improve to 4-0.
Much of the improvement came from four returning players, all four of which played both sides of the football.
“It’s a big difference when you have a 225-pound middle linebacker and a 145-pound young kid,” Clarksville coach Steve Cooley said. “We’re still not healthy. We’re a week or two from being 100 percent. That’s football.
“We’re so limited on numbers that we have had a hard time overcoming [the injuries]. But the kids have persevered. I think they’re growing up and it’s just a matter of time.”
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Gaige Klingsmith, Floyd Central: Playing at the same school as Kyle Bramble, Tyler Gholston and Kyle Sammons, Klingsmith put together the most productive half in the history of the Floyd Central football program.
Bramble and James Renton previously held the Highlander record with six touchdowns in a game. Klingsmith scored seven in a half in Floyd’s 84-43 win over Seymour. He finished with 265 yards on 20 carries and caught one pass for 42 yards.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Kaleb Prince, Silver Creek: Prince had seven tackles and blocked a punt as the Dragons played outstanding defense in a 21-14 win over Eastern. Prince and the Dragons have surrendered 21 points or fewer each of the past three weeks.
“We have been able to put together two weeks of good solid defense,” Creek defense coordinator Tony Garrett said. “We are playing well as a unit and are beginning to play together. To date, we have managed to cut our [points per game] average in half [from a year ago].”
OTHER WEEK 4 STARS
• Tuwan Payton, New Albany: Payton had 270 yards on 21 carries and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 48-0 win over Bedford North Lawrence.
• Ryan Lenz, Floyd Central: Lenz kicked a school-record nine extra points and averaged 40.6 yards on his punts in the Highlanders’ win over Seymour.
• Austin Hines, Jeffersonville: Hines carried 24 times for 220 yards in the Devils’ 34-11 win over Madison. His three scores made him Jeff’s all-time leading scorer on the ground with 47 career rushing touchdowns.
• Brad Graham, Silver Creek: Graham had 122 yards on 12 carries, including a big 62-yards TD run in the Dragons’ 21-14 win over Eastern on Friday.
• Marquise Parrish, Clarksville: Parrish had 148 yards on 21 carries as the Generals fell to Corydon Central, 34-14.
• Aamil Haleem, Jeffersonville: Haleem had nine tackles, three for loss, and a quarterback sack for a Jeff defense that gave up just 127 yards to Madison.
• Austin Roberts, Eastern: Roberts completed 11 of his 17 pass attempts for 210 yards and a touchdown. He also added a late rushing touchdown in the Musketeers’ loss to Silver Creek.
• Darren Taylor, Charlestown: Taylor carried 19 times for 89 yards and scored three times in the Pirates’ 28-14 victory over North Harrison.
• Adrian Mills, New Albany: The Bulldog linebacker had 11 tackles, a quarterback sack and an interception in New Albany’s victory over BNL.
• Evan Rue, Floyd Central: Rue intercepted two passes and broke up two in the Highlanders’ Hoosier Hills Conference triumph over Seymour.
• Javier Santiago, New Albany: Santiago had seven tackles, two quarterback sacks and an interception as the New Albany defense shut down BNL in a 48-0 win.
• Devin Grooms, Clarksville: Grooms return from an injury to lead the Generals with 13 tackles in the loss to Corydon Central.