In a game that began on Friday, Silver Creek finished off Eastern on Saturday, 44-18 for its first varsity football victory since 1942.
The Dragons were 0-3 this season and 0-14 since Silver Creek re-established the program in 2010, but the Musketeers never threatened them on Saturday after they led 30-12 with 7:34 when weather stopped the contest on Friday.
“It means everything,” quarterback Brooks Howell said. “Losing is tough.”
On the second play from scrimmage Saturday, sophomore Jason Jent put Eastern away when he intercepted Austin Robertson’s pass and went 50 yards the other way to give Silver Creek a 37-12 advantage.
On Creek’s next offensive possession, Howell tossed his third touchdown pass — this one a 3-yard pass to Zach Reynolds — for a 44-12 Dragon lead with 2:13 remaining.
“I wanted them to feel what it was like to finish a game,” Silver Creek coach Mike Donahue said. “They finished.”
“We knew we had to come out and stay at it,” Howell said. “We did want to get too excited after being out.”
Howell said it was a dream outcome after admitting that he had nightmares that his team blew the large lead after Friday’s stoppage.
“Every scenario was running through my head,” had admitted.
Six different Dragons scored a touchdown in the win. Layne Taylor finished with 115 yards on 20 carries, Howell was 11-of-17 for 104 yards and Drew Sherrow caught four passes for 68 yards.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the play of the Dragon defense, which had given up 70 points the week before in a 43-point loss to Corydon Central. At halftime, Silver Creek had held the winless Musketeers to 52 yards. In all, Eastern managed 169, much of it coming late in the game. Creek’s defense also scored eight points on a safety and Jent’s interception return.
“The defense, we’ve been down all year,” senior linebacker Jared Sowders said. “This week, everyone stepped up. I take a lot of pride in the fact that our defense scored and didn’t give up a lot of points.”
“The defense has just been hammered the first three games,” Donahue said. “Giving up 52 yards in a half, that’s stepping it up.”
Silver Creek doesn’t expect the winning to stop at one game. In fact, the Dragons plan on doing more winning than losing over the remaining regular-season schedule.
“Things will be different now,” Howell said. “Getting that confidence boost from a win is big.”
“Now that we’ve won, we know what it feels like,” Donahue said. “I would like to see us give Charlestown the hardest game that they’ve had [on Friday].”
Silver Creek faces the 4-0 and fourth-ranked Pirates just six days after its initial win. Charlestown’s offense is averaging a state-best 61.8 points per game, including a school record 72 in Friday’s win over North Harrison.
However, Sowders said the Dragons have a plan for quarterback Aaron Daniel and the Pirates.
“We’re going to hit them straight in the mouth from the get-go and not let up,” Sowders said. “We’re going to have to keep hitting them and hitting them and hitting them.”
SILVER CREEK 44, EASTERN 18
Silver Creek 9 7 7 21—44
Eastern 0 6 6 6—18
SC — Jordan Betts 23 pass from Brooks Howell (Drew Sherrow kick)
SC — Safety
SC — Layne Taylor 9 run (Sherrow kick)
E — Kaleb Nicholson 82 kickoff return (two-point conversion failed)
E — Jordan Eberle 4 run (two-point conversion failed)
SC — Romney Allen 5 run (Sherrow kick)
SC — Sherrow 25 pass from Howell (Sherrow kick)
SC — Jason Jent 50 interception return (Sherrow kick)
SC — Zach Reynolds 3 pass from Howell (Sherrow kick)
E — Nicholson 27 run (kick blocked)
Rushing: Silver Creek (32-225) — Taylor 20-115, Allen 7-82, Reynolds 4-22; Eastern (38-145) — Luke Terry 18-66, Eberle 11-46, Nicholson 4-35.
Passing: Silver Creek (11-17-104-1) — Howell 11-17-104-1; Eastern (2-9-24-1) — Austin Robertson 2-9-24-1.
Receiving: Silver Creek — Sherrow 4-68, Betz 2-28, Taylor 4-4, Brad Graham 1-5; Eastern — Jordan Huntley 1-23, Eberle 1-1.