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East Central 42, South Dearborn 12

Aurora-  East Central 42, South Dearborn 12. Another typical Trojans-Knights football game, right?  Not really, except for who won and lost.

This game was seen live as part of our Margaret Mary Health Fall Webcast Schedule.  See it again archived in 720p HD by clicking here.

Both sides of this Dearborn County matchup know, to at least some extent, how this pairing has played out over the last couple of decades.  For the uninformed, here’s a little history lesson and why this was not quite your typical EC/SD game:

Heading into Friday’s meeting on top of Wilmington Hill in Aurora, the Trojans had won the 24 straight over the Knights.  SD’s last win in the series was 1997 when the Knights won 41-17 in St. Leon.  The last close game between the two programs was 2006 when the Trojans won 12-nothing at SDHS.  Since 2006, no game had been decided by fewer than 31 points.  Over the last dozen meetings, East Central had outscored South Dearborn 580 to 20 and posted nine shutouts, including four consecutive. Simply put, the Trojans have dominated this series.

So one may ask with Friday’s final heavily in favor of EC by 30 points, how was it any different than the previous dozen, one-sided contests?

Well, coach Rand Ballart’s Knights were sporting their best start, 4-1, since both the 2010 and 2011 seasons.  SD was a touchdown away from being 5-0.  They had the state’s fifth-best scoring defense, thanks to three defensive shutouts, surrendering just over an average of four points a game.  And South Dearborn had a Sagarin ranking of 18th in Class 4A, the highest unbiased statistical (non-voting) ranking the program has had in a long, long time.

The Knights’ efforts to date were certainly noteworthy and a much often scoffed at East Central/South Dearborn matchup was now looked at with interest.  And it was an interesting game.

But in the end, coach Don Stonefield’s Trojans, simply wore down the Knights in the second half.  It wasn’t a crisp performance by any means for the defending 4A state champs.  But good teams find ways to win even when they aren’t at their best.  The depth and strength of East Central is revered, not only in our area, but across the state.  The Sagarin’s second ranked team in 4A never rebuilds.  They always reload.  It truly is rather remarkable.

East Central had the horses to run in the second half.  South Dearborn simply ran out of gas.  The Knights were still making some defense plays, but EC still scored three more times.  And it was the Trojan defense which made it awfully tough for the hosts to do anything on offense over the final two quarters.

East Central forced South Dearborn to punt after three plays on the game’s opening drive.  The Trojans, despite a couple of penalties, appeared well on their way to score on its opening possession.  However, the Knights’ Owen Lunsford picked off an EC pass at the 1-yard line and returned it 95 yards to the Trojan 4.  A personal foul penalty against the Trojans moved the ball to the 2.

Then it was SD quarterback Adam Dixon squirming his way into the end zone with second effort on a quarterback sneak.  A two-point conversion pass was no good, but the Knights were up 6-0 with 6:16 to go in the first stanza.

East Central responded with a 9-play, 74-yard drive.  It started with a trio of runs by Jake Fike, a pair of trots by Alex Maxwell and then a steady dose of Eric Rosemeyer for the final four carries covering 21 yards.  The scoring play was 2 yards.  Caden Browndike, who was perfect on the night in extra point attempts, made his first of six.  The Trojans led 7-6 with 2:05 left in the first frame.

The Trojan D held the SD-O to another 3-and-out, and East Central enjoyed outstanding starting field position at the host’s 34-yard line.  A Rosemeyer 22-yard scamper set up a Maxwell nifty 9-yard scoring run two plays later.  With 6.1 before the first buzzer, East Central was up 14-6.

South Dearborn rebounded early in the second period.  Dixon hit Trey Thies in stride along the SD sideline.  Thies made a stellar over the shoulder grab under great coverage for a 46-yard reception.  Three plays later, the same tandem hooked up again with another great reception by Thies, this one good for six points from 17 yards out.  The two-point pass was no good, but it was now 14-12 East Central.

The St. Leon lads put together what proved to be the final scoring drive of the half during their next possession.  It was 46-yard drive spanning six plays.  The big one was on a 4th and 15 play from the SD 35.  With full motion going to the right, Maxwell planted and threw back across the field to the left finding a wide open Fike 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.  The sophomore running back did the rest breaking one tackle and slipping through two others as he cut across the grain for an impressive run after catch. Fike’s scoring reception gave EC a 21-12 edge with 7:46 before the break.

The rest of the half saw a couple of South Dearborn punts and an East Central fumble.  SD’s Axel Bell made the strip and teammate Bailey Whitelock had the recovery.  It was one of three turnovers forced by South Dearborn.

The third turnover by EC was another fumble on its first drive of the third quarter.  It was recovered (confirmation pending) by Peyton Shepherd.

But East Central’s defense continued to be very stingy in the second half and posted a two-quarter shutout.  The Knights only crossed into Trojan territory once.  It was during a third quarter drive which died on downs at the visitors’ 34.

East Central forced a pair of fourth quarter turnovers.  One was a pass interception by Kole Viel and the other was a fumble recovery by Blake Gindling.

Despited an opportunistic Knights defense, the Trojans did put up 21 points in the second half.  A Rosemeyer run of 55 yards was the precursor to a Maxwell 1-yard plunge.  That came with 3:12 left in the third to make it 28-12.

The other two scores came in the fourth.  The first was with 3:48 on the clock.  Maxwell did a nice job playing off his blockers and ran in from 17 yards out.  That was his third rushing TD and fourth overall for the night.

The last score of the evening was a slice and dice run up the middle for 10 yards by Rosemeyer, his second end zone find on Friday.

So in the end, it wasn’t pretty, but it was business as usual for East Central which improves to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in EIAC-4A.  South Dearborn, which put up a good fight against the big dogs of the conference, moves to 4-2 on the season and 1-1 in the EIAC-4A.

SEI Local Sports congratulates Alex Maxwell and Eric Rosemeyer as our Whitewater Motor Company Players Of The Game.  Maxwell had four touchdowns raising his season total to 20.  He rushed for 176 yards and threw for 78 for a total of 254.  Rosemeyer amassed 240 yards on the ground with a pair of scores.

Our Margaret Mary Health Fall Webcast Schedule is also made possible by: Civista and United Community Bank (website presenting sponsors), Bruns-Gutzwiller, Whitewater Motor Company, DeVille Pharmacies, Friendship State Bank, Highpoint Health, Willhite Family Dentistry, The Napoleon State Bank, Southeastern Indiana REMC, River Ridge Realtors and Neaman Floral.

Quarter scores (records):

  • EC  14  07  07  14 – 42 (5-1, 2-0 EIAC-4A)
  • SD  06  06  00  00 – 12 (4-2, 1-1 EIAC-4A)

Scoring summary:

  • SD 1Q 6:16- Dixon 3-yd run. 2-pt pass no good. SD 6-0.
  • EC 1Q 2:05- Rosemeyer 2-yd run. Browndyke kick good. EC 7-6.
  • EC 1Q 0:06- Maxwell 9-yd run. Browndyke kick good. EC 14-6.
  • SD 2Q 10:35- Dixon 17-yd pass to Thies. 2-pt pass no good. EC 14-12.
  • EC 2Q 7:46- Maxwell 35-yd pass to Fike. Browndyke kick good. EC 21-12
  • EC 3Q 3:12- Maxwell 1-yd run. Browndyke kick good. EC 28-12.
  • EC 4Q 3:48- Maxwell 17-yd run. Browndyke kick good. EC 35-12.
  • EC 4Q 1:38- Rosemeyer 10-yd run. Browndyke kick good. EC 42-12.

Individual stat leaders:

  • Rush att/yds/TD- (EC) Eric Rosemeyer 28/240/2, Alex Maxwell 24/176-3, Jake Fike 6/35; (SD) Dalton Guthrie 5/39, 9/-2/1
  • Pass comp/att/yds/TD- (EC) Maxwell 6/11/78/1; (SD) Dixon 8/24/115/1
  • Receptions/yds/TD- (EC) Fike 1/35/1, Liam Jones 2/25, David Badescu 2/13; (SD) Trey Thies 2/63/1, Ethan Getz 4/36, David Blair 1/11
  • Defensive Interceptions- (EC) Kole Viel; (SD) Owen Lunsford
  • Fumble Recoveries- (EC) Blake Gindling; (SD) Bailey Whitelock, Peyton Shepherd
  • Sacks- (EC) Gaar Ertel 2, Kyle Krummen; (SD) none
  • Tackle Points (2 solos, 1 assists)- Krummen 14, Viel 8, Garr Ertel 5; (SD) pending

We thank coaches Don Stonefield of East Central and Rand Ballart of South Dearborn for the information they supplied and their time spent in our pregame show.  We thank East Central statistician Stewart Durham for the game stats and South Dearborn athletic department secretary Michelle Getz for additional assistance.  We also express our sincerest appreciation to SD AD Ryan Walston and media coordinator Steve Giesting for the accommodations and hospitality.

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