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High School

September 24, 2011

No. 1 Warren Central flies high over North

INDIANAPOLIS — Not one, but two helicopter flyovers — the second during the singing of the National Anthem, which was actually sponsored by the U.S. Army — were a fitting precursor to what occurred on the gridiron at Warrior Stadium on Friday night.

Not unlike a successful military operation, No. 1-ranked Warren Central mounted a relentless attack to subdue visiting Terre Haute North 50-19 in a Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school football clash.

Warren Central scored the first four times they touched the football, two scored via the air, two scores on the ground, to build a 29-0 lead early in the second quarter and were never threatened.

“My guys take a lot of criticism, the whole program does … for a lot of issues these guys face are out of their control,” North coach Chris Barrett stated outside the locker room. “When you’re playing schools two times bigger than you are and you’re playing against teams that have collegiate facilities. Strength and conditioning programs all day long, tons of coaches, middle school football. All those types of things.

“My point is, these guys take that criticism for getting beat. But yet I’m proud of these guys. They choose to play the greatest teams that were ever created, they choose to strap it up against these guys, knowing what they are up against. Be it the number of players, the caliber of players, the turf fields and everything. My hats off to my players. They didn’t give up at halftime. They’re excited to have that opportunity to play next week. These guys continue to improve.”

How tough was it?

Just three plays after returning the opening kickoff, Warriors’ running back Delonte Buckley scored on a 45-yard swing pass from Kyle Faunce. On a quick snap, Buckley scored on a two-point conversion for a sudden a 8-0 lead with just over three minutes elapsed.

After a North three-and-out, WC drove 42 yards on six plays, the TD a six-yard run by fullback Domonique McFarland. The Warriors led 15-0 with less than seven minutes elapsed.

The Warriors followed with scoring drives of 55 yards (three plays), then 79-yards (11-plays). On the first drive, a 53-yard pass from Faunce to Kevin Davis set up a 1-yard punch-in by Buckley. On the second drive, Davis scored on a seven-yard screen pass from Faunce for the 29-0 lead.

To North’s credit, their defense stiffened late in the second quarter. The Patriots defense stopped WC on downs at the North 22, then later intercepted a pass on a rare WC miscue at the North 6.

Brother Scank had North’s longest run from scrimmage of 25 yards soon after the stoppage on downs, but North was forced to punt after the drive stalled at the North 43. A quick two-man, untouched rush up the middle saw North punter A.J. Hughes dropped for a 14-yard loss, turning the ball over to the Warriors at the North 29.

North dodged this bullet as Ryan Moshak intercepted a Faunce pass at the North 6. But North’s good fortune ran out as they were stopped on downs again, then Hughes punt went off the side of his foot out of bounds, traveling just 15 yards, giving WC great field position at the North 22.

One play later, Faunce hooked up with Davis for a 22-yard TD on a screen pass to account for their 36-0 lead at intermission.

The second half didn’t begin much better as North quarterback Brian Gehrich fumbled on a hard tackle and was forced to leave the game with a thigh contusion. Buckley quickly scored on a 22-yard dash, his third TD of the game, to put WC up 43-0.

After the WC lead reached 50-0, they substituted liberally the balance of the game.

North’s Scank finally put his team on the scoreboard on a three-yard run early in the fourth quarter. In the 75-yard drive, Scank carried eight times for 31 yards. Two other big plays were a 23-yard pass by backup quarterback Chris Barrett to Charles Dillahunt and a 20-yard end around scamper by Ricky Brookins. Brookins limped off with an injured ankle, necessitating x-rays after the game.

North’s final two TD’s came from a 57-yard punt by Hughes and a fumble at the one by WC, leading to a one-yard TD by Lee Davis. North recovered the ensuing onside kickoff, ahead of a 32-yard TD run by Kai Stratten. Both scores came in a span of 10 seconds.

“I told my guys before the second half started, ‘I’m proud of them’,” Barrett continued. “A lot of people can’t do this. A lot of those people up [in the stands] complaining can’t do it. A lot of the kids walking the halls, they can’t do it. I’m proud of my guys. Proud to be there coach. We’re going to keep on plugging away and get better.”

North (1-5, 0-4) returns home to face Lawrence North on Friday.

A similar helicopter flyover for Warren Central’s (6-0, 4-0 MIC) next game will be a bit problematic, unless game officials open the roof at Lucas Oil Stadium for their MIC contest vs. Carmel the same night.

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