TERRE HAUTE —
Several Wabash Valley high school football teams had statement games in their season openers Friday night.
Terre Haute North ended its statement with an exclamation point, scoring the first 44 points in a 44-14 win over Castle — a team ranked four or five spots ahead of the Patriots in the Class 5A preseason polls.
“I think it gives the whole team more confidence and lets everyone else know we can be state contenders if we keep performing this way,” Patriot running back Ricky Brookins said after that game, during which he had 108 yards rushing and two touchdowns by the end of the first quarter.
Also showing notice were Rockville’s Rox, 42-6 winners over Seeger, and South Vermillion’s Wildcats in a 35-2 decision over Covington.
Not quite as decisive, but just as impressive a statement, was Sullivan’s 30-27 win over Vincennes Lincoln on Kynon Johnson’s late field goal. And Northview’s 22-18 comeback win at Indianapolis Broad Ripple was a good opening for the Mark Raetz era.
In the business-as-usual category were Linton’s 50-12 win over Eastern Greene, North Central’s 66-6 victory over Union and North Vermillion’s 56-0 blanking of Turkey Run. Although the Falcons had some impressive offensive numbers in the latter game, their defense was even better, holding to Warriors to minus 106 yards rushing and minus 80 total yards.
Both West Vigo and Terre Haute South fell in the close-but-no-cigar category, and for similar reasons. The Vikings were behind 22-0 to Evansville Harrison and the Braves trailed Evansville North 24-0 early, but West Vigo got within 28-22 and was inside the 5-yard line as time expired, while South had a pass off fingertips in the end zone that could have completely reversed momentum in the Braves’ 37-20 setback.
Friday’s results also demonstrated what could be a two-level Wabash River Conference. Rockville may be ready to join North Vermillion in the top half along with Fountain Central, a 50-31 winner over Southmont, and Attica, which handed Riverton Parke its 24th straight loss by a 71-0 score.
In other conference outcomes:
• Conference Indiana — The other six members of the new league for North and South went 4-2, the scarier wins a 21-16 victory by Southport over always-strong Roncalli and Bloomington South’s 35-0 pasting of Bedford North Lawrence (although the fact that star quarterback Jesse Millikan went with his father when members of last year’s BNL staff moved on to Evansville North was no doubt a factor). Franklin Central outlasted Decatur Central 58-50 and Perry Meridian downed Greenwood 42-19 for Conference Indiana’s other wins, while Bloomington North lost 49-21 to Columbus East and Columbus North suffered a very surprising 34-32 loss to Plainfield.
• Western Indiana Conference — The other three WIC teams went 1-2 against Putnam County opposition. Edgewood beat North Putnam 34-12 and Brown County defeated Cloverdale 14-6, but South Putnam routed Owen Valley 26-0. South Putnam coach Troy Burgess, of course, used to coach the Patriots, and his current team figures to be an emerging power after dropping back to Class A.
n Southwest Conference — With Linton out of the conference mix, North Central should be battling for the top spot with North Knox — a 79-8 winner over Pike Central — and North Daviess, which beat Tecumseh 30-13. Wood Memorial lost its opener 55-6 to Princeton.
Here are some additional notes from Friday night’s Vigo County games:
• After mostly bending, but occasionally breaking, West Vigo's defense stiffened considerably in the second half, and particularly, in the fourth quarter. The Vikings held Evansville Harrison to only five second half first downs. While the Warriors rushed for 116 yards overall, only six were gained in the final quarter when the Warriors were trying to burn the clock.
“They came up with big stops. Several kids stepped up. I saw Sam Bowden make some big plays. I saw some freshmen and sophomores making plays. Anytime you can get a team like that off the field, it helps. They can break one at any point to break open the game,” West Vigo coach Jeff Cobb said.
• West Vigo saw a hole in the left side of Evansville Harrison's kick return defense on Friday and exploited it to average 31.5 yards in four returns. Most of the damage was done in the first half. Austin Cutliff had returns of 40 and 33 yards and Hunter Voils had a 42-yard return before halftime.
• West Vigo quarterback Jimmy Maples amassed 68 of his 130 rushing yards and 69 of his 131 passing yards in the fourth quarter. Maples had to be helped off the field twice during the game, once after a hit and once due to cramps, but kept on ticking.
• West Vigo earned nine of its 18 first downs in the final quarter.
• Although West Vigo was awarded a victory in last's year's opener against Harrison due to forfeit, the last time West Vigo won its opener on the field was in 2009 when it defeated Indianapolis Howe 27-0.
• Terre Haute South is now 4-6 in its series against Evansville North. A check of websites — too late to be included in Friday’s pregame capsule — found South winning 32-7 in 1971 (South’s first-ever season), 30-0 in 1973 (when the Braves finished 10-0), 39-20 in 1978 and 28-7 in 1982, the last time the teams had met prior to Friday night.
Evansville North’s other wins in the series were 26-0 in 1972, 7-0 in both 1974 and 1975, 28-7 in 1976 and 35-21 in 1977.
• South quarterback Timmy Herrin came off the field Friday for kickoffs, kickoff returns, punt returns and one other play. He also is a linebacker/strong safety on defense, and does the Braves’ punting.
Backup quarterback and cornerback Taxi Brown suffered an early ankle injury and missed the rest of the game.
• Take out plays of 25 yards or more and Evansville North netted just 106 yards in 49 plays against a South defense led up front by Dickie Rollins and Junior Berry. Unfortunately the Braves were gouged six times for runs of 25, 31 and 48 yards and passes of 55, 62 and 68 yards. Chase Whitler of the Huskies caught all three of the long passes.
• The starting Terre Haute North defense didn’t allow a point Friday night and the Patriots created six turnovers overall.
Castle’s first-half highlight was an 18-yard rush on a fake punt. The Knights totaled 56 yards if you take that away.
Linebackers Trey Grimm (4 solo, 3 assists and a fumble recovery) and Wyatt Stoelting (3 solo, 1 assist, 2 pass breakups, tackle for loss and one fumble recovery) led the defense.
“I’m extremely happy with how they performed, just completely shut them down,” North defensive coordinator Alex Bettag said. “We had the punt fake they got on us, but then got another takeaway on that drive.”
• Terre Haute North kicker Zach Potter helped stifle the Castle offense through special teams, nailing five kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks out of eight tries.
Potter also connected on 5 of 6 extra point attempts and drilled a 30-yard field goal.
• Terre Haute North quarterback Chris Barrett II made only one glaring mistake all night, trying to squeeze a throw into tight coverage in the first quarter that resulted in an interception.
Especially impressive was his decisiveness on when to leave the pocket. He scrambled 17 yards for a first down and finished with 38 rushing yards.
• Terre Haute and Northview were two of 19 Indiana teams to avenge 2012 losses in Friday’s 2013 season openers.
The Patriots’ 41-point turnaround was only the 12th largest turnaround in differential. North Knox, a 79-8 winner over Pike Central, had the largest at 86 points.
Todd Golden, Craig Pearson and columnist/editor writer Mark Bennett contributed to this report.
TERRE HAUTE —
Several Wabash Valley high school football teams had statement games in their season openers Friday night.
- High School
Patriots get past Vikings for coach Frisz's 300th victory
By guiding Terre Haute North over host West Vigo 48-30 in high school wrestling Wednesday night inside the Green Dome, Mark Frisz chalked up the 300th victory of his 24-year coaching career.
“When you coach a long time, those things happen,” said Frisz, whose first season in charge of the Patriots was 1990-91. “I know there are coaches who have 600, 700 wins, but not very many.
PREP ROUNDUP: Fendrick leads South to girls basketball win
Kylie Fendrick scored a team-high 13 points as Terre Haute South’s girls basketball team pulled away from Indianapolis Tech in the second half for a 62-39 victory at South.
North gets past Knights in boys basketball
With a huge size advantage on the program roster, you wouldn’t need to be Dr. James Naismith to figure out Northview’s strategy Tuesday night against a much shorter Terre Haute North team in boys high school basketball.
Pound the ball inside.
That plan worked well early on, as the visiting Knights bolted out of the gates to an early advantage.
The Patriots hung tough, though, and thanks to some clutch play off the bench from Braxton Poore and Andrew Farmer in the second quarter, delivered a knockout punch from which Northview could never recover.
North used a balanced scoring attack and an almost flawless floor game to record an easier-than-expected 68-43 victory.
Vikings prevail over South Vermillion
Hayden Corenflos was not the tallest player on the court Tuesday night, but he was always close to the rim while leading West Vigo to a 50-36 victory over visiting South Vermillion in boys high school basketball inside the Green Dome.
Corenflos scored 21 points without taking a shot from outside the lane in the Vikings’ second win of the season.
Prep basketball: Kinnaman knocks down 21 as Sullivan defeats Shakamak
Sullivan led most of the way in high school boys basketball Tuesday night to win its second game of the season, defeating Shakamak 77-44.
The Arrows used a 5-0 run to take a 9-4 lead and had a 17-9 advantage after one period. They led 36-20 at the intermission and took a 52-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
Metro: Indiana Hall of Fame lauds two Wabash Valley athletes
Two players from the Wabash Valley have been named members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team that will be honored in March. Tony McGee and Kenny Rowan are members of the honor team.
Today’s prep basketball games
Northview is at Terre Haute South and South Vermillion is at West Vigo
West Vigo shows its youth in loss to Owen Valley
It was a game that confirmed his fears, coach Joe Boehler said Saturday night after his West Vigo team lost 67-51 in its Western Indiana Conference boys basketball opener to visiting Owen Valley.
“I think our young team showed up tonight,” Boehler said. “We did not handle success very well.”
Terre Haute South can't match 'great' Mooresville team
Terre Haute South did very little right Saturday night at Mooresville, while the host Pioneers did very little wrong in an 89-54 victory over the visiting Braves.
Rady passes Sharpe to move into second on all-time victory list
Cloverdale coach Pat Rady, who resides in Terre Haute, climbed to No. 2 on Indiana’s all-time victory list for boys high school basketball Saturday morning when his Clovers got past host Greencastle 60-56 in the semifinals of the Putnam County Classic tournament in McAnally Center.
Consistent effort helps Terre Haute North hold off Robinson
After falling behind 14-2 after one quarter, Robinson’s Maroons bounced back to make it a game at Terre Haute North on Saturday night.
The Maroons cut the gap to 39-33 late in the third quarter, but a crucial turnover led to a 3-pointer by North and the Patriots went on a 65-50 win.
South girls fall to Indy North Central 67-46
Indianapolis North Central used 3-point shooting and defense to prevail in Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference girls high school basketball Saturday, defeating Terre Haute South 67-46.
The Panthers got off to an 8-0 start in the early-afternoon contest played in the South gym and outscored the Braves 20-9 in the final frame to get even for the season at 3-3 and even in the conference at 1-1.
Sister act: Elkins pair have helped West Vigo get off to 4-1 start
Heading into tonight’s home game against Owen Valley, the West Vigo girls basketball team is one win from equaling last season’s total for victories. The 4-1 Vikings are led by post players and sister duo Lexus and Shyanne Elkins.
Rady could break tie with Sharpe today
Longtime boys basketball coach Pat Rady has a chance to pass the legendary Howard Sharpe for No. 2 on Indiana’s all-time victory list today when his Cloverdale Clovers play Greencastle at 10 a.m. in the first game of the postponed Putnam County Classic at Greencastle.
New dates when available
- Vigo County basketball matchups
Study looks at effects of concussions
Austen Cummings sits in class and can’t remember what he’s supposed to focus on. He doesn’t have a learning disability or an attention disorder. The Homestead High School sophomore suffered two concussions in the span of two months while playing football. The concussions have caused Cummings to blank out in class, at times for almost a half-hour.
Even high-rated helmets may not protect players
Two studies this year highlight the tough choices and conflicting information that parents and coaches face when trying to protect football players from head trauma.
PREP ROUNDUP: West Vigo girls basketball cruises past Sullivan
Lexus Elkins poured in 15 points, Shyanne Elkins contributed 13 and McKenzie Little added 11 to lead the host Vikings over Sullivan 57-40 in Western Indiana Conference action Tuesday night inside the Green Dome.
Terre Haute South girls hold off Northview's surge
A funny thing happened on the way to a Terre Haute South blowout victory Tuesday night at Northview High School. The Knights fought back and nearly pulled out a win.
Three-point baskets by Kennedy Williams and Lauren Perrelle and free throws by Kylie Fendrick and Lauren Hambrock preserved a 53-50 win for the Braves over the Knight.
Casey beats Terre Haute South with last-second layup
On many nights during this high school basketball season, the shots are going to fall for both Casey and Terre Haute South and both teams are going to look really good.
Tuesday was not one of those nights.
Former North Central inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
Thirteen men will become official members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame when they are inducted into the Hoops Hall at the annual dinner in March.
Matchups set for wide-open Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic field
Sometimes the ping-pong balls used to draw the high school basketball pairings for the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic have a wisdom all their own, and that seemed to be the case Tuesday at Terre Haute North.
Metro sports: ISU women play today at No. 15 LSU
Indiana State’s women finish a three-game road swing by playing nationally ranked LSU at 12:30 p.m. today at Baton Rouge.
Tonight’s prep basketball
Casey at Terre Haute South
PREP ROUNDUP: North Central falls at home to Eastern Greene
Eastern Greene’s Camden Sego popped in 18 points to lead to a 67-42 home loss for North Central in SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference boys high school basketball Saturday night.
Bertoli runs personal-best time to qualify for Foot Locker national championships
Reigning IHSAA state champion Jackson Bertoli, a senior at Terre Haute South High School, accomplished a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 14 seconds as he finished fifth in the Foot Locker Midwest Regional Championships for cross country Saturday morning at Wayne E. Dannehl Course.
New excitement: Opportunity to swim in new pool in near future has Vigo County athletes ecstatic
As excited as Mike Williams is about the start of the Terre Haute North High School swim season today, he’s just as excited that one of its circumstances won’t have to be repeated a couple of years from now.
Prep/Metro roundup: Marshall girls pick up big wins at Robinson
Marshall’s Lions got a huge girls high school basketball victory Friday afternoon at the Robinson Thanksgiving Tournament, downing Mt. Carmel and 2013 Illinois Miss Basketball Tyra Buss 57-53.
Today’s Vigo County boys basketball game
Terre Haute North at Lebanon
- More High School Headlines
- Patriots get past Vikings for coach Frisz's 300th victory