INDIANAPOLIS – Mike Kirschner had a near-catastrophe on his hands Saturday night when his 2-year-old grandson, Owen, snatched his glasses right off his face.
“Owen, those are my only pair!” Kirschner said.
As for drama, that was about it for the Ben Davis football coach. A journey that started in elementary school for the Giants’ senior class ended with a coronation under the roof at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night.
The Class 6A top-ranked Giants sprinted through the finish line in a wire-to-wire run as the state’s top team with a record-setting 63-14 win over No. 4 Penn in the 6A championship game.
“I can’t argue who is good or who is the best,” said Kirschner, who also led Ben Davis to the 6A championship in 2014. “But this is the best team I’ve been around. We’re fast and we’re athletic and we play unbelievably hard.”
This 14-0 Ben Davis team will have to at least be in the conversation when the best teams in state history are discussed. The Giants won their first 13 games by an average of 30.9 points per game and had just two games all season — sectional wins over Lawrence Central (33-20) and Warren Central (36-29) — that were closer than 18 points.
Penn (12-2) provided little resistance in a game that shattered 16 team records and 11 individual records in Class 6A, which began in 2013. Senior quarterback Reese Taylor passed for a record six touchdowns, competing 18-for-22 for 340 yards. The IndyStar Mr. Football frontrunner also rushed for 131 yards and two scores before he was pulled from the game to an ovation from the purple-clad Ben Davis fans with eight minutes remaining.
“This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” said Taylor, an Indiana recruit. “This is my last high school game ever. The crowd tonight made our team play a lot faster and harder.”
Ben Davis’ 63 points nearly eclipsed total of 69 Penn had allowed in 13 games coming into the state finals. But it was clear early that the Giants’ speed would pose a significant issue for the Kingsmen.
On the Giants’ first possession, Taylor eluded would-be tacklers on the left sideline, reversed field and scored on a 76-yard run. Two special teams blunders cost Penn as Ben Davis’ Keilan Laws twice recovered bouncing kickoffs. Taylor hit Broc Thompson for a 20-yard touchdown pass and found Johnny Adams for a 35-yard touchdown on a swing pass.
Less than four minutes into the game, it was 21-0.