Jade Doty’s senior year was spent humiliating offensive linemen with his speed and strength and harassing opposing quarterbacks.
The West Lafayette senior did it again Friday night, wrapping up Andrean standout Matt DeSomer on the 59ers’ second drive.
This time, though, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound DeSomer was able to wrestle away from Doty and make a play only great quarterbacks make, an on-target first-down pass on third-and-5 that officially went for 12 yards but was more like 30 by the time DeSomer escaped Doty’s grasp.
That was how the Red Devils’ night continued to go Friday as top-ranked Andrean steamrolled West Lafayette 52-7 to win the Class 3A north semistate at Father Eckert Field.
“We missed a couple of big plays, and they just had the fire and we didn’t,” Doty said. “I’d give up every single stat to just get one more win and play down at Lucas Oil Stadium.”
DeSomer’s play continued a drive that led to a touchdown and put Andrean up 14-0, putting the Red Devils in an unfamiliar situation.
“Once we get started, nothing can really stop us,” said Andrean junior Trevor Berg, who rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns. “Our offense has so many weapons. We just can’t be stopped on offense. And our defense gave us so many possessions early in the game.”
The 59ers built a 52-0 lead, but a late Maurice Woodard touchdown run assured that WL would not be shut out for the first time since last season’s sectional opener against Hamilton Heights.
It marks the third year in a year West Lafayette was eliminated by the north semistate champion. The previous two lost in the Class 3A state finals.
It also ends the career of 13 WL seniors, including Woodard, who essentially rewrote the Red Devil record books.
“We knew they were that good and we knew what to expect, but we didn’t come out and play our best game,” said Woodard, who rushed for 82 yards on 31 carries, with 45 of his yards coming in the fourth quarter. “It was really tough. We hadn’t been in that situation (getting down early) all year. I’ve never been in a situation like that, down 21-0 (midway through the first quarter).”
It also concluded Shane Fry’s first season as coach with a 12-2 record and sectional and regional titles. A season ago, after an embarrassing 18-0 loss to Hamilton Heights at home in the sectional, West Lafayette’s juniors vowed their senior year would be different.
It was, although it ended a week too early.
“For this to be my first year, those seniors have made this so easy for not just me, but the entire coaching staff,” Fry said. “They led the way, on the field and off the field. This is a great team, but the senior leaders, this is the best I’ve seen.”