Fishers Tigers Michael Kinder saves a Royals touchdown as Hamilton Southeastern’s Kyle Schrank’s 48-yard catch brought HSA down to the 11-yard-line in the second quarter of the rivalry played at HSE on Friday, September 12, 2014. The Tigers held and the Royals had to settle for a field goal, their only score of the first half.
FISHERS – The pregame atmosphere set the stage for a highly anticipated showdown Friday between Class 6A No. 7 Fishers and Hamilton Southeastern.
More than 7,000 fans packed Reynolds Royals Stadium an hour before the kickoff, with HSE looking for an early-season home win over a top-10 team. On the visitors’ side, Fishers’ fans left no seats vacant in a set of bleachers that spans 80 yards.
Both team exchanged blows early, and the contest looked as it if would live up to the hype that filled the stadium before kickoff. But in a 4 ½ minute span that bridged the second and third quarters, Fishers took a close game and turned it into a blowout.
Junior quarterback Zach Eaton threw two touchdowns in the final 30 seconds of the first half for Fishers, helping the Tigers (3-1) take a 7-3 game and pull away in their 41-10 road victory over Hamilton Southeastern (1-3). With the victory, Fishers retains the Mudsock Football Award, the trophy awarded to the winning team in this north side rivalry.
“I’m happy we’re 3-1 and I’m happy we were able to win this game, but what I’m most proud about is that we keep progressing,” Fishers coach Rick Wimmer said. “As long as we keep progressing, I’ll feel good about where we’re going.”
Wimmer had a hard time after the game keeping his personal summary short and sweet as to why he felt the Tigers were able to dominate this contest. And for good reason — a lot of Tigers contributed to this victory.
His quarterback completed passes to 10 different receivers. Three different receivers caught touchdowns. His starting running back gashed Hamilton Southeastern’s defense for 159 yards and three different defenders recorded interceptions.
Behind the defense in that key 4 ½ minute stretch, the Tigers showed they have their eyes set squarely on claiming the Hoosier Crossroads Conference title and remaining a contender in Class 6A. And internally, the players felt this was a statement game on many levels.
“When you’re playing a team like this on rivalry night, we really wanted to make sure we came out focused on having our best game of the season,” Eaton said. “I think we did that.”
Eaton finished with 135 yards and three touchdowns. Fishers’ senior tailback Maurice Campbell’s 159 yards led all rushers. He had two runs of 40 yards or more, with one of those ending in a touchdown. His 50-yard run set up Eaton’s fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Chris Thomas.
And while Fishers spent much of the night tinkering with lineups and player rotations, HSE shopped for consistency — mostly at the quarterback position. Senior Tyler Janney and junior Carter Poiry shared time at quarterback for the Royals.
Coach Scott May was looking for plays to be made on Friday night at that position. Poiry performed well at times, but Fishers’ defensive pressure forced both quarterbacks into errors. One of the bright spots for the Royals was Aaron Matio’s 143 rushing yards and a touchdown.
May summed up his feelings after the game with one word: “Disappointed.”
“I told the team after the Avon game that it wasn’t so much that we lost, it’s that we had five turnovers (last week),” May said. “How you respond says a lot. I didn’t think we responded well (Friday). We’ve got some kids that played hard, but you have to put four quarters together. They made plays and we didn’t. That’s the bottom line.”
Up next for HSE is another showdown with a top-10 team. The Royals have posted losses to three of Class 6A’s top-10 teams and they draw Class 5A No. 3 Westfield next week. Fishers hosts Brownsburg next week in the third of four consecutive conference games for the Tigers.
FISHERS 41, HSE 10
Fishers — Campbell 32-yd TD run, 1:00 (DeVante kick)
HSE — Hoffman 24-yd FG, 1:34
Fishers — Eaton 15-yd TD pass to Hernandez (DeVante kick), 00:26
Fishers — Eaton 15-yd TD pass to Foster (DeVante kick), 00:01
Fishers — Campbell 41-yd TD run (DeVante kick failed), 7:42
Fishers — Eaton 6-yd TD pass to Thomas (DeVante kick), 10:35
HSE — Matio 4-yd TD run (Hoffman kick), 5:28
Fishers — Lloyd 82-yd INT return (DeVante kick), 4:48
Total net yards;296;336
Rushing — Fishers, Campbell 20-159, Eaton 3-4, Rodriguez 1-(-2), Hays 1-(-7), Huddleston 2-15. Hamilton Southeastern, Matio 23-143, Janney 8-20, Poiry 6-13, Goss 2-8.
Passing — Fishers, Eaton 14-17-3, Hays 0-1-0. Hamilton Southeastern, Janney 6-10-0, Poiry 9-13-0.
Receiving — Fishers, Castellani 1-4, Long 1-4, Thomas 2-17, Foster 2-17, Campbell 2-10, Rogers 1-11, Hernandez 2-38, Smyth 1-8, Shemon 1-10, Orris 1-6. Hamilton Southeastern, Ford 1-15, Coudret 6-58, Schrank 5-54, Michaelis 1-13.