One of the perks of my job is that I generally cover what is considered to be the best – or one of the best – high school football matchups every Friday.
The best-laid plans don’t always materialize. There are blowouts in high school football, even when the teams are considered to be similar in talent. It happens.
But lately, I have covered some remarkable football games. After I’d filed my story from Hamilton Southeastern’s 28-point comeback to beat rival Fishers 38-33 on Friday, I sat for a few minutes in the Fishers press box and reflected on the games I’d covered going back to last season. It’s a pretty crazy list:
Sept. 11, Hamilton Southeastern 38, Fishers 33: I’m not sure I’ve seen a high school team come back from a 28-0 deficit to win. Until Friday.
Aug. 28, Ben Davis 49, Avon 42: Brandon Peters passed for 381 yards and four touchdowns — and his team lost. Ben Davis scored on a 72-yard interception return by LeShaun Minor with less than 2 minutes left for the win.
Aug. 21, Center Grove 42, Warren Central 38: Center Grove converted a fourth-and-10 to keep its drive alive and Titus McCoy scored on a 1-yard run with 2:45 left for the winning score.
*Note: I didn’t cover a game on Labor Day weekend but went to a college game. BYU beat Nebraska 33-28 on a last-second Hail Mary.
Nov. 29, Cathedral 56, LaPorte 7: Not much drama here. Irish win the Class 5A title.
Nov. 28, Ben Davis 42, Carmel 24: The final score doesn’t show it, but this was a remarkable turnaround. Carmel led 17-0 before the Giants rallied to score the game’s next 42 points.
Nov. 21, New Palestine 30, Columbus East 28: Another classic, this one in the Class 4A semistate. Spencer Corey kicked a 25-yard field goal as the clock expired to knock off the No. 1 team. New Pal rolled to a state title the following week.
Nov. 14, Ben Davis 49, Center Grove 45: A wild finish to a wild game. Center Grove gained nearly 600 yards of offense but couldn’t covert a fourth-and-1 with less than 3 minutes left. Ben Davis, which had trailed 45-28 late in the third quarter, went ahead for good when Chris Evans raced 74 yards for a TD with less than 2 minutes to play.
Nov. 7, Ben Davis 40, Warren Central 36: Another stunner. Warren Central, the defending state champs, capped a 7-minute drive to take a 36-33 lead on a 45-yard field goal by Schulyer Nehrig with 1:41 left. Kyle Castner engineered a winning 84-yard drive, hitting Stori Emerson for a 13-yard TD pass with 11 seconds left.
Oct. 31, Ben Davis 34, Avon 27: In the cold and wind, Avon rallied from down 34-14 to make a game of it but were unable to recover an onside kick with 1:30 left.
Oct. 24, Hamilton Heights 28, Indian Creek 27: Another awesome finish in a Class 3A sectional first-round game. Hamilton Heights scored with 1:09 left to pull within 27-26. On the 2-point conversion, quarterback Ethan Jones rolled to his right and ran for the end zone. He was hit and flipped head over heels, barely reaching the end zone.
Oct. 17, Decatur Central 27, Franklin 23: Tommy Stevens, now at Penn State, hit Connor Ray for a 22-yard touchdown pass with 15.7 seconds left to give Decatur Central the win.
Oct. 10, Carmel 17, Warren Central 10: Warren Central had a chance, but Jordan Leach’s pass was just out of the reach of Tramell Smith in the end zone on fourth down in the final minute.
Oct. 3, Carmel 37, Ben Davis 14: It was complete domination from the Greyhounds in a 463-yard rushing effort. It was also the final loss of the season for Ben Davis.
Sept. 26, Roncalli 21, Brebeuf Jesuit 17: Caleb Bowling’s interception deep in Roncalli territory with 1:19 left preserved the Roncalli victory.
Sept. 19, Warren Central 28, Ben Davis 21: Mykeli Williams ran 3 yards for the winning TD with 3:59 left.
Sept. 12, Carmel 48, Pike 21: Carmel rolled to 346 rushing yards.
Sept. 6, Ben Davis 53, Pike 50: After a lightning delay postponed the finish to Saturday morning, Ben Davis got a stop and then drove 80 yards in 50 seconds for the win. Kyle Castner hit Chris Evans on a 19-yard TD pass with 8.6 seconds left. Pike had rallied from down 21-0 and 34-14. Ben Davis had 616 yards and Pike 556.
Aug, 29, Ben Davis 57, Avon 27: Ben Davis rolled in an impressive offensive effort.
Aug, 22, Warren Central 12, Center Grove 9 (OT): Mykelti Williams scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to give Warren Central the season-opening win.
There aren’t too many duds in that group.
* Other than the HSE-Fishers game, here are five scores that caught my eye from Friday: (1) Beech Grove 28-21 over Scecina. The Hornets are 4-0 for the first time on a long time and could be ranked in Class 4A this week. (2) Carmel 38-33 over Pike. The Greyhounds have Lawrence North and North Central coming up before closing with Ben Davis, Warren Central and Lawrence Central. (3) Lutheran 39-29 over Heritage Christian. The Class A Saints (2-2) have bounced back nicely after losses to Beech Grove and Cardinal Ritter. (4) Plainfield 21-17 over Roncalli. Three good wins in a row for the Quakers now and a big game with Greenwood coming on Friday. (5) Westfield 18-14 over Noblesville. The Shamrocks (4-0) can win close games.
Here’s the Indiana Football Coaches Association poll for this week:
1. Center Grove
5. Ben Davis
7. Warren Central
8. Hamilton Southeastern
1. New Palestine
2. Columbus East
3. Bloomington South
4. Fort Wayne Snider
9. Fort Wayne North Side
(tie) Terre Haute North
2. Evansville Reitz
4. East Noble
6. Beech Grove
10. Fort Wayne Dwenger
1. West Lafayette
2. Bishop Chatard
3. Gibson Southern
4. Fort Wayne Luers
5. Mishawaka Marian
8. Brebeuf Jesuit
1. Evansville Mater Dei
3. Cardinal Ritter
5. Eastern Hancock
8. Oak Hill
1. Lafayette Central Catholic
5. North Vermillion
8. Adams Central
9.(tie) North White
(tie) Perry Central
(tie) Southern Wells