Castle, ranked 10th in Class 5A, jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead, and Floyd Central fought back to within one score on four separate occasions – converting three touchdowns on fourth down – but the 14th-ranked Highlanders came up short and dropped a 42-28 decision at home.
After trailing 28-13 at the half, Floyd Central cut the Knights lead to 35-28 on the first play of the fourth quarter, a 23-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Matthew Weimer to senior receiver Dylan McRae. Castle’s offense went back to work, though, and answered less than five minutes later to make the final score. The Highlanders stuffed the Knights inside the three-yard line twice to no avail.
Floyd Central didn’t give in, per usual, but the Highlanders “just didn’t get enough,” according to coach Brian Glesing.
“Our kids didn’t quit. Our offensive line is (full of) senior veterans that know how to win football games,” Glesing said. “That was our strategy going in – keep pounding, pounding, pounding. We told them, ‘If it’s third-and-eight, we’re going to run the ball. If it’s going to be fourth-and-five, we’re running the ball.’ They believed in it.”
Castle’s spread offense yielded 507 yards on, more importantly, 84 plays. The Knights controlled possession – which has been the Highlanders’ calling card all season – behind the running of sophomore Noah Taylor, who carried the ball 33 times for 239 yards and three touchdowns. Senior quarterback Dayne Keller had 268 yards passing – 253 in the first half alone – and three touchdowns.
Following a 2-2 start to the season, the Highlanders won five of seven games to bring their record to 7-4 after Friday’s loss. Floyd Central’s seven wins are the program’s highest total since an 8-3 record in 2013. The sectional title marked the final high school contest for 19 Floyd Central seniors.
West Washington comes up just short
Following touchdown passes of 42, 40 and 21 yards in the second quarter, West Washington entered halftime with a 26-14 lead over Eastern Greene Friday. That cushion, turns out, would prove to be short-lived.
The Senators allowed 209 second-half rushing yards and 20 unanswered points down the stretch of an eventual 34-32 1A sectional-title loss at home – West Washington’s first loss of the season. The Senators’ Landon McPheeters found the end zone with 1:15 left, but the hosts failed to connect on the two-point conversion.
With the loss, West Washington’s season ends at 11-1 for the second consecutive year. Eastern Greene (10-2) will meet Linton-Stockton (12-0) – which eliminated the Senators in last year’s regional – next Friday.
The loss was the final game for seven West Washington seniors, including standouts McPheeters, Michael Sizemore and Jackson Byrne. Seth Goode, Bryce Farmer, Hunter Holliday and Caleb Killburn round out the Senators’ senior class.
Brownstown wins second straight sectional
Behind more than 225 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns from senior wing back Gavin Bane, Brownstown made a statement in Friday night’s 3A Sectional 31 final.
The ninth-ranked Braves found the end zone on seven of their first eight possessions and cruised to a 51-14 win at No. 6 Southridge. Brownstown’s largest lead reached 43, and the Braves held a 37-7 advantage at the half.
Bane, who already surpassed the Braves’ all-time single-season touchdown mark of 28 this season, made it 34 scores for the year after totaling 151 yards on just seven carries to go along with 78 receiving yards.
The win marks back-to-back sectional crowns for Brownstown and the third in the past four years. Overall, the Braves have claimed 12 sectional titles. Brownstown improved to 11-1 with the win and advances to a regional championship bout with Evansville Memorial (9-3) next Friday.
Columbus East wins first 5A sectional
Behind a strong second-half performance, Columbus East captured its first-ever 5A sectional championship by way of a 56-31 win over Whiteland Friday. The fourth-ranked Olympians improved the 11-1 with the win and will take on Zionsville (6-5) next Friday for a regional title.
Columbus East used a pick-six to open up a slim 28-24 lead at the break Friday, marking the fourth lead change of the first half. The Olympians, though, used a 28-0 second-half run to seal the final.
Junior running back Jamon Hogan eclipsed the 200-yard mark on the ground for Columbus East. His 79-yard touchdown run – the second of four for Hogan on the night – gave the Olympians a 35-31 lead in the third. Junior quarterback Josh Major chipped in over 100 yards rushing.
Seymour’s win streak snapped in final
East Central returned an interception for a touchdown on the first play of the second half to open up a 24-0 lead en route to a 52-8 win over host Seymour in the 4A Sectional 23 championship Friday.
The loss snapped the Owls’ eight-game win streak. Seymour finished the season 8-4 after starting 0-3. Junior quarterback Alan Perry was held in check throughout. A standout all season for the Owls, Perry accounted for more than 2,500 yards and 30 touchdowns.
The seventh-ranked Trojans (10-2), meanwhile, advance to a regional championship matchup against No. 3 Evansville Reitz (11-1) next week.
Gavin Bane, Brownstown: The senior paced the Braves with 229 all-purpose yards – 151 rushing, 78 receiving – and three touchdowns in a sectional-championship rout of Southridge.
Dylan McRae, Floyd Central: Despite a loss, the senior hauled in two pivotal touchdown receptions and led the Highlanders with 87 yards on only three catches.