Trine Wins Big Over Olivet in MIAA Football

The Trine Thunder went into their football game on Saturday still hoping for a share of the MIAA league title as they were hosting the Olivet Comets. Trine held up their end of the bargain, as they rolled over the Comets by the score of 49-21. But when the score of the Adrian – Albion was final at 20-19 Adrian, all the Thunder can hope for is a second place finish. Adrian won the title with a perfect 6-0 conference slate.

Players Shaking Hands After the Game

Trine raced out to a 21-7 halftime lead over Olivet, thanks to 2 rushing touchdowns from sophomore running back Austin Shoemaker, and a fumble recovery in the end zone after an errant snap on a punt attempt. It looked to me like John Essex recovered the fumble, but the stats I received say it was Blaek Combs.

The Thunder started quickly in the second half, as they scored on their second play from scrimmage on a 42 yard pass from Ryan Hargraves to JaVontae Hence. Trine would score 3 more TD’s in that second half. Hargraves would scamper in from 12 yards out, Shoemaker added his third score on a 28 yard screen pass, and Charles
Dreessen would pick up a blocked punt, and score from 24 yards out to complete the scoring for the Thunder.

Running back Tyre Alexander scored all three touchdowns for Olivet, on runs of 17, 1, and 4 yards.

Shoemaker gained 63 yards on 15 carries, while Hargraves had 55 yards on 6 carries, Jamil Davis had 44 yards on 5 carries, and Jared Barton had 17 yards on 7 totes.

Hargraves completed 10 of 12 passes for 176 yards, with Hence snaring 3 of those for 101 yards.

Tyler Guzy and Caleb Nitz led the Thunder with 9 tackles each, while Louis Danesi & Tony Miranda each had 6 stops.

Trine will finish the regular season this coming Saturday when they will host Alma College. A win will insure second place all by themselves in the MIAA. It will also be senior day at Shive Field, so come on out and see this fun & exciting team, and also pay tribute to this fine group of senior leaders.

OSU Pulls Off Miraculous Win, Just Like in 2002

Last Saturday was a great day for college football throughout the Midwest, and it was made even better by the fact that my youngest son, Ethan, was able to come home from college for a few days. Even though we weren’t able to see all of the game, we were able to watch the latter stages of the Ohio State game against Purdue.

It was a game that simply put, the Buckeyes just shouldn’t have won. The Boilermakers were in control throughout, and when backup quarterback Kenny Guiton of OSU threw an interception with 2:40 to go, it looked all but over.

I kept thinking at that point about the Ohio State game against Purdue 10 years earlier, late in the 2002 season. That was a game that has come to be known as the “Holy Buckeye” game, because of the phrase that Brent Musburger said when OSU somehow pulled that game from the throes of defeat to one of their greatest victories ever.

O-H-I-O Performed by Some of My Favorite People

Back in 2002, the Buckeyes trailed 6-3, and faced a fourth & 1 at the Boiler 37 yard line, with no timeouts remaining, and just over a minute and half to play. Coach Jim Tressel had called a play that was supposed to be a short pass to the tight end. But when the pocket collapsed, quarterback Craig Krenzel stepped up and lofted a long pass towards Michael Jenkins who was streaking down the middle of the field. Jenkins caught the perfectly thrown ball in stride for the TD, and OSU held on for the 10-6 win. If that play doesn’t work, there is no national championship win over Miami at the end of the season.

Ethan & I both remember what we were doing when that play occurred. We had a DCBBL game at Waterloo Elementary School. We needed to get inside as our game time was quickly approaching, but we listened on the radio as the Krenzel to Jenkins catch unfolded, we hooted & hollered as the TD was scored, then went in to play our game (I was the coach).

So after the Guiton interception, even though all looked lost, I still had these eerie feelings about the 2002 game (sports fans know what I’m talking about). Could history somehow repeat itself? OSU got the ball back with 47 ticks of the clock remaining, and they were trailing by eight at 22-14. Guiton was playing because OSU starter and Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller had been injured earlier in the contest. Guiton quickly connected on a couple of passes that had the Buckeyes facing a situation of having to score from the 2 yard line with under 10 seconds to play. Guiton threw a pass that was “low & outside” to wideout Chris Fields, who went down and cradled it just before it hit the ground. Then a beautifully conceived 2 point conversion pass to the tight end knotted the score with 3 ticks remaining on the clock.

OSU, now with all the momentum, scored first in OT on a short run by Carlos Hyde, and OSU held on to win 29-22. It kept their undefeated season alive in coach Urban Meyer’s first year at the helm.

The Buckeyes travel east today to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in what a lot of people are calling the “ineligible bowl,” as neither team can take part in a post season bowl game because of NCAA sanctions.

All I know, is that any time the Buckeyes are playing Purdue, I will make sure that Ethan is spending time with us at home.

Barons & Railroaders Ousted, Blazers Move On

High school football sectionals from around the area geared up on Friday night, and just one of the Dekalb County teams will be moving on to next weeks second round action.

Baron Quarterback Evan Cochran

The Dekalb Barons, playing at home against the Wawassee Warriors, went to the halftime lockerroom tied at 7 apiece. But in the second half, Wawassee scored 3 touchdowns to Dekalb’s one, and won by the score of 27-14. The Barons got 2 TD passes from senior quarterback Evan Cochran, an 11 yarder to Dylan Cagle, and a 5 yarder to Logan Schilling. Dekalb finished 2-8 on the season.

The Garrett Railroaders led the Whitko Wildcats 16-7 in the second quarter of their contest. But Whitko, with touchdowns in the second & fourth stanzas, came from behind to end Garrett’s season 21-16. The Railroaders finished 7-3, including a share of the ACAC conference title.

The Eastside Blazers will be the only team from Dekalb County playing next Friday, as they ran roughshod over Bluffton on Friday by the score of 52-12. Quarterback Blake Blaker accounted for 412 yards of total offense, including 7 total touchdowns. He had 3 TD passes, and 4 TD runs. Eastside will have their hands full in the second round, as they will travel to Fort Wayne to take on the defending state champs, Bishop Luers High School.

Other results involving NHC teams saw East Noble lose to Concord on a last second field goal 38-35, Homestead lost to FW Snider 30-20, Columbia City beat Leo 14-7, Norwell got its first win by defeating Logansport 22-0, New Haven was all over Marion 43-20, Bellmont lost to Yorktown 31-20, and Carroll won big over LaPorte 49-7.

Trine Loses Low Scoring Game to Adrian

The Trine Thunder traveled to Adrian, Michigan on Saturday to take on the Adrian Bulldogs in a football game that if they won, they would have sole possession of first place in the MIAA Conference.

As the Coaches Talk to the Team, the Thunder Fans Enduring the Elements

It wasn’t meant to be, as Adrian put 10 points on the board in the second quarter, and they made it stand up, as they defeated Trine by the score of 10-3.

The loss ended a 3 game Thunder winning streak, and now they have to get help if they want to get a chance for a conference title. Adrian now leads the MIAA with a 3-0 league mark, as they now have won 5 games in a row overall.

On the wet rainy afternoon, Trine would drive between the twenties, but the offense would bog down as they neared the red zone. The Thunder would not score until just under 2 minutes remained when Tyler Keck knocked in a 22 yard field goal.

For Trine, Michael Inge rushed 13 times for 58 yards, JaVontae Hence caught 8 passes for 76 yards, and quarterback Ryan Hargraves was 11-18 for 116 yards passing. Myron Puryear, Michael Spears, and Caleb Nitz each had 9 tackles to lead the defense.

The Thunder are off this Saturday, and they return to action on the 27th, as they will travel to Hope College to take on the Dutchmen.

Tough Loss For Dekalb in Final Regular Season Game

Captains for Dekalb & Carroll Meet Before Friday’s Game

The less said about Friday night’s regular season finale for the Dekalb Baron football team, the better. The Barons went into the contest looking to knock off one of the powers in the NHC, the Carroll Chargers, to help prepare them for their sectional opener next Friday night against Wawassee.

As has been the case for most of the season, Dekalb found themselves in an early hole that they just couldn’t recover from. The Barons trailed 21-0 after the first quarter, and the Chargers would go on to a 63-11 win.

Dekalb was able to score on a 10 yard TD pass from Evan Cochran to Cody Krumlauf, a 2 point conversion reception by Kenny Knick, and a 40 yard field goal by Landon Cochran.

The Barons will play their first sectional game at home in 5 years starting this coming Friday at 7:00 pm against the aforementioned Warriors.

In other NHC games on Friday, Homestead won their 6th straight conference title, as they beat New Haven 24.13. East Noble, who seems to be peaking at just the right time, defeated Bellmont 51-10, and and Columbia City won over Norwell 26-6.

High School Football Sectional Pairings Announced

Earlier this week, the Indiana high school football sectional pairings were announced. Each year, when this time arrives, it is a time of anticipation as the players and coaches eagerly await word on who they will be playing in the first round, and where that game will take place.

Brandon Bacon & Austin Williams

The Dekalb Barons, competing in the Class 4A sectional 11, will host Wawassee in their opening contest on Oct. 19th. The Warriors record stands at 4-4, while the Barons are at 2-6. Dekalb is coming off of a 34-6 loss to Bellmont. They will be playing at Carroll in their regular season finale this Friday, looking to gain back some of that momentum that they created when they defeated Norwell the previous week.

The winner of the Dekalb-Wawassee game will take on the winner of the Plymouth-Northwood game in the second round. Other games in the Dekalb sectional are Angola at Northridge, and Concord at East Noble. On Friday, listen to the Barons-Carroll game LIVE.

The high-flying Garrett Railroaders have one of the best records in NE Indiana, as they stand at 7-1 going into their final regular season game Friday at Heritage. Garrett will travel to Whitko to play their first sectional game. Whitko has a record of 3-5.

The Railroaders had a great win last Friday against the previously undefeated Leo Lions. Garrett won that game 20-6, and they will be looking to win the ACAC title outright if they can get the win against Heritage. The Railroaders will be competing in the Class 3A sectional #18. The winner of the Garrett-Whitko game will play the winner of the Concordia-Jimtown game in the second round.

In the Class 2A sectional 27, the Eastside Blazers will open play at home against Bluffton. Eastside currently stands at 4-4, while Bluffton has a record of 5-3. The Blazers can finish over .500 on the regular season if they can win at Prairie Heights this coming Friday. Eastside has been on a roll as of late, as they won their last 2 games over Fremont & Central Noble by a combined score of 115-22. The winner of the Eastside-Bluffton game will play the winner of the Bishop Luers-Woodlan game in the second round.

Trine Gets Big Conference Win Over Albion

Saturday was a cool, crisp Autumn day up in Angola, Indiana, on the campus of Trine University. It was Homecoming weekend for the Thunder, as the Albion Britons came charging into town, looking to end Trine’s 2 game football winning streak.

Player of the Game Blaek Combs

As usually occurs right before kickoff, fireworks are set off to help get the crowd going. On this day, major fireworks went off right after kickoff, as just 2 minutes & 9 seconds into the game, the Thunder were sitting on a 14-0 lead.

Twenty-six seconds after the game got underway, senior quarterback Ryan Hargraves, who hails from Taylor, Michigan, made his way into the secondary on an option run over the left side, and he raced 83 yards to paydirt virtually untouched.

Then, when the Britons took over, Trine’s defense got into the act, as they forced a fumble, and another senior, defensive back Myron Puryear II, from Canton, Michigan, scooped up the loose pigskin over along the right sideline, and raced 79 yards for the Thunder’s second touchdown.

From there on out, it was a back and forth tussle, For the remainder of the first half, Trine would get a 4 yard touchdown scamper from Michael Inge, as well as a 32 yard field goal from Tyler Keck on the final play of quarter number 2, and the Thunder went to the lockerroom with a 24-12 lead.

But when Darrin Williams scored for Albion on a 10 yard run early in the fourth, the Trine lead was down to 2 at 24-22. Things were getting a bit antsy for the home team.

Discussing Strategy Late in the Game

The defense for the Thunder would then rise up and take over, keyed by an incredible game from junior defensive back Blaek Combs. Combs, from Rushville, Indiana, seemed to be everywhere, and seemed to be in on every tackle. It was appropriate that on the final play for the Britons, a desperation pass down near the Trine goal line, Combs would be there to pick it off, and seal the game for the Thunder. For his superb effort, Combs was our “Dekalb TV Player of the Game.”

With the victory, the Thunder now stand at 4-2 overall on the season, and more importantly, they sit at 2-0 in the MIAA Conference, going into a very tough road battle next Saturday at Adrian College. Game time is 4:00 pm.

Barons Looking For Third Win on Senior Night

Go Barons!

On Friday night, starting at 7:00 pm, the Dekalb Barons will be hosting the Bellmont Braves in varsity football action. The Barons will be looking for their 3rd win of the season on what is the traditional “senior night” celebration.

Dekalb is coming off of a hard fought defensive battle at Norwell last week. Dekalb held on with a great defensive stand in the final minutes, and won by the score of 7-6.

If you recall, earlier this season when the Barons defeated Garrett, it ended a 22 game losing streak. The win last week at Norwell ended another dubious streak for Dekalb. Before the victory over the Knights, the Barons had not won a road game since October 17th, 2008, when they defeated Carroll 21-7. Streak over.

The way the contest started last week, it looked like the Dekalb offense would have its way with the Knights. The Barons scored a touchdown on their first possession, the score coming on a 35 yard TD pass from Evan Cochran to Logan Schilling. Little did we realize at the time, that would be the final points of the evening after Landon Cochran converted the PAT.

Norwell would retaliate with a touchdown of their own early in the third quarter. But the Knights could not convert their extra point attempt.

Both teams would drive between the 20’s, but neither would mount a scoring threat until the final minutes. Norwell put together a nice drive, and had the ball 1st & goal at the Dekalb 7 with just under 3 minutes to play.

The Knight’s quarterback Piercen Harnish would roll out to his right and throw a TD pass to Cale Schumm. The Norwell crowd was in a tizzy as it looked as if the Knights might be in line for their first win of the season. But on the far side of the field, there was a little piece of “yellow laundry” sitting on the field. Illegal formation Norwell, 5 yard penalty, no TD.

After another motion penalty, the Knights ended up with fourth and goal from the 17. Harnish lined up under center, faked a handoff over the right side, and lofted a pass towards his tight end who was streaking toward the goal line. For a moment, he looked wide open. But seemingly out of nowhere, sophomore defensive back Chad Ramus cut in front of the receiver with a perfectly timed interception, and after a return to the 15 yard line, the Baron victory was virtually sealed.

Come on out to Cecil E. Young Field at Dekalb High School on Friday, and cheer the Barons on as they look to put another one in the “W” column.  Also, come out to salute all of the Dekalb seniors on their special night.

Big Win For the Buckeyes Over the Spartans

Is Another National Title Possible in the Next Few Years?

Up until this point in the college football season, I have been somewhat hesitant to post a story about my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes. Even though the hiring of one of the best college coaches in the country, Urban Meyer, was a great move to get OSU past the final season of the Jim Tressel tenure, I wanted to see a signature win before I began to “chat them up.”

Well, this past Saturday up in East Lansing, Michigan, Meyer & his Buckeyes certainly provided that, as they won a hard fought, physical battle with the Michigan State Spartans by the score of 17-16. It was a win against a tough opponent, on the Spartans home turf no less, that have people starting to say, that yes, the Buckeyes might be back.

OSU dominated at the line of scrimmage. That was in my mind, the key to the game. They held Columbus, Ohio native Le’Veon Bell, one of the nation’s leading rushers, to just 45 yards on 17 carries. His longest run was 8 yards, and more impressive, it was the first time since his freshman season that one of his carries did not result in a first down.

Once again, it was the Braxton Miller show on the offensive side of the ball, as the sophomore had over 300 yards of total offense. His 63 yard scoring strike to Devin Smith in the 3rd quarter gave OSU a 17-13 lead, and the defense would make it stand up the rest of the way.

After wins over Miami of Ohio, UCF, Cal, and UAB, the victory over the Spartans makes the 5-0 start a little more impressive. It doesn’t get any easier though, as Ohio State will come home to host the Nebraska Cornhuskers this Saturday. Nebraska came from 17 down on Saturday to get a win over Wisconsin.

Go Bucks! O-H-I-O!

Dekalb & Norwell Promises to be a Great Game

On Friday, the Dekalb Barons travel to Ossian, Indiana to play their NHC foe, the Norwell Knights. In my opinion, this is one of the premiere high school football games in the area on that evening.

Dekalb in Action Last Week

You look at the records, with the Barons being 1-5, and the Knights at 0-6, and you might say, how can that be?

I look at 2 factors that I think will loom quite large in the game. First, no matter what sport you play, you NEVER want to go through an entire schedule without a win. I’m sure Norwell, looking at their docket, probably figure that this is a game they have a chance to win. Their closest game to date has been an 8 point loss to Bellmont. Playing at home, they will be fighting tooth and nail to get a “W.” Secondly, from the Dekalb perspective, I’m sure that they want to prove that the “win” they had over Norwell last year was no fluke.

If you recall, when these 2 teams met up last year, both were 0-6, and both desperate for that elusive win. In cold, wet, windy, & blustery conditions, the Barons “won” 14-0, and a huge weight had been lifted from their backs.

Oops. A few days after that contest, it was announced that Dekalb had to forfeit the game due to use of an ineligible player. So the record books say that Norwell “won” the game. It was Norwell’s only “win” of the season. The Barons finished 0-10.

So for those 2 reasons alone, make the drive to Ossian on Friday, and watch one of the best match-ups in high school football in the NE Indiana area.