Dandy Dozen - 12 Takeaways from the Semi state games
1. Most Impressive Looking Team - Zionsville
Wow, what a team! As much as we have talked about the Roncalli offensive line, I think the Zionsville one is even better. ZV has 6-6, 290lb Notre Dame recruit Joey Tanona. Roncalli doesnt. The Eagles also have 6-6, 275lb Joe Cannady, 6-2, 275lb Santiago Aguilar and 6-3, 250lb Joe Williams. They are rugged tough and trampled the Michigan City defensive line into submission. The Eagles have fast, great looking athletes all over the field. Scott Turnquist, along with the help of former ZV HC Larry McWhorter, have done a tremendous job with this program both in The HCC and in he post season tournament. And they have great looking uniforms to boot. The road whites with the silver helmets are spectacular.
2. Most Overmatched Team - Michigan City
The Wolves just didn't look like they belonged in a semi state game of this magnitude. Phil Mason found out that hanging close with the DAC heavyweights is not the same as taking on Indys finest.
3. Cinderella Team - Northridge
The Raiders went 5-4 and finished 5th in the NLC, and got beat with running clocks in their last two games of the regular season? Is 4A North really weak or is Northridge a miracle team? The Raiders have beaten Northwood, Columbia City, Leo, Mississinewa and New Prairie to reach the title game, the first in school history. Congratulations to Coach Chad Eppley and his staff, who are in their first year at the school. The Raiders will be heavy underdogs to Mt Vernon in the 4A championship game? Can they finish off the miracle post season?
4. Mr Clutch - Laban Davis / Eastside
Andrean was rolling, on its way to a 17-0 win over unbeaten Eastside when SR QB Laban Davis put the Blazers on his back and carried his team on a great comeback ride. EHS scored 2 late TDs to close the gap to 17-14 but fell just short, as the Fighting 59ers of Broadway in Merrillville held on for the win. Davis is a great leader and should be a Mr Football candidate.
5. Speaking of Merrillville, the era of 6A football at MHS may have come to a merciful end last night, as Westfield pounded the Proud Pirates 48-19, ending their dream season with an ear shattering thud. Enrollment is declining at MHS, and the program will likely drop to 5A in the next reclassification. The Pirates last won a big school state championship in 1976 under Hall of Fame Coach Ken Haupt, but its just not meant to be for this current bunch. The Pirates will be a nightmare for many schools in 5A, but the Indy blockade remains and will only get stiffer as the metro continues to outpace growth in other areas of the state.
6. Congratulations to Coach Andrew Totheroh and his Tri Titans, who made it all the way to the South Semi State before being led to a Lutheran Slaughter house on Friday night . Last nights game reminded me once again why there should be no private schools in Class 1A. If it needs to be explained in further detail, then you are just not paying attention.
7. I was flipping through all the games on the tremendous IHSAA $15 package last night, and I checked in on Center Grove and Ben Davis, with the Trojans holding a 10-6 lead in the 2nd quarter. 20 minutes later, I checked again and it was 38-6 Center Grove. My first reaction was to feel badly for the Giants. The Great Ben Davis Era is now officially over. The Giants, once chased by every school in Indiana, are now just another program left in the dust by Center Grove. Hard to fathom, hard to watch.
8. Was listening to the Bob Lovell Show late last night, and regular guest Paul Condry of Regional Sports Radio Network raised the possibility of a 6 game southern sweep in the finals next week. The collective psyche of northern 5A and 6A football took a big hit last night. A 6 game southern sweep certainly wouldn't help the overall outlook of the rest of the classes.
9. Vince Lidy's Mt Vernon Marauders saved the IHSAA from the possibility of seeing a 5 class private school sweep in 1A thru 5A when they took out Evansville Memorial 42-28 in the 4A south semi state. MV is a scoring machine and they outdueled the bigger and stronger Tigers, finally shutting down Memorial in the second half. Coach Lidy should get some consideration in the Coach of the Year balloting. MV has come out of the enormous shadows of New Palestine and Roncalli and become a force of its own.
10. Andrew Smith, who does New Pal play by play along with a host of other media related activities said last night on the Lovell Show that he sees a possible upset brewing in either of the 5A or 6A championship games. Zionsville and Westfield are both playing at a very high level right now. Cathedral and Center Grove might have been lulled to sleep due to a lack of good post season competition. The Eagles and Rocks will be coming in with a razor sharp edge. Should be fun to watch.
11. Brebeuf handed Mishawaka Marian its 5th consecutive semi state loss. The Knights last played for a state championship in 1976. The Braves are a mystery, as they fly below the radar and were not expected to get past West Lafayette and make it out of the sectional. We would love to hear from Coach Geske this week.
12. Tri West and Gibson Southern should be a terrific matchup this afternoon in the 3A South semi state. The Bruins have one of the most active, aggressive defensive lines in football, and the Titans will counter with strong armed thrower Brady Allen. Should be a tight game and could go either way.