The varsity football team provided a fantastic effort, but dropped their first CIC game of the year to Eastbrook last night by a score of 21-0. The defense played very well considering the speed of the Panthers who are now 7-1. The offense moved the ball but just couldn’t quite find the end zone in the loss.
The Bruins (6-2) moved the ball and burned five minutes on the opening drive getting just into Panther territory before punting. Eastbrook started their first drive from their own 30 after a short punt. The Panthers methodically drove the ball 70 yards in just over three minutes to take the lead on Mason Hale’s 1-yard keeper. After the PAT, the Panthers led 7-0.
The Bruins next drive showed all that Coach Sehy had the utmost confidence in his offense as the Bruin went for it on their own 31 yard line and fourth and very short. Melvin Hernandez picked up the first down with a powerful short run. Minutes later the drive stalled and the Bruins punted. Eastbrook would start their next drive at the their own 37. Just seconds into the second quarter, Eastbrook quarterback Mason Hale hit Clay Dalton for a 28-yard TD strike putting the Panthers up two scores early and seemingly taking over the game. But the Bruins would battle the rest of the way to make for a great game to watch.
The Bruins would drive 59 yards to the Eastbrook 21 until a snap issue on a field goal attempt didn’t allow kicker Bode Malott to even make an attempt. The Bruins defense would respond and forced the Panthers into a fourth and two. Eastbrook Coach Jeff Adamson decided on a fake punt that the Bruins sniffed out brilliantly to thwart the attempt and give the Bruins great field position at the Eastbrook 44 with 4:44 to play in the half.
The Bruins would get just inside the Panthers 15 yard line but turned the ball over on downs. The Bruins did have a chance on a first down pass play but a connection failed that may have resulted in a Bruin score or opportunity to get within the five. An unfortunate occurrence on fourth down in which the Bruins seemed confused at the snap (several players did not get out of their stances) ended up in a 5 yard loss and turned the ball back over to the Panthers late. The Bruins trailed 14-0 at the break.
Eastbrook started the second half as they did the game by driving quickly for a score to make it 21-0. The Bruins, thanks to a penalty, had the Panthers at fourth and 19, but the Panthers opted to go for it from the Bruins 31 and a scramble off a broken pass play resulted in a first down to keep the drive alive. Eastbrook scored on Eddie Keasling’s 2-yard run with 9:29 to go in the 3rd.
From there on it became a defensive struggle. The Bruins did have an opportunity late when Austen Lancaster made a nice run to near the 30 yard line but the drive eventually stalled.
The Bruins were out gained on the night 301-192. The Bruins rushed 50 times for 154 yards. Caleb Mealy completed three of nine passes for 38 yards.
Despite the loss, the Bruin fans left satisfied with the effort of their team as did Coach Randy Sehy. “The guys fought hard all night. We played well on both sides of the ball but struggled to finish offensive drives and gave up a couple of big plays defensively, which proved to be the difference in the game,” Sehy stated after the game. He added, “Still, we saw many good things and I am very proud of their effort. I enjoy watching these guys play football.”
The Bruins fall into a second place tie in the CIC at 5-1 with Eastbrook. Mississinewa (8-0) leads the CIC with a 6-0 record. The Bruins head to Ole Miss next Friday with a chance to create a three-way tie for the conference title. If the Bruins can upset the favored Indians, the Bruins would earn at least a piece of the title for the first time since 1983. Game time is set for 7pm.
Individual Offensive Stat Leaders:
Isaac Justice: 16 carries for 61 yards
Jacob Deavers: 7 carries for 39 yards; 1 catch for 13 yards
Austen Lancaster: 5 carries for 35 yards
Shane Elam: 9 carries for 28 yards
Melvin Hernandez: 7 carries for 11 yards; 1 catch for 6 yards
Caleb Mealy: 1 carry for -6 yards; 3-9 passing for 38 yards
Dalton Willmann: 1 catch for 19 yards
Individual Defensive Stat Leaders:
Isaac Justice: 8 solos, 4 assists
Melvin Hernandez: 7 solos, 3 assists
Jackson Bell: 5 solos, 2 assists
Joseph Payne: 3 solos, 5 assists
Shane Elam: 4 solos, 1 assist
Terrence Wilson: 1 solo, 4 assists
Eastbrook 1Q, Mason Hale 1 run (Zane Shilts kick), 0-7
Eastbrook 2Q, Mason Hale 28 pass Clay Dalton for 28 yards (Zane Shilts kick), 0-14
Eastbrook 3Q, Eddie Keasling 2run (Zane Shilts kick), 0-21