Players of the Week
Offense: Charlie Spegal, New Palestine
Spegal ran for 268 yards and four TDs in the Dragons’ 56-14 victory over New Castle. He moved into 22nd place all-time in IHSAA career rushing yards and 25th in scoring.
Defense: Tyler Gilland, Delta
The HHC’s interceptions leader, Gilland had two picks, as well as two more pass breakups, in the Eagles 45-14 win over Greenfield-Central.
Defense: Kyle King, New Palestine
King had 11 tackles, including four four loss, and three sacks in the Dragons’ 56-14 win over New Castle. He extended his HHC sacks lead with nine.
News and notes
The HHC title will be decided completely Friday night, as New Palestine hosts Delta. The Dragons are 6-0 in HHC play and have clinched at least a tie for their 10th HHC title. The Eagles, seven-time HHC champs, are 5-1.
Pendleton Heights and Mt. Vernon can both clinch third-place finishes with wins. If they win Friday and Delta falls, it will create a three-way tie for the runner-up spot in the conference. PH is at Shelbyville, while MV is at Yorktown.
With a victory Friday at Greenfield-Central, New Castle can clinch a winning record in back-to-back regular seasons for the first time since 1978-79, when the Trojans went 6-4 and 8-2.
The IHSAA tournament draw was held Sunday. Two HHC teams meet in the first round – as Shelbyville visits Mt. Vernon in 4A Sectional 22. New Castle (vs. Greenwood) also comptes in Sectional 22. Three HHC teams (Delta, Pendleton Heights, Yorktown) also compete in 4A Sectional 21. New Palestine and Greenfield-Central drew in opposite brackets in 5A Sectional 12.
Among notable performances last week, Rylan Cole ran for 216 yards and three TDs and Max Burhenn had 128 receiving yards in MV’s 62-7 win over Shelbyville. PH’s Christian Conkling threw for 187 yards and Yorktown’s Read Neal 237 in PH’s 35-14 win. Delta ran for 316 yards – led by Javaughn Whitfield’s 67 – in a 45-14 win over Greenfield-Central. The nation’s top rusher, Charlie Spegal ran for a season-high 268 yards and four TDs in NP’s 56-14 win over New Castle. Zach Neligh ran for 96 yards and threw for 104. Nicholas Grieser had 22 tackles and two picks for NC.
Week 9 schedule
Delta at New Palestine
The HHC championship will be decided at Kelso Stadium. NP has clinched at least a tie for its 10th HHC title, its sixth straight and the eighth in the last nine years. Delta is seeking its eighth title, but first since 2009. Both teams sport balanced, high-scoring offenses with a number of weapons, but the DLs have the HHC’s top two sackmasters in Kyle King and Nate Southerland.
Mt. Vernon at Yorktown
The Marauders are seeking to finish in third – or as high as second – with a win. MV has won three straight, with Rylan Cole rushing for 150+ in two of the three wins. Yorktown had a two-game win streak snapped last week despite Reid Neal’s third straight 200-yard passing game.
New Castle at Greenfield-C.
The Trojans are seeking to clinch their second straight regular season with a winning record, while G-C is seeking its first win. NC’s Nicholas Grieser had 22 tackles and a pick-6 last week. G-C freshman Gehrig Slunaker has thrown for 200+ yards in three of his last four starts. J.P. Fuchs had a 100-yard receiving game last week.
Pendleton Hts. at Shelbyville
PH is looking to clinch third place – and possibly as high as second – with a victory. The Arabians’ Christian Conkling threw for 187 yards last week, including 74 to Duke recruit Eli Pancol. Shelby has dropped three straight. Matthew Merritt has carried the bulk of the Golden Bears’ offense the last four weeks.