On a warm and sunny Monday evening, the HSE Royals Freshman Football Team played host to the Avon Orioles who made the trip across the west side of Indianapolis to begin conference play for both teams in the HCC. Elijah Slibeck would start the game off with a deep kickoff which led to the Orioles being forced to begin their first offensive drive inside their own 5 yard line. Two plays later, Chugga Rosario would intercept an Avon pass and return the ball for the score. The PAT would be no good and the Royals led 6 – 0 early in the 1st quarter. Slibeck would once again send the ball deep and get the touchback for the Royals kickoff team. The defense would force the punt as Dominic Burgett, Charlie Baldwin, and Griffin Haas would team up for a tackle for loss on the series. The offense would struggle to move the chains and turn the ball over on downs. The Royals defense would force the punt with David Nease coming up big with a tackle for loss and a sack on the drive. The offense came up just short on a 4th and 5 play inside the red zone of the Orioles. The first quarter would come to a closure with the Royals leading by a score of 6 – 0.
The visitors would begin the 2nd quarter with the ball but were forced to punt as Evan Sherrill would lead the charge with a tackle for loss during the series. Ty Bradle would move the chains in the air as he found Grant Barton and John McCoy to move the ball into Orioles territory. The Orioles Defense would help their offense out by getting the strip sack and scoop the ball up and return it for a touchdown. Peyton Daniels would intercept the pass on the two point conversion to keep the score tied at 6 – 6 midway through the second quarter. After an Orioles interception, the HSE defense would get the stop on a 4th and long, the defensive front 7 and Nease would both get tackles for loss to help end the drive. Cole Earlewine would convert a crucial 3rd down pass to Patrick McGrath for the first down and then scramble 60 yards down the field to the Orioles goal line. Earlewine would follow Clayton Wilke who got a 2 for 1 block to help spring a running lane for the score. Zack Wagner, Bradle, and Sean Gloeckner would convert the snap, hold and kick for the PAT to bring the score to 13 – 6 in favor of HSE. Slibeck would put the kickoff in the endzone for the touchback. The first half would come to an end with the score still 13 – 6.
Luke Murphy would secure the onside kick attempt by the Orioles to allow the offense to get on the field to start the second half. The offense would be forced to punt and Sherrill’s punt pinned the Orioles inside their own 20 yard line. Baldwin would step in front of an Avon pass to intercept the ball and return inside the 10 yard line in Oriole territory. Earlewine would convert the QB sneak for the score and Wagner, Bradle, and Gloeckner would help convert the PAT to push the Royals lead to 20 – 6. On the next Avon drive, Haas intercepted the ball after good pressure by the defensive line to force the errant pass. The Orioles defense would return the favor as they would make an impressive interception of their own near the sideline to get the ball back to their offense. A stingy Royals defense along with Sherrill making a drive changing sack on the quarterback helped cause the visitors to punt the ball away. The HSE offense were unable to put points on the board after a solid drive aided by an Avon penalty to help the drive along and turned the ball over on downs. Nease took over on the next Avon drive by making two tackles for loss to help force the turnover on downs. The 3rd quarter came to a close with the score in favor of HSE, 20 – 6.
The Royals just missed a deep pass for a score on 4th down which resulted in the ball going back to the Orioles to start the 4th quarter. Haas and Sherrill teamed up for a tackle for loss while Daniels missed a near interception and made a big pass break up on the drive but the Orioles converted a 4th and long to keep the drive going. Later in the drive, Haas, Sherrill, and Murphy banded together for the quarterback sack. Forcing the Orioles into a 4th and long, the Royals defense would take advantage of an errant snap as Sherrill recovered the loose ball in Oriole territory. Earlewine would put the Royals up for good as he scampered across the field for the score. Wagner, Bradle, and Gloeckner helped take care of the PAT. The game would end 27 – 6 in favor of the home team to earn a big win in the always tough HCC.
The Royals will be on the road this Saturday, September 14th at 10am, as they begin their story of the Mudsock Rivalry versus Fishers High School.
The HSE Royals Football Team would like to extend our well wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery to Aiden “Tank” Davis of the Avon Orioles, as we all hope to see you on the field again soon. The Royals coaching staff were very impressed by your level of play and look forward to seeing you lace up your cleats on Friday night next year. We are all one big football family and we wish our young football brother from another team all of the best in the days to come.