The 2019 Mudsock Rivalry was renewed on the Gridiron as the HSE Royals traveled down 126th Street to take a right on Promise Road to venture into Tiger Territory as they took on the Fishers High School Tigers for their annual Freshmen football game. The game began with the mindset of a backyard football game as there were only 2 referees available on Saturday morning to oversee the game so penalty flags would be at a premium. The Royals would receive the opening kickoff but were unable to move the chains and would be forced to punt. Ty Bradle completed a short pass to Patrick McGrath on the series. The defense would show their worth as they got the stop with Quinn Skulski breaking up a pass in the flat and Cole Earlewine intercepting the deep pass down the middle for the turnover. The HSE offense would again find difficulties in putting first downs together and a punt would result. HSE held strong on the defensive side with Earlewine getting a tackle for loss and Owen Garvin knocking down the ball on a deep pass attempt on 4th down to allow the offense to get the ball back. Clayton Wilke found some running room and blasted through for a big 50 plus yard run up the middle. The first quarter would end scoreless for both teams.
The Royals Offense was in business as Charlie Baldwin ran for another first down inside the Tigers red zone. Unfortunate penalties for the Royals and penalty no calls led to the offense turning the ball over on downs deep in Tiger territory. After a quick 3 and out, the visitors would take advantage of a short punt to get things going on offense. On the ground, Griffin Haas and Wilke, ran hard to get the ball down to goal line on the drive with Wilke finishing it off for the score. Zack Wagner, Bradle, and Sean Gloeckner would take care of the snap, hold, and kick for the PAT to put the Royals in the lead 7 – 0 midway through the 2nd quarter. Each team would trade 3 and outs as the home team would put a solid drive together to move the ball into the Royals red zone. The Blue defense would hold strong on 4th down with one last play before halftime to keep the home team scoreless in the first half as the Royals led 7 – 0.
The home team would start the 2nd half with a scoring drive but were unable to execute the PAT as McGrath and Baldwin would force pressure off the edge to prevent any further damage and keep the score in the Royals favor, 7 – 6. The visitors would respond with a drive of their own with Wilke and Earlewine leading the charge on the ground and Bradle connected with McGrath in the air to move the chains down near the Tigers goal line as the 3rd quarter would come to an end.
Bradle would roll out to find Grant Barton in the end zone for the touchdown pass to start the 4th quarter on a big 4th down play to put the Royals in the lead 14 – 6 after Wagner, Bradle, and Gloeckner made good on the PAT kick. On the ensuing drive for the home team, McGrath would intercept a deep pass down the middle for a big HSE turnover. After putting a few first downs together, the Boys in Blue punted the ball away back to the Tigers. The Blue defense would force a turnover on downs as Fishers would be unable to complete 3 pass attempts and just a short run in failing to convert the first down. The HSE offense would burn the clock and force Fishers to use all of their remaining timeouts but were unable to convert on 4th down and gave the ball back to Fishers with 1 minute and 30 seconds remaining in the contest. Peyton Daniels would intercept the pass on the next play and nearly take it back for the score but the pick would seal the game as the offense would take a few knees in Victory Formation to close things out. As always, the Mudsock game was exciting and great to be a part of for all involved. Both schools appreciate the efforts of the officials who were understaffed on the morning but I think enjoyed being a part of the Mudsock fun. No bleachers were destroyed in the writing of this postgame recap…
The HSE Freshmen Football Royals will play host to the Shamrocks of Westfield as old junior high Hamilton County rivals are once again renewed under the lights on the high school gridiron on Monday, September 23rd at 6pm.