The HSE Royals Freshmen Football hosted the Flashes of Franklin Central on the gridiron this past Saturday morning for their final home game of the season. HSE would begin the game on defense just like we all started to feel the beginning of Fall weather with the game time temperature in the low 40s. The defense would get off to great start by forcing a turnover on downs near midfield with David Nease and Alex Boothby teaming up for the tackle for loss on 4th and 4 to give the offense good field position for their first series of the game. Ty Bradle connected with Owen Garvin and Joe Karwowski for passes down the left side to help move the chains inside the Red Zone of the Flashes. Charlie Baldwin and Griffin Haas handled things on the ground as both teams traded penalties which led to a Bradle plunge through the Offensive Line for the score. Zach Wagner, Bradle, and Sean Gloeckner would help take care of the PAT with the snap, hold, and kick through the uprights to get the scoring started for the Royals and take the lead, 7 – 0. Elijah Slibeck helped the defense by putting the kickoff in the end zone for the touchback and start the Flashes at the 20 yard line. Shane Gastineau set the edge on defense and wrapped up the running back for a tackle for loss on 2nd down while good coverage in the secondary forced an incomplete pass to force the Flashes to punt. Baldwin took the handoff off the left side for a big gain and move the ball inside the red zone of the Flashes. The first quarter would end with the score still remaining in the favor of the Royals, 7 – 0.
The offense would keep up the momentum created by the defense by continuing to move the ball with Bradle connecting again with Karwowski and later to Evan Sherrill in the end zone for the score. Wagner, Bradle, and Gloeckner once again handled the PAT to increase the Royals lead to 14 – 0. Slibeck dropped a high pooch kick right in front of the kick returner who lost a handle on the ball and “Johnny on the Spot” Mr. Haas would recover the ball just inside the 30 yard line to put the offense back out on the field. Bradle continued to make connections in the air with his receivers and this time getting Patrick McGrath involved along with another chain moving catch by Garvin as well. With the ball at the 5 yard line, Baldwin took the direct snap and lateraled the ball back to Cole Earlewine who would find Bradle in the end zone for the touchdown pass. Wagner, Bradle, and Gloeckner once again handled the PAT to increase the Royals lead to 21 – 0 midway through the second quarter. The defense would remain stingy with Haas coming around the edge for the tackle for loss and Earlewine nearly had an interception on 3rd down to help force the punt by the visitors. After a solid punt return from Earlewine, Bradle led Grant Barton down the sideline for the catch and tip toe tightrope work to remain in bounds to complete the catch for a 25 yard gain. A penalty would help halt the drive and force the Royals to punt with Sherrill pinning the Flashes offense deep inside their own 10 yard line. The first half would come to a close shortly thereafter with the score, 21 – 0 with the Royals going into the locker room on top.
The second half began with Franklin Central trying to find some momentum with an onside kick attempt to no avail as the Royals recovered the kick, safe and secure near midfield. The offense would be forced into a 3 and out as Earlewine was able to complete short 3rd down pass to Garvin but he was unable to convert the first down after the catch. Special Teams would once again prove their worth as Sherrill boomed the ball high in the air to allow for Garvin to pin the ball near the goal line and set the defense up with good field position. The Royals nearly had safeties on the Flashes first 2 plays of the drive, the Front 7 combined to swarm the running back at the line of scrimmage and on the next play Cooper Short filled his gap to stonewall the ballcarrier right at the goal line. A pass interference penalty on 3rd down helped the Flashes move the ball out away from their own goal line. Clayton Allen and Sherrill corralled the ball carrier for a tackle for loss which would help force the Flashes into punting the ball to the Royals around midfield. The offense was unable to convert a 1st down as they had a penalty on 4th and 1 to induce the Royals into a punting situation of their own. The 3rd quarter ended with the Royals on top 21 – 0.
The 4th quarter began with the Flashes putting together a few first downs before the Royals defense brought the drive to a turnover on downs with Allen shutting down the outside run for a tackle for loss and Earlewine knocked down the pass in the secondary on 4th down. On 3rd and long, Bradle sailed a ball deep down the sideline to allow for Barton to tip toe the sideline for the completion to help convert the first down. After a few runs by Earlewine, he would find the endzone after a quick cut to find an open running lane for the score. Wagner, Bradle and Slibeck would make it a perfect day on PATs as they would combine for a 4 for 4 effort on the day. The Royals would take a commanding lead, 28 – 0 midway through the final quarter of the game. The Flashes would put together a solid drive converting several first downs on the ground and in the air to move the ball down near the goal line of the Royals. The Boys in Blue on defense would show up and keep the Flashes out of the end zone to keep the Flashes off the scoreboard for the game as time expired with the score, 28 – 0.
The play of the game would come from Nolan Loggins who took the handoff off the right side for the score with the entire team celebrating the score with him in the end zone. The Royals will be on the road for their final game of the season as they will make the sunrise drive over to Brownsburg on Saturday, October 19th at 10 am to take on the Bulldogs to close out their 2019 season.