The HSE Royals Freshmen Football Team welcomed the Millers of Noblesville out on the Gridiron on Monday Night in an HCC and County rivalry that dates back many of years in history. The Boys in Blue would begin the game on defense as they won the toss and elected to receive the ball first in the second half. After a few first downs by the Millers to start the game off, penalties began to rack up and place the visitors deep behind the chains. The Noblesville quarterback would roll out to his left and try to find the receiver in the flat but Shane Gastineau would tip the ball back to himself for the interception. An illegal block in the back would prevent the Pick 6 and bring the ball back to the 35 yard line for the Royals offense to take the field for the first time. Both teams would trade penalties on the first several plays as Ty Bradle would find an open Patrick McGrath on a quick route in the alley to help force a 4th and 6 on the Millers 30 yard line but an interception would give the ball back to the visitors near midfield. The defense would do its part as Evan Sherrill and Gastineau would track the quarterback down in the alley for the sack to help force the punt. Pressure on the punt by the Royals would result in a 5 yard punt by the Millers and give the Royals good field position for the offense. Penalties would once again hurt the offensive momentum from getting going as Bradle was able to connect with Joe Karwowski for a short gain on the drive as the offense would need to punt the ball back to the Millers. The first quarter would come to an end knotted in an even tie at 0 – 0 as both teams would struggle to prove themselves on the offensive side of the ball.
The visitors would convert a few first downs and push the ball into Royals territory but penalties would halt the momentum of the drive and would soon have to punt the ball back to the home team. After a few solid runs by Charlie Baldwin to move the ball to near midfield, penalties and incomplete passes would result in a punt. Sherrill would come up big for the Special Teams with a game changing 50 yard punt and roll which pinned the Millers inside their own 10 yard line. Gastineau helped keep the Millers from moving anywhere with a tackle for loss and then on the next play Sherrill would force the quarterback into the endzone and pressured him into an intentional grounding penalty. The play resulted in a safety to give the Royals the lead 2 – 0, midway through the 2nd quarter. McGrath would help keep the momentum going with a big kickoff return down the right side to set the offense up at the Millers 30 yard line. Griffin Haas and Baldwin would ground and pound the ball down near the goal line as Baldwin took the pitch off the left side for the score. Zach Wagner, Bradle, and Elijah Slibeck would help take care of the PAT with snap, hold, and kick through the uprights. Sherrill helped the secondary coverage by forcing the quarterback to scramble around before he was able to corral him for the sack. The first half would end with the Royals heading to the locker rooms with a 9 – 0 lead.
The Royals would be on offense to begin the 2nd half but would be unable to convert a first down which would lead to a punt. David Nease helped the defense from giving up much ground as he split the Center and Guard for the tackle for loss on the running back in the backfield. The Front 7 would help force the punt with a key sack on 3rd and long as they were able to contain the quarterback from sneaking down the sideline. Cole Earlewine would make quick work on offense as he would scramble to his right and find Grant Barton deep down the sideline to inside the Millers 5 yard line. A few plays later, Earlewine would find space on the left side and sprint his way to the endzone for the score. Wagner, Bradle, and Slibeck would help convert the PAT kick and increase the lead in favor of HSE, 16 – 0 midway through the 3rd quarter. Gastineau would shine on defense on the Millers ensuing drive as he had 3 tackles for loss on the drive to induce the Millers to punt after moving the ball to near midfield. Nease broke free on the line of scrimmage and blocked the punt to give the offense great field position in Millers territory. The 3rd quarter would end with score remaining 16 – 0 with the Royals on top.
On the first play of the 4th quarter, Haas would take the handoff up in the middle for 30 yards for the score. Wagner, Bradle, and Slibeck would help convert the PAT kick and push the lead to 23 – 0 for the Boys in Blue. The defense would remain stingy as Sherrill and Nease would combine for another quarterback sack. A few plays, Earlewine would redeem himself after just missing an interception earlier on the drive with a Pick 6 of his own to help forget about the one he had slip through his fingers. Sean Gloeckner would get his turn at a PAT and split the uprights with help from Wagner and Bradle on the snap and hold. The Royals were now in command of the game with the score being 30 – 0 with 8 minutes left in the game. Gastineau was still giving the quarterback problems as he wrapped him up for another sack on a roll out attempt to make the Millers punt from their own endzone. Clayton Allen would get his turn from his OLB position to help switch over to the offensive side to carry the load at running back. Good hard running from Allen and Bradle swinging a quick pass out to Sam Forrest to move the ball down near the goal line. Allen would finish the drive with the goal line plunge for the score. Wagner, Bradle, and Gloeckner would complete a perfect day on PAT attempts to push the lead to 37 – 0 with the Royals out in front for good as the clock would wind down to all zeros.
The Royals will play host to the Flashes of Franklin Central this coming Saturday, October 12th at 10am for the opening kickoff in their final home game of the Freshmen Football Season.