Host East Central downed the Dragons 24-0 in the Class 4A Sectional 23 championship at a soggy Trojan Field.
Junior quarterback Alex Maxwell ran for 159 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Trojans (9-3) to their third straight sectional title. East Central, which is ranked No. 9 in the AP poll and No. 10 in the IFCA poll, will host Evansville Central (11-1) in the regional.
The Trojans out-gained Silver Creek (9-3) 352-73 in total offense and dominated time of possession (56:45 to 8:57).
“It seemed like we’d have a nice play there and then we’d get stopped for no gain, or a loss. We just couldn’t get it rolling tonight,” Dragons coach John Dablow said. “Our defense played phenomenal. If you read the score, it doesn’t seem like it, but the defense played phenomenal. We had our chances we just didn’t move the ball well enough and keep our defense off the field.”
Silver Creek’s defense had three takeaways, but the Dragons’ offense only had three first downs.
Still, things started off well for Silver Creek.
East Central’s Troy Teepe fumbled on the fourth play of the game and the Dragons recovered at the Trojans’ 48.
Three straight Jacob Garrett runs gave Silver Creek a fourth-and-1 at the East Central 39. The Dragons, however, elected to punt.
Afterward Dablow said he didn’t regret punting in that situation.
“A night like this we were going to play field position. We knew our defense is good and it’s early in the ballgame at that point, so no, I have no qualms about kicking right there,” Dablow said.
While Silver Creek’s defense did a good job of containing East Central standout running back Logan Storie. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior, who entered averaging 115 yards per game, was held to 93 yards — 52 of which came in the fourth quarter — on 18 carries.
The Dragons, however, had a harder time stopping Matthews. The Trojans faced a third-and-3 at their own 43 on their second possession, when Maxwell broke off a long touchdown run on a broken play. It began with a bad snap that Maxwell picked up off the ground. He then eluded a would-be tackler, got to the edge and sprinted 57 yards to the end zone.
It was all downhill for the Dragons after that.
East Central, which led 10-0 at halftime, with two long touchdown drives — nine plays and 11 plays — in the second half. Maxwell capped both with short TD runs.
Garrett had 13 carries for 26 yards to lead the Silver Creek rushing attack, which finished with 73 yards. The Dragons came in ranked eighth in 4A in rushing at 266 yards per game.
“It was a tough game. They’re definitely top in the state for sure,” Garrett said of East Central, “but I thought our guys put out a great effort. I’m really proud to be a Dragon.”
It was quite a season for the Dragons, who set a school-record for wins and advanced to their first sectional final.
“This is the best team I’ve ever played on,” Garrett said. “We exceeded all expectations this year, I think, and I’m just really proud.”
Dablow added: “Phenomenal [season], take away this game and a couple other ones. I’m not sure how many records were broken, but a lot — most wins, [the] defense played unbelievably well, a great senior class is going out, we made it to the sectional championship, just a great year for these guys. We hope to build on it for next year and years to come.”
CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 23
EAST CENTRAL 24, SILVER CREEK 0
Silver Creek 0 0 0 0 — 0
East Central 10 0 7 7 — 24
E — Alex Maxwell 57 run (Caden Browndyke kick), 6:00.
E — Browndyke 19-yard FG, 0:18.
E — Maxwell 3 run (Browndyke kick), 9:31.
E — Maxwell 4 run (Browndyke kick), 8:20.
Passing: Silver Creek — Josh Landers 0-3-0-0; East Central — Alex Maxwell 9-11-1-99.
Rushing: Silver Creek — Jacob Garrett 13-26, Jacob Graf 5-22, Landers 5-12; East Central — Maxwell 23-159, Logan Storie 18-93.
Receiving: East Central — Storie 2-37, Justin Brown 2-34, Jake Seiwert 3-19
~story provided by newsandtribune.com~