Sectional Championship Game
Delta (8-3) at Mount Vernon (Fortville) (10-1)
GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, Mount Vernon (Fortville) field.
COACHES: Grant Zgunda, 145-35 in 15th year at Delta, 182-47 in 20th year overall.
Doug Armstrong, 15-6 in 2nd year at Mount Vernon (Fortville), 67-62 in 12th year overall.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Mount Vernon (Fortville), 79.66, 29th overall, 5th in Class 4A.
Delta, 67.92, 67th overall, 15th in Class 4A.
LAST OUTING: Delta defeated Greenfield-Central, 28-3, Oct. 26.
Mount Vernon (Fortville) defeated Pendleton Heights, 54-34, Oct. 26.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Delta 54-62, Mount Vernon (Fortville) 54-61.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Delta, 12-6.
LAST MEETING: Mount Vernon (Fortville), 35-0, Oct. 5, 2012.Delta (6-3) at Frankfort (3-6)
2012 Season Schedule
|Aug. 17||at Jay County (4A)||7:00 pm||24-8||1-0|
|Aug. 24||at Ft. Wayne Carroll (5A)||7:30 pm||28-48||1-1|
|Aug. 31||Greenfield Central (4A) HCC||7:30 pm||48-8||2-1|
|Sept. 8||New Palestine (4A) at Lucas Oil Stadium||7:15 pm||21-6||3-1|
|Sept. 14||at Yorktown (3A) HCC ||7:30 pm||28-9||4-1|
|Sept. 21||Pendleton Heights (4A) HCC ||7:30 pm||14-24||4-2|
|Sept 28||at Rushville (3A) HCC||7:30 pm||31-8||5-2|
|Oct. 5||Mount Vernon (4A) HCC||7:30 pm||0-35||5-3|
|Oct. 12||Shelbyville (4A) HCC ||7:30 pm||42-25||6-3|
|Oct. 19||at Frankfort - Round 1 Sectionals||7:00 pm||20-0||7-3|
|Oct. 26||Greenfield Central - Round 2 Sectionals||7:00 pm||28-3||8-3|
|Nov. 2||at Mount Vernon - Sectional Championship||7:00 pm|
Delta defense shuts down Jay County
Patriots only TD comes off interception return
The Star Press - Muncie, Indiana
PORTLAND - Delta exploded for 50-plus points in each of its past three season openers against Jay County. The Eagles scored less than half that Friday night, but their defense ensured yet another victory in this one-sided series.
The Patriots scored the first touchdown of the game on a pick six, but their only points the rest of the game came on a botched Delta punt that resulted in a safety in the fourth quarter as the Eagles pulled away for a 24-8 victory.
"The defense didn't give up any points,"Delta coach Grant Zgunda said. "I thought the defense played pretty well... I just thought it was a great team effort on defense."
Delta scored four touchdowns, but its sophomore-laden offense turned the ball over twice on downs inside the Jay County 5-yard line and turned the ball over another two times on interceptions. The Eagles start six sophomores on offense and Zgunda admitted their youth showed at times Friday night.
"You're on the road and you win 24-8 and you didn't play great," Zgunda said, "but we're playing a lot of young kids and we'll take it."
The Eagles blew out Jay County by an average of 52 points per game over the last three seasons, although the Patriots technically won last year. Delta forfeited the game for playing an ineligible player.
The 2012 Patriots provided the Eagles a far sterner test than their predecessors and left Zgunda impressed by their improvement.
"They've got a lot of guys who've been starters for three or four years, "Zgunda said. "I think they're better. They were big. They ran a two tight-end set with two guys who were 6-(foot)-5, 250 (pounds)."
Delta falls to Carroll 48-28
The Star Press - Muncie, Indiana
Delta started the game in the worst possible way and never recovered in a 48-28 loss at Fort Wayne Carroll on Friday night.
recovered two Delta fumbles and returned both for touchdowns in the
first quarter. Carroll tacked on another touchdown to take a 21-0 lead
in the opening 12 minutes, despite totaling only 36 yards of offense.
really killed us," Delta coach Grant Zgunda said of the two
fumble-return touchdowns. "You can't do that against a good team."
Carroll took a 35-0 lead into halftime and scored another 13 points in the third quarter before easing up on the Eagles.
The Eagles finally ended their scoring drough in the third quarter on a Bryce Dishman touchdown run.
(1-1) scored 21 of its 28 points in the fourth quarter. Joseph Spegal
ignited the fourth-quarter scoring with an 80-yard touchdown run. Colin
McCaslin and Cade Jones each threw a touchdown pass for the final two
"We made a lot of mistakes tonight. Our youth showed," Zgunda said. "... They were clearly the better team."
Delta Routs Greenfield Central
The Star Press - Muncie, Indiana
MUNCIE — Delta scored on its fourth offensive play Friday against Greenfield-Central. The Eagles didn’t slow down for the rest of the first half in their home opener en route to a big win.
Delta (2-1) gained more than 20 yards per offensive play in the first half, jumping out to a 33-point halftime lead in what turned into a 48-8 victory over the Cougars (1-2.)
“We just wanted to play well, we just wanted to execute and be more physical on both sides of the ball,” Delta coach Grant Zgunda said. “I thought we did that. I told the players after the game, ‘I saw some lightbulbs going off all week long.’ ”
The Eagles used their typical three-back scheme and spread out carries among all three of their principle running backs. Fullback Joe Spegal was their leading gainer, going for 149 yards and one touchdown on eight carries. Mason Bechdolt (77 yards) and Bryce Dishman (53 yards) each had two rushing touchdowns.
“That’s the nature of our offense, there’s basically five guys that can get the ball on any given play,” Zgunda said. “When it all works well, it looks like it did tonight. And Cade (Jones) threw the ball when we did throw, which wasn’t much, and the receivers caught it, ran good routes.”
Delta led 21-0 with 4:11 remaining in the first quarter. The Eagles needed just seven offensive plays to score the three touchdowns.
Greenfield-Central then executed a touchdown drive of more than 10 minutes to cut its deficit to 21-8. The Cougars then recovered an onside kick and had a chance to get within one score. But Alex Fuatavai picked off a pass on the next play, and Delta needed two more plays to go ahead 28-8.
Fuatavai had two interceptions for the game, and Delta also recovered two Greenfield-Central fumbles to generate a total of four turnovers. The Eagles also forced five punts. Greenfield-Central was limited to 112 yards of total offense and only 18 yards rushing.
The Eagles passed the ball 10 times for the game. Jones, the starting quarterback, was 4-for-6 with 71 yards and two passing touchdowns. One of his touchdowns went to Jalen Robinson, the other to Ryan Bickford.
The Eagles simplified their playbook this week after a 48-28 loss to Fort Wayne Carroll last week. Zgunda said he was uncertain if the system change was directly related to his team’s improved result. The Eagles are young, with a sophomore-heavy lineup, so their play just varies from week-to-week, Zgunda said.
Friday’s game was the Eagles’ conference opener. Their next game is at 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 8 at Lucas Oil Stadium against conference foe New Palestine.
Delta Defeats New Palestine
The Star Press - Muncie, Indiana
The Delta offensive line followed with a similar performance, pushing around
New Palestine, in a 21-6 victory.
The Eagles, too, set the tone on their opening drive. Delta ran about 9:30
off the clock before Joe Spegal capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown.
Delta (3-1, 2-0 HHC) rushed for 176 total yards on a whopping 46 carries.
Spegal gained 125 of those yards on 25 attempts.
“It was kind of a ball-control game,” Delta coach Grant Zgunda said. “It was
a quick game.”
The Eagles moved the ball effectively through the air, too. Cade Jones
completed 7-of-12 passes for 127 yards. Jalen Robinson hauled in five of his
completions for 99 yards and a touchdown.
“He had a huge night,” Zgunda said of Robinson. “He’s really kind of stepped
into his own this year, doing a great job for us, and I think Cade’s doing a
good job for us as well.”
The Delta defense held New Palestine (1-3, 0-2) to only 99 yards rushing on
34 attempts and 199 total yards of offense.
“The defense did a great job,” Zgunda said. “To hold their team to 99 yards
rushing was big.”
DELTA WINS 28-9 AGAINST YORKTOWN
The Star Press - Muncie, Indiana
YORKTOWN — Yorktown was able to generate offensive yards Friday against Delta. Generating points was another matter.
The Eagles (4-1, 3-0 Hoosier Heritage Conference) used turnovers to keep the rival Tigers (2-3, 1-2) out of the end zone until the fourth quarter, picking up a 28-9 win over Yorktown on the road. The Tigers threw three interceptions and also lost a fumble, and the Eagles were able to take advantage.
“We couldn’t finish drives, it’s just tough to win a football game, I feel like,” Yorktown coach Mike Wilhelm said. “It was a competitive game, but you have those mishaps by us and it doesn’t seem like a competitive game. So it’s just one of those things where we have to be more consistent against good teams like Delta and some of the other teams in our conference.”
Delta took a 21-3 lead with 46.5 seconds left in the first half after a Bryce Dishman touchdown run. Despite the time constraints, Yorktown was able to drive the ball to the Delta 6-yard line. The Tigers had an opportunity to score, and they were also prepared to receive the opening kickoff.
The Eagles’ Trey Bland intercepted a pass in the end zone to end the scoring chance, though, and Delta forced a punt on the opening drive of the second half. They spent the rest of the second half maintaining that lead.
Delta coach Grant Zgunda credited his team’s rush defense as crucial to the Eagles’ defensive success. Delta held Yorktown to 69 rushing yards on 28 carries.
“That’s always what we want to take away first,” Zgunda said. “We believe that you’ve got to run the ball and stop the run to win high school football games. And that’s what we tried to do tonight.”
Joe Spegal led the Delta rushing attack, running for 138 yards on 24 carries. Bryce Dishman had two rushing touchdowns for the Eagles, running the ball eight times for 58 yards. Quarterback Cade Jones had the third Eagles’ rushing touchdown.
Given the Eagle lead and injuries at receiver to Jalen Robinson and Ryan Bickford, Jones wasn’t asked to pass much. When he did, he was efficient. The sophomore completed seven of eight passes for 135 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Cox saw playing time after the injuries and caught three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. Robinson had two catches for 62 yards before getting hurt.
“Cade made the throws when he needed to, and our receivers definitely stepped up,” defensive lineman Austin Conway said. “When we had Jalen go down, Kyle Cox stepped up and filled his shoes.”
Yorktown threw the ball for 218 yards, 214 of them coming from Riley Neal. Neal was 19-of-33 with a touchdown and three interceptions. Riley Miller was Yorktown’s leading receiver with three catches for 63 yards. The Tigers threw the ball a total of 36 times. Chandler Carroll ran the ball 19 times for 75 yards.
“We’re a better team when we can mix it up 50-50 or 60-40 run-pass,” Wilhelm said. “We didn’t really have a chance to do that in the second half because we were down.”
Weather problems affect Friday high school football
Delta plays Pendleton Heights hours after planned start
The Star Press - Muncie, Indiana
For the second time in 15 days, Mother Nature objected to Friday
night high school football in East Central Indiana. Inclement weather
wreaked havoc on the slate of games.Delta
and Pendleton Heights were the only schools to brave the weather and
complete a game. Pendleton Heights defeated the Eagles 24-14 in a game
that ended at approximately 12:10 a.m.
Delta overwhelmed in loss to Mt. Vernon
The Marauders beat the Eagles 35-0 to win the HHC title
MUNCIE — As soon as the postgame speech came to a close in the cold and rain Friday night, the members of the Delta football team broke for their locker room. Besides getting out of the elements, the quick escape offered one other bonus for the Eagles players.Spegal's power keys Delta blowout win
They were gone before the cheer went up from the other sideline; Mt. Vernon’s players celebrating a Hoosier Heritage Conference championship earned as the Eagles’ title hopes disappeared.
Delta came out on the wrong end of a 35-0 score at home Friday in what amounted to a conference championship game. It was the sort of loss that leaves a team looking back, scrutinizing the many miscues along the way.
“When we need to make plays like that, we just haven’t made them at times,” Delta coach Grant Zgunda said. “That’s the way it is. That’s the game of football.”
In conditions Eagle running back Bryce Dishman simply called miserable, Delta fumbled nine times, losing two, and dropped at least four passes that could have extended drives. The drops didn’t include several backward passes that misfired and resulted in large losses.
But the most crucial mishandled ball came early in the second half. The 4A No. 8 Marauders (7-1 overall, 6-0 HHC) led 14-0, but Delta (5-2, 4-2) had driven to the Mt. Vernon 1-yard line after a fumble recovery. On first and goal, Eagle quarterback Cade Jones lost the ball on a sneak when he tried to push forward after initially getting stopped.
That all but killed any push the hosts had.
“Momentum was definitely a big swing there,” Dishman said. “We definitely had a score right there that could have been a big momentum change.”
Four plays later, Marauder wingback Tyler Dicks broke outside for an 85-yard touchdown run.
The running game keyed Mt. Vernon as it ground out drives in the first half, producing short scoring runs from Dicks and fullback Andy Spears in the first and second quarter. The big plays came in the second half. The Marauders finished with 407 rushing yards and five scores. Their only pass attempt was wiped out by a penalty.
The Eagles managed only 130 yards of total offense and averaged only 2.6 yards per play.
The conference title is Mt. Vernon’s first since 2003, also the last season it beat Delta.
Eagles smother Shelbyville 42-25 in the first half
MUNCIE — Weightlifting records usually belong to offensive lineman incapable of busting 60-yard, ankle-breaking runs up the sideline.
With a school-record, 600-pound squat, Delta sophomore running back Joe Spegal showed Shelbyville a rare combination of power and finesse in his team’s 42-25 win Friday.
“He’s powerful for how big he is,” coach Grant Zgunda said. “He doesn’t dance around a lot, but for some reason he makes guys miss. When you get him out in the open field, he’s a problem.”
Off-tackle runs of 60, 30 and 19 yards provided the bulk of Spegal’s 142-yard, three-touchdown performance. Two of those were shifty runs highlighted by Spegal faking isolated Shelbyville defenders to the ground.
“Those guys (on the left side) did their job and blocked well,” Spegal said. “(In the open field) I just juke people and go.”
The most punishing of Spegal’s 17 attempts came near the goal line where the 5-foot-9, 175-pound back-turned-bruiser broke three tackles before walking into the end zone for a fourth quarter touchdown.
For the entire first half, it looked like Spegal and the rest of the Eagles early lead would be more than enough.
Shelbyville didn’t gain a first down in the opening half and finished with minus-6 yards of total offense.
“Our defense is what we rally around,” Zgunda said. “We’ve got good team speed on defense and they like to hit.”
Most of the hitting was reserved for the Golden Bears’ junior quarterback Jake Laker.
Coming off a career-high 259 yards and five touchdowns rushing against Yorktown last week, Laker struggled mightily throwing and running Friday.
Three of his first five passes were interepted and Laker had eight rushes for minus-25 yards in the first half. He finished 8-for-19 for 88 yards and three touchdowns, but had five interceptions and three fumbles.
“We keyed on him,” Zgunda said. “People that haven’t seen that kid play don’t realize what we actually did tonight. We stopped a phenomenal athlete. We wanted to make sure we shut him down.”
Shelbyville trimmed the lead to 28-18 in the fourth quarter before a Spegal touchdown, and and Alex Fuatavai interception for a touchdwon effectively sealed the win for Delta.
“Our players aren’t really happy with the way we played the last couple weeks,” Zgunda said. “I thought they were hungry to come out and get a win, and they did that.”
After losing its chance at a Hoosier Heritage Conference title, Delta finished the season 6-3 and a share of second place in conference standings. Shelbyville fell to 4-5 overall with the loss.
For the second consecutive season, Delta plays Frankfort in its sectional. The Eagles won 62-0 last season, but Zgunda said last year’s Franfort team is much better this season.
“Going into the tournament, you want to have some momenutm of some kind,” Zgunda said. “Getting a win and playing better than you’ve played (lately) gives us that.”
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