Indians make big plays late to beat Eagles

Posted on September 8, 2011 in Fall Sports, Football, Home

By Chuck Landis

MIER – Blake Carnall and other members of the Mississinewa football team will head to the barber shop for Mohawk haircuts, a reward for one of their biggest victories in many years.

Tied with rival Oak Hill with four minutes to play, the Indians scored twice on two big plays from Carnall and beat the host Golden Eagles 28-14 Friday evening for the first time since 1975.

“After (Oak Hill) scored, I went off by myself and decided that there was no way we were going to lose this game,” Carnall said. “We had come too far and put in too much work, and that was in my head the whole time.”

Carnall caught a swing pass from quarterback Hontz McCarty and avoided one defender to race off for a 71-yard touchdown with 3:39 to play. Oak Hill had just tied the game 14-all less than 30 seconds earlier after an eight-minute, 15-play drive.

On a humid evening where the game was delayed until 8 p.m., the Eagles seemingly had recovered after putting themselves in an early hole.

“We had the momentum when we tied up the game and we needed to keep riding it,” Oak Hill coach Bud Ozmun said. “And we gave it up on a simple play.

“Our guys did a good job of getting out of a hole, and then we gave it up,” he added.

On the Indians’ next possession, Carnall took an inside handoff and broke outside for a 67-yard scoring run with 1:34 remaining that put an exclamation point on the win. McCarty was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting during Carnall’s run.

Oak Hill had defeated Mississinewa five consecutive times since joining the Central Indiana Conference in 2006. Before that, the series had been dormant for 25 years.

The Eagles hold an 11-7-1 advantage in the all-time series.

“These kids have worked hard for this game and marked it on the calendar,” Indians coach Curt Funk said. “I’m proud of the kids and they stepped it up and made great plays.”

Mississinewa moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2008 and won its CIC opener. Oak Hill dropped to 1-2, 0-1 and left Ozmun searching for answers.

Ozmun said his team has as much ability as any CIC team but has been inconsistent in the early season. Against the Indians, the Eagles made a costly turnover and were hurt by inopportune penalties in and fell behind 14-0 at halftime.

“We were really out of synch and couldn’t find anything to work for us in the first half,” Ozmun said.

In the second half, the Eagles controlled the ball with their rushing attack. Alec Samuels scored on a 45-yard run with 1:37 left in the third quarter that cut Mississinewa’s lead to 14-7.

On their next series, the Eagles began to throttle a reeling Indians defense, holding onto the ball from the beginning of the fourth quarter until Kegan Anderson scored on a six-yard plunge with 4:01 to play.

Yet, it took the Indians exactly one play to regain the advantage. McCarty faked a quarterback draw that had been successful earlier in the game and found Carnaall with catch-and-run TD.

“Coach (Josh) Crick and coach (Tom) Gastino made that call,” Funk said. “Blake Carnall made a great play, and our two coaches made a great call.”

Mississinewa scored in the second quarter for its 14-0 lead on an Andrew Wilds fumble recovery in the end zone and Travis Durham TD catch from McCarty.


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