The football series between Center Grove and Whiteland concluded Friday night after seven seasons and a total of 319 points scored.
All but 26 were produced by the Trojans.
Center Grove’s 41-0 victory was the fourth time it held the Warriors scoreless since 2011. As a result, the Warriors are 0-2 for only the fourth time since Darrin Fisher took over as head coach in 2005.
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Freshman Carson Steele rushed 14 times for 158 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Trojans’ offensive output. Overall, the Trojans’ wing-T incorporated 10 different ball carriers for a sum of 306 yards.
Meanwhile, junior quarterback Jackson Moore completed 5 of 7 pass attempts for 128 yards.
So much for looking ahead to next week’s game at Carmel in what will be a rematch of last season’s Class 6A state championship game.
“It just feels great to get a victory at home,” Center Grove senior defensive lineman Austin Daming said. “It’s a big night for us, and hopefully we can build off this. Our mentality is one game at a time. Whiteland was this week, and next week we’ve got Carmel. That will be our mentality.”
Warriors running back Ryan Hammond ran for 80 yards on 14 carries to lead his team. Whiteland managed 146 total yards of offense — all on the ground — as it gained no yardage on seven pass attempts.
The schools likely won’t meet again on the gridiron until Whiteland experiences enough growth to become a Class 6A program and be in the same sectional as Center Grove.
“I give Whiteland credit for coming out and playing hard. It’s a great group of coaches and kids at Whiteland. I wish them the best the rest of the year,” Center Grove coach Eric Moore said.
“As far as we’re concerned, we got our first victory of the season, and now it’s time to roll. We’ve got some incredible opponents the next four or five weeks, so we’ve got to be physically and mentally in tune and ready to play football.”
Steele rushed for 78 of his yards to lead Center Grove to a 20-0 halftime lead. Junior Sam Hohlt tested the right side for a 2-yard touchdown run late in the second period to conclude the first-half scoring.
The Trojans’ final point before intermission was set up by an interception by senior lineman Brad Boswell at the Warriors’ 34. In the second half, junior Cam Petty (eight carries, 51 yards) scored on a 2-yard run of his own.
“I thought our running backs ran the ball hard and that our offensive line did a good job again,” coach Moore said. “Our defense hung in there and got a shutout. They bent a little bit, but didn’t break. I’m just proud of their physicality.”
Whiteland attempts to get in the win column next week when it hosts Mid-State Conference rival Decatur Central.