After Rushville scored its first touchdown with 23 seconds left in the first half to pull within 15, Indian Creek football coach Mike Gillin had a couple of options.
The Braves could play safe with a run or take a knee. Or they could take a shot down the field. They opted for the latter.
Indian Creek needed just two plays and 17 seconds to score the final points of the game as the second half became a scoreless defensive struggle, taking a 28-6 victory against the visiting Lions on Friday night in an opening-round Class 3A sectional game.
“That big play right before halftime, I thought, that put us up three scores, was really icing on the cake,” Gillin said. “That took care of it.”
Gillin said he would have taken the conservative approach had Indian Creek (8-2) not received the ball at midfield.
Instead, after Rushville (1-9) scored, the Braves
returned the kick to their 46-yard line.
“Once we got it there, what could it have hurt?” Gillin said.
So senior quarterback Matthew Wray tossed a lateral pass to junior Brenden Smith, who then threw 38 yards down the field to a wide-open Cory Utecht.
Wray threw an eight-yard touchdown pass on the next play to Smith for a touchdown as the horn sounded to end the half.
Gillin said Indian Creek used the play earlier in the year with success.
“(Rushville) hadn’t seen it,” he said. “I thought it was key to give us a chance. They had one-on-one (coverage), and Brandon’s a pretty good thrower. He’s a really good thrower, and he threw it to a good spot.”
That play was the last of three touchdowns Indian Creek scored in the last four minutes of the second quarter. Sophomore Dokken Egenolf had a six-yard touchdown run, and Wray threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Ethan Whitaker.
For the game, Indian Creek rushed just 33 times for 36 yards. But Wray completed 19 of 26 passes for 231 yards with two touchdowns.
“(The Lions) are not a bad football team,” Gillin said. “They come out and play a lot of big 4A schools all year. They did a nice job on our running game. Thank goodness we had a pretty good passing attack in the first half. We got up on them.”
The Braves’ secondary had a great game, limiting Rushville junior quarterback Clay Tressler to just 10-of-29 passing for 123 yards. Indian Creek also picked off four passes, three by senior Keith Weddle.
“That’s the best game we’d had as a pass coverage defense,” Gillin said. “They got some yards in the passing game, but we had several picks. We did a nice job there.”
Indian Creek opened the game with an 11-play, 66-yard drive in 4:26 capped by junior Justin Cochran’s one-yard touchdown run.
The Braves had 11 penalties for 91 yards, but Rushville had eight penalties for 85 yards.
Indian Creek plays Beech Grove at 7 p.m. Friday.