NEW CASTLE — Tyler Welch had a slight hitch in his step as he walked off the field Saturday afternoon, the result of an upper thigh contusion suffered early in the third quarter.
Little else slowed the Anderson junior as he rushed 17 times for 235 yards and five touchdowns in the Indians' 49-7 domination of New Castle on homecoming at Huffman Field.
"It feels good," Welch said. "But I can't take all the credit. My offensive line was doing it, too. They were breaking holes wide open."
Even when Trojans defenders got their hands on Welch, it often made little difference. He routinely shook off tackles, turning even average plays into big gains.
His most important run came late in the second quarter, shortly after New Castle (0-6) scored to slice its deficit to 15-7. Welch took a handoff and sprinted to the left side. His blockers quickly got him into the second level of the Trojans' defense, then he shook off a pair of tacklers and sprinted 54 yards to New Castle's 7-yard line.
A few snaps later, Welch scored from the 4 and Anderson (2-4) took a 21-7 lead into the locker room. The scoring drive covered 79 yards in all and took just 1:22 off the clock, ending with 33 seconds remaining in the half.
It was a big momentum swing because the Trojans were scheduled to receive the second-half kickoff. When a punt on that drive was partially blocked, the Indians took over at New Castle's 32-yard line.
Senior quarterback Gaven Owens hit senior receiver Brandan Chapman in the end zone for a 3-yard score moments later, and the rout was on.
"This is the way we should've been playing all year," Anderson coach Randy Albano said. "I don't know what it is, I've been here four years, and we've started slow all four years. We've always finished strong and been real competitive with people. Hopefully, that's the way it's going to end up this year for us."