By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ELWOOD, Ind. —
Eastbrook controlled the clock Friday night at Elwood High School, and it now also controls the Central Indiana Conference championship race.
Eastbrook held the football for nearly 30 minutes, limited Elwood star running back Sammy Mireles to 100 yards rushing and ran away with a crucial 42-7 victory against last year’s league champs.
“We need help (to defend the CIC crown), and we’re probably not going to get it,” Elwood coach Marty Wells said after his team fell to 2-3 on the season and 2-1 in conference play. “It’s going to take a pretty good football team to beat them.”
Eastbrook’s dominance of the game clock was all the more impressive given the fact its first offensive drive didn’t begin until the 3:26 mark of the first quarter.
Body Copy:Elwood received the opening kickoff and drove near midfield before Mireles dropped what initially appeared to be a swing pass at the 47-yard line. Eastbrook’s Kyle Martin alertly scooped up the football and took it to the end zone.
Body Copy:When officials ruled the pass was a lateral, the play was considered a fumble and Eastbrook’s rout was about to begin.
“The defensive score there to start the game really got us going, gave us a great lift,” Eastbrook coach Jeff Adamson said.
Elwood quarterback Alex Mireles was intercepted near Eastbrook’s 10-yard line on the ensuing possession, but a subsequent fumble on the return gave the ball back to the home team. Elwood wound up punting from it’s own 38-yard line, with Anthony Bennett pinning Eastbrook at its own 4.
Body Copy:Eastbrook quarterback Jacob Singer responded by leading a 96-yard march, capped by his own 4-yard touchdown run, for a 14-0 lead with 10:49 remaining in the half. That proved to be more than Singer’s defense would need.
Body Copy:Eastbrook (3-2, 3-0 CIC) kept the pressure on Alex Mireles with blitzes that took advantage of the inexperience middle of Elwood’s offensive line. Eastbrook linebacker Alex Campbell seemed to make a living in Elwood’s offensive backfield and helped keep Sammy Mireles in check.
The senior running back, chasing Otis Shannon’s state rushing record, carried the ball 19 times and didn’t reach the century mark until the final quarter.
“It still felt like 200 (yards),” Adamson said. “There were so many times I thought we had him tackled for a loss, and he still got three or four yards. When I thought he held him to three or four yards, he got nine or 10. He’s just a tremendous young man.”
Body Copy:Eastbrook added a 97-yard touchdown drive just before the half and scored on a 35-yard run by Zach Burton, a 39-yard run by Singer and a 2-yard run by Campbell. Singer also tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Garret Winget just before the end of the half.
Body Copy:Bennett had a tremendous day punting, averaging 39.3 yards per attempt and pinning all three of his punt inside Eastbrook’s 5-yard line.
The Mireles brothers hooked up for Elwood’s lone score, with Alex throwing a 43-yard catch-and-run to Sammy with 2:30 to play in the game.
“They’re an undersized defense, but they can run like the wind,” Wells said. “We just didn’t block at the point of attack.”