By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ELWOOD, Ind. —
And then there was one.
Or 210, depending on how you want to look at it.
With 301 rushing yards during Friday’s 66-6 senior night victory against Frankton, Elwood running back Sammy Mireles moved into second place on Indiana’s all-time career rushing list.
The only player left ahead of the Panthers’ star is former Cathedral tailback Otis Shannon, who rushed for 7,560 yards from 1997-2000. Mireles is 210 yards shy of the record with at least two games remaining in the season.
Prior to this year, Shannon had been the only player in state history to clear the 7,000-yard mark. Mireles stands 40 yards shy of this third 2,000-yard rushing season. No other player in state history has ever had more than two 2,000-yard seasons.
Elwood (5-3 overall, 5-1 Central Indiana Conference) closes the regular season next week at rival Alexandria. The Panthers — along with every other team in the state — will find out their sectional opponent on Sunday after the 7 p.m. IHSAA postseason draw.
Body Copy:In what could be his final home game, Mireles gave the Elwood faithful one final blast of his unique brand of magic. On three consecutive carries in the second quarter, the 5-foot-8, 175-pound running back gained 215 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Body Copy:Mireles’ outburst left the Panthers with a 41-6 lead with 4:16 remaining in the first half and capped a 276-yard performance prior to intermission.
On each carry, it seemed as though Mireles was attempting to top himself. The string started when he burst up the middle, cut to his right and ran 59 yards to the end zone. On his next snap from scrimmage, Mireles scored a 65-yard touchdown. And he ended the remarkable stretch with a 91-yard sprint that led to a little extra hydration in the halftime locker room.
Mireles wasn’t the only Panther making big plays.
Fellow senior London Leavell scored the game’s first touchdown on a 25-yard pass from Alex Mireles and added a 101-yard interception return for a score on Frankton’s ensuing possession.
Sammy Mireles scored on a 7-yard run, and the Eagles answered with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Brayden Ginder to Dylan Combs to make it 28-6 with 8:49 left in the first half.
Sammy Mireles’ touchdown streak began on the next play from scrimmage, and the game was never in doubt the rest of the way.
Sammy Mireles added a 9-yard touchdown run in the third quarter — his fifth scoring play of the game — before leaving to a standing ovation early in the final period. Elwood’s other touchdowns came on a 60-yard run by Alex Mireles, a 43-yard fumble return by senior Jared Bourff and a 1-yard run by freshman Lucas Vinson.
The Panthers intercepted Ginder four times — with Dakota Cole, Chase Duncan and Tracey Ganow joining Leavell.
Frankton (1-7, 0-6) hosts CIC leader Eastbrook next week in what could be the final home game of head coach Otis Cress’ 29-year career.
Cress was honored by the Elwood coaches and presented with a gift card before Friday’s game.