By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
LAPEL, Ind. — Park Tudor has knocked off Lapel the past four years, and it was the Bulldogs’ turn to return the favor Friday as Brady Cherry spread the ball around and Joe Hart scored three times to lead Lapel to a 38-14 victory.
The Bulldogs (2-2, 1-1 Indiana Crossroads Conference) scored the first four touchdowns of the game with Cherry hooking up with Hart on two of those scores. Hart caught 15- and 17-yard touchdown passes and also ran for another score from 3 yards out.
Cherry also connected with Bailey Partington with 37.6 seconds left before the end of the first half from 6yards out to take a 25-0 halftime lead.
The Panthers (0-4, 0-4) came out in the third quarter and got a touchdown on an Eric Lopez run from 1 yard out, but Lapel scored the next 13 points to take a 38-7 advantage.
Park Tudor got a meaningless touchdown with 3:02 remaining in the fourth quarter to finish things off.
Bulldogs coach Tim Miller said although his kids had a good week of practice they knew coming off the Broad Ripple game last week they were going to have to outexecute teams from this point forward.
“I’m really pleased tonight,” he said. “I thought we took a step forward. So hopefully it’s something we can build on.”
Miller said Hart is an exceptional athlete that has come a long way this season and bought into Lapel football.
“If you get Joe the ball, Joe’s going to do something,” said Miller. “He’s hard to bring down.”
Cherry got the ball to five different receivers and went 23-of-34 for 300 yards and four touchdowns overall. Cherry was ranked second in the state in passing yards coming into Friday night’s game, according to the Max Preps website.
Not bad for a first year varsity quarterback.
“He’s taken steps just like everybody else,” said Miller. “As exceptional and accomplished an athlete as he is, it’s still his fourth game – tonight was his fourth game.”
Cherry also hit Austin Shilke on a 37-yard strike for his fourth touchdown of the evening. Austin Ward carried in an 8-yard run in the fourth quarter for a score.
Miller didn’t keep his team on the field for long after the game, but he told them to enjoy this one and be ready for homecoming next week against Triton Central.
“Good win, great win, it’s something we’re going to build on,” he said. “Enjoy it over the weekend and come in Monday with the same attitude they came in with this week.”
Hart finished the game with 128 yards receiving on seven grabs. Partington and Shilke finished the night with 94 and 90 yards receiving, respectively.