Defense wins games. Period.
That cardinal rule of football was proven as the Anderson Indians picked up their second win in North Central Conference play with a 28-0 shutout at Logansport.
The Tribe’s defense had to make a 7-0 lead stand up for more than three quarters. Alan Allman caught a deflected pass in the first quarter to put AHS ahead at the 3:26 mark.
There wouldn’t be another score of any kind until there was 4:26 left in the game. Allman hauled in another pass from Curtis Wilson and took it into the end zone from 11 yards out to give AHS a 14-0 lead.
Kavelle Brooks’ 74-yard scoring romp to give Anderson a 21-0 lead with 2:26 to go seemed to be the final nail in Logansport’s coffin. But 16 seconds later, the Indians added one more as Shannon Swain put up a touchdown for the defense with a 32-yard interception return.
Swain’s interception put the cap on a strong showing by the Indians defense. The Berries had 205 yards of total offense, but Anderson forced three turnovers. The Tribe also recorded six sacks of Logansport quarterback Jacob Slusher. Slusher was starting in relief of Bo Bullard, who was out with an injury.
Anderson’s defensive game plan was a simple one against a Berries team that employs the option attack on the ground. “Beat up the quarterback,” AHS linebacker Jalen Clay said.
Clay led the sack parade for the Tribe. The Indians’ senior was credited with seven tackles, 3½ sacks and 2½ tackles for loss.
“I felt like I had to keep going hard for my team,” Clay said. “We had to hold them down.”
Linebacker Zach Burkhardt was credited with a team-high 7½ tackles. Defensive lineman Demetrius Malone had seven tackles with a sack. Swain recorded a sack on a safety blitz to go with 5½ tackles in the game.
“They played real well,” AHS coach Randy Albano said of his team’s effort on defense. “Especially in our goal line defense.”
In the first half, Anderson lived up to the philosophy of “bend but don’t break” as the Berries had three opportunities to score in the first half that were snuffed out by the Tribe.
Anderson ended Logansport’s first drive by forcing a fumble. The Berries’ second chance was a 42-yard field goal attempt that was short and to the left. With three seconds left before halftime, Logansport lined up to attempt a 24-yard field goal. The Berries were hoping to convert the try, so they’d trail Anderson 7-3 at the break and get the ball first in the third quarter.
Swain nixed that notion by blowing through the Berry blockers and swatting the kick as time expired.
Anderson improves to 2-0 in NCC play and 3-1 overall. The Indians will face Huntington North next Friday. The Vikings will play Kokomo today at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.