Despite a persistent rainfall and chilly conditions, there was a sense of emotion in the air Friday night as Muncie Central (0-8) hosted its senior night against McCutcheon (5-4). However, struggles on offense hurt the Bearcats as the Mavericks cruised to a 35-0 win.
In their past five contests, the Mavericks have outscored the Bearcats 172-38. Through Muncie Central’s eight losses this season, the Bearcats have only put up 20 or more points on one occasion, coming in a 30-21 loss to Kokomo Sept. 27. However, head coach Derrick Lee remains proud of his team’s grit through adversities.
“It’s definitely been a rough season,” Lee said. “I’ve had guys keep fighting and keep battling, so that’s the big thing. We’re just going to try to get as good as we can and stay together as a team so when sectionals come, we’re ready to go.”
Lee said it was tough for his seniors to fall short in their penultimate regular season game, but the result won’t define his perception of their work ethic.
“I’ve known a lot of these seniors since they were in eighth grade,” Lee said. “To not be able to get a win and have a better showing is disappointing. At the end of the day, you just have to go back to the drawing board and try to get better.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Mavericks’ rushing offense came out strong in the second as seniors Mason Douglas and Garrett Maish led McCutcheon to a 14-0 lead to halftime.
The Mavericks began the third quarter on offense, but an interception caught by senior Daeveon Foster provided a glimmer of hope for the Bearcats. However, McCutcheon’s defense was too much to handle as the Mavericks dominated the time of possession advantage during the third quarter.
With a number of tackles on the night, Foster said he was pleased with his performance despite the loss.
“I think I did pretty well for my last game at Muncie Central,” Foster said. “We’ve never played in the cold before, so it was hard to play. We all practice hard, but nobody sees that. We come to the games, and it never works out.”
Maish opened the scoring in the fourth quarter, and a touchdown from senior Daniel Hughes extended the Mavericks’ lead to 27-0.
Following a Muncie Central interception caught by senior Matt Demko, the Mavericks recorded their final points of the night on a touchdown from Douglas and a successful two-point conversion.
“We killed ourselves in alignment at times,” Lee said. “Once we get back to trusting our technique, we’ll be fine and in great shape.”
As the Bearcats close out their regular season Friday, Oct. 18 at Logansport, sophomore Shoka Griffin said he remains hopeful for the future and aims to be a cornerstone for his team moving forward.
“I just lead [my team] by example,” Griffin said. “With talking to the younger guys and working hard in practice, you can get somewhere and be a leader yourself.”