Throughout a season, football teams go through a variety of emotions.
At the beginning of the season, a lot of teams were left feeling uncertain as to if a season would even happen and disappointed they had to cancel games due to the pandemic.
For Delta (8-3, 5-2 Hoosier Heritage), they went through emotions not too familiar with them this season:
A strong performance by Marion’s (9-3, 6-1 North Central) offense and defense in the first half proved too much for the Eagles to overcome, losing 38-21, ultimately eliminating them from the postseason.
As the Giants raised the sectional trophy at midfield, Delta head coach Chris Overholt made sure to hug each one of his seniors, consoling them as they lowered their heads in disappointment.
“I think one goes hand in hand with the other,” Overholt said about building personal relationships with his players. “In order for the kids to buy in and you put them through the physical nature of football, there has to be an incredible relationship there between you and the kids.”
From the opening kickoff, defenses were strong, as both teams struggled with getting points on the board. It wasn’t until late in the second quarter until Marion was able to score the first points of the game, scoring two touchdowns in the final three minutes before halftime.
The Eagles were finally able to get their offense rolling in the second half, but their defense had many of the same problems.
Delta managed to get its first points on the board in the third quarter from a 3-yard touchdown run from senior running back Evan Conley, as they began to come back from 28 points down.
After a defensive stand from the Eagles, they were able to score again on a 30-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Brady Hunt before the end of the third quarter. At the end of the third quarter, it was 28-14 in favor of Marion.
The Giants’ 10th-ranked scoring offense put 17 more points on the scoreboard, while the Eagles managed two more touchdowns.
Delta has not beaten the Giants since 2007, with last night’s game being the third meeting since then.
“It’s not fun when a kid takes his last snap for you,” Overholt said. “They put in four and a half years of work for an opportunity and it just didn’t work out for us tonight.”
Delta graduates 23 seniors from this year’s team, leaving a void on both sides of the ball, including quarterback.
“It’s going to be a youth movement next year,” Overholt said. “But I’m just thinking about my seniors tonight. It’s kind of difficult to think of next year when they’re still kind of walking off the field.”
The Eagles finish the season at 8-3, their best record since they last won a sectional in 2016. The Giants meanwhile improve to 9-2 and will travel to East Noble next Friday for the regional championship. Kickoff is 7 p.m.