While the Delta Eagles have been accustomed to high scoring games this season, Friday night’s homecoming contest was the complete opposite
“[New Castle] did a great job,” Delta head coach Chris Overholt said. “...They're a very physical team and with us slowed our run game.”
After the final whistle blew, thanks to some big plays in the fourth quarter, Delta defeated New Castle 14-8.
The opening quarter of the Eagles’ third Hoosier-Heritage Conference (HHC) game consisted of two drives. Delta (5-1, 2-1 HHC) drove down the field but failed to convert on fourth down as junior quarterback Bronson Edwards was sacked.
On the other hand, New Castle (1-4, 0-3 HHC) was able to score on a quarterback keeper at the start of the second quarter.
The rest of the first half was a defensive clinic. Multiple punts and failed fourth down attempts plagued both competing teams.
“There's never a game where we feel like we're out of it because of our defense,” Overholt said. “They’re runners and they're very aggressive. They take a lot of pride in game planning and seeing different formations.”
The fourth quarter was when the Eagles started to find their stride on offense. First, junior quarterback Bronson Edwards found senior receiver D’Amare Hood for a toe-tapping touchdown.
“[That touchdown] did a lot,” Hood said. “Our offense was a little bit slow tonight, but that helped us propel in a really good game.”
While being a big target in the game, there were multiple moments where Hood and members of the Trojan defense had to be separated by officials and teammates. To Hood, that’s what happens in conference games.
“This is a big-time match,” he said. “We love matchups like this, but any conference matchup is going to have some chippiness.”
Though Hood was able to remove the zero from the scoreboard, the Eagles still trailed after failing on the two-point conversion attempt. A few minutes later, that mistake didn’t matter as senior running back Kaiden Bond found the endzone on a rushing touchdown.
“It's players, not plays in big moments,” Overholt said. “Our offensive staff talks about that and we decided to put the ball in [Hood and Bond’s] hands.”
However, the Delta defense would be the ones that made the big plays to end the game. First, junior outside linebacker Nash Keesling sacked New Castle quarterback Tyson Lewis on a fourth down play with a few minutes left on the clock.
“I knew they were gonna throw the ball because it was fourth and long,” he said. “I knew that I had [the quarterback] all night and I just did my move and got there.”
After the Eagles failed to convert on fourth down with less than thirty seconds left in the game, the Trojans had one final chance to make something happen. Once again, the Delta defense made another big play, sacking Lewis and wasting the clock.
Last week, Delta suffered their first loss of the season to HHC opponent Mt. Vernon. With the win tonight, the Eagles are back on track to accomplish their goal of the season.
“Our goal is to be competitive and play for a HHC championship every year and then a sectional after that,” Overholt said. “No one's gonna get any easier moving forward. If we truly believe that we're a championship team, we're going to answer the bell every time.”
In football, a win is a win, no matter the situation. The one thing that made this victory sweeter for the Eagles was their homecoming crowd.
“I think we have the best crowd and community in the area,” Overholt said. “Our band is amazing and we have championship cheerleaders out here. We bring a special atmosphere to game days.”
The Eagles will attempt to stay in the win column when they travel to take on Pendleton Heights (4-2, 1-2 HHC) on Friday, Sep. 29. The game will begin at 7 p.m.
Another final for Delaware County was the Yorktown Tigers (4-2, 2-2 HHC) defeating Shelbyville (3-3, 1-3 HHC) on the road.
Contact Zach Carter with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on X@ZachCarter85.