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Friday football preview: Dragons vs. New Castle

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New Castle Trojans (4-3, 3-2) at
5A #3/2 New Palestine Dragons (7-0, 5-0)
7:30 p.m., Kelso Stadium
Local broadcast: New Pal Radio

Tonight sees two of the state’s top offensive attacks do battle as the New Palestine Dragons meet the state’s top passing offense.

The Dragons are looking to clinch their fifth straight HHC title and ninth overall, but they’ll do so in a game that looks to be a shootout. Both teams are totaling more than 400 yards and 45 points per game.

Tonight, the Dragons honor their seven seniors, who have won three HHC titles, two semistate titles and a state championship in their four years. J.T. Hoffman, Josh Glover, Logan Robinson, Jaxon Manes, Bryson Cooper, Landan Burton and Levi McKinney will be graduating after this season. A win tonight will clinch at least a share of the HHC title.

The Dragons enter this contest after an offensive explosion in a 66-21 victory over Shelbyville. QB Zach Neligh tallied 422 yards of total offense, throwing for 263 and three scores, while running for 159 and a TD, to become HHC Offensive Player of the Week. Neligh is closing in on the fourth 1,000/1,000 season in NPHS history. RB Luke Canfield had five touchdowns on 17 touches. The Dragon offense produced the fourth 500-yard game of the year, tallying 521 total yards. The Dragons exploded for 35 points in the second quarter, their first 35-point quarter since 2015 against Delta.

The Red Rage again produced a solid game, forcing three turnovers, with Maxen Hook and J.T. Hoffman intercepting passes and Landan Burton recovering a fumble. DL Logan Robinson led the way with seven tackles.

Click here for the full game notes/media preview

Game info
Site: 
Kelso Stadium, New Palestine
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $5

BroadcastClick here to listen to the LIVE New Pal Radio broadcast. Full pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with the Tailgate Show, and will continue with play-by-play and full postgame coverage. Mobile users: Search for “New Pal Radio” on the TuneIn app. (alternate links and archives here).

Promotions: It’s Senior Night. The Dragons seniors will be honored prior to the game. Tonight is also Cancer Awareness Night. Fans are encouraged to wear pink. Balloons will be for sale to be released just prior to the opening kickoff.

Traffic/parking note: In the interest of player safety, the parking lot at New Palestine High School is closed immediately behind the press box, and thus closed to thru traffic, from 5 p.m. on football gamedays through 30 minutes after the end of the game. Fans may enter off Gem Road (CR 500W) west of NPHS, where they can access the large parking lot south of Kelso Stadium. There is also limited parking available from the U.S. 52 entrance.

Next up: The Dragons finish the regular season next Friday at Delta.

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