Multiple Teams · Senior Night victory clinches HHC title

The New Palestine football team used a hot start Friday to roll to a Senior Night victory, beating New Castle 56-24 and clinching the program’s fifth consecutive Hoosier Heritage Conference title.

Quarterback Zach Neligh threw for a career-high 301 yards and four touchdowns, while running back Luke Canfield ran for four scores – from 45, 35 and two 1-yard plunges. Kade Large had two touchdown receptions.

The Dragons wasted little time Friday night, scoring on their first five possessions to take a 35-0 lead. Canfield punched the first two scores in a 90-second span, sandwiching 35 and 1-yard TDs around a C.J. Faubion interception. Neligh then went to the air – hitting Jaxon Manes for a 77-yard TD and Large from 18 and 80 yards. The first TD was set up by a 40-yard pass to Brody Luker.

New Castle answered, but Neligh threw his fourth TD of the first half to J.T. Hoffman from 33 yards out in the final minute to put the Dragons up 42-7.

After surrendering a TD on the Trojans’ first possession of the second half, the Dragons answered 70 seconds later with Canfield’s 45-yard TD. Luker’s INT and 44-yard return to the 1 set up Canfield’s fourth TD midway through the fourth, pushing the edge to 56-17. The Trojans returned the ensuing kickoff for a score, but the Dragons ran out the clock.

NP is now 8-0 and has won 44 consecutive regular season contests. The Dragons’ nine HHC titles are the most in conference history.

Faubion, Maxen Hook and Luker all had interceptions, as the Dragons again won the turnover battle.

NP finishes the regular season next week at Delta.

New Castle (4-4, 3-3)  0 – 7 – 7 -10 — 24
New Palestine (8-0, 6-0) 21-21- 7 – 7 — 56
Scoring summary
NP-Canfield 35 run (Kropp kick), 9:24
NP-Canfield 1 run (Kropp kick), 7:52
NP-Manes 77 pass from Neligh (Kropp kick), 4:47
NP-K.Large 18 pass from Neligh (Kropp kick), 9:07
NP-K.Large 80 pass from Neligh (Kropp kick), 5:31
NC-Bumbalough 11 pass from Williamson (Brown kick), 4:08
NP-Hoffman 33 pass from Neligh (Kropp kick), :49
NC-Ragle 1 pass from Williamson (Brown kick), 7:31
NP-Canfield 45 run (Kropp kick), 6:21
NC-Brown 38 FG, 10:31
NP-Canfield 1 run (Kropp kick), 6:39
NC-Bumbalough 86 kickoff return (Brown kick), 6:20

Team stats
First downs: NC 22, NP 19
Rushes-yards: NC 23-12, NP 46-309
Passing C-A-I: NC 23-46-3; NP 13-17-0
Passing yards: NC 266, NP 308
Total yards: NC 69-278, NP 63-615
Penalties-yards: NC 6-75, NP 14-153

Individual stats
New Castle
Rushing: Durick 7-22, Spears 2-5, Williamson 14-(-15)
Passing: Williamson 23-46-3-266
Receiving: Chesher 8-112, Bumbalough 10-91, Durick 2-34, Grieser 2-24, Ragle 1-1

New Palestine
Rushing: Canfield 26-220, Neligh 10-58, Roudebush 4-15, Jones 3-8, R.Large 1-7, K.Large 1-1, Glover 1-0
Passing: Neligh 12-16-0-305, Roudebush 1-1-0-3
Receiving: K.Large 3-114, Manes 2-97, Luker 4-42, Hoffman 1-32, Hook 2-16, R.Large 1-7