The New Palestine football team hits the road for the first time in four weeks, visiting county rival Greenfield-Central.
The Dragons enter the week seeking their 60th straight regular-season victory, which would tie Bloomington South (1967-73) for the second-longest streak in state history. NP has defeated G-C eight straight times.
5A No. 1/1 New Palestine Dragons (5-0, 3-0 HHC)
at Greenfield-Central Cougars (1-4, 1-2 HHC)
- Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27
- Site: Clayton Myers Field, Greenfield (directions)
- Admission: $5
SETTING THE SCENE
Both teams are coming off a victory, as New Palestine extended its regular-season winning streak to 59 games with an emphatic 47-6 victory over Pendleton Heights. A victory this week would tie Bloomington South (1967-73) for the second-longest streak in state history. G-C beat Shelbyville 67-0 last week to snap a 17-game losing streak.
Senior RB Charlie Spegal is closing in on another state record. He needs four touchdowns to tie Brett Law’s state record of 141 total TDs. Spegal currently has 135 rushing and two receiving TDs in his career.
This is the 27th meeting between the Dragons and Cougars in a series that began in 1994, the HHC’s first year. NP is 21-5 in the series and has won eight straight meetings by an average score of 60-11. The Dragons have also won 11 consecutive regular-season meetings.
Junior QB Lincoln Roth tallied career highs with 244 passing yards and four TDs last week in the victory over Pendleton Heights. Roth engineered touchdown drives on six consecutive possessions bridging halftime, turning what had been a 7-6 game into a 47-6 contest. For the fifth straight game, he connected with five different receivers. Maxen Hook had 97 yards and two touchdowns on three catches. Blake Austin caught a 76-yard TD, his fourth of the year and the longest play for the Dragons. Eric Roudebush also caught his second TD pass of the season.
Roth’s 244-yard performance was the first 200-yard passing game since Zach Neligh in Week 3 of the 2018 season.
Roth has thrown for 791 yards. Three receivers – Hook (252 yards, 4 TDs), Austin (199 yards, 5 TDs) and Ryker Large (189 yards, 1 TD) have more than 150 yards receiving.
The Dragons rushed for 259 yards and had a season-high 503 yards of total offense against PH. Spegal had 169 yards on 25 carries.
Spegal ranks second in the state with 1,006 rushing yards. He has 8,705 for his career.
The Red Rage again held a team out of the end zone, holding PH to two field goals. Aven Jones led the way with 14 tackles. Richard Clevenger had eight. Kyle King had a sack and three tackles for loss, while Noah Mack also had a sack. Kade Large and Luke Canfield each intercepted passes. NP held PH to 180 total yards, including just 12 after halftime.
The Dragons rank first in 5A in scoring (48.4), victory margin (37.6) and are fifth overall in the state in total offense (2,232 yards).
Jones leads the Red Rage with 45 tackles. Clevenger has 35 stops. Luker leads the secondary with two interceptiosn.
Senior Jordan Reid was 1-2 on PATs last week. She became the first female player in NPHS football history to score a point.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS
The Cougars snapped a 17-game losing streak with their 67-0 victory over Shelbyville last week. G-C rushed for 286 yards, with QB Lance McKee running for 131 and throwing for 146. Brayden Herrell ran for 78 yards and Bradon Nelson 50 yards.
Nelson leads the Cougars on the ground with 327 yards, while McKee has rushed for 306. Tyler Antic leads G-C defensively with 50 tackles.
G-C has attempted just 15 passes all year from its wishbone attack.
The Dragons host the Shelbyville Golden Bears next week in NP’s 52nd homecoming game. The Dragons have won on homecoming seven straight years. The Dragons then host New Castle Oct. 11 on Senior Night, before traveling to Delta Oct. 18 for the season finale.
All New Palestine games are broadcast on NewPalRadio.com. NPHS Athletics is on Facebook (NewPalestineDragons), Twitter (@NPHSDragons) and online (NewPalestineAthletics.com).