It’s the 52nd homecoming week at New Palestine, as the Dragons host the Shelbyville Golden Bears at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Dragons, armed with Class 5A’s top offense in points and yards, seek their seventh straight victory and their 11th consecutive homecoming win. Shelbyville is seeking its first victory.
5A No. 1/1 New Palestine Dragons (6-0, 4-0 HHC)
vs. Shelbyville Golden Bears (0-6, 0-4 HHC)
- Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4
- Site: Kelso Stadium, New Palestine
- Admission: $5
- Promotions: Homecoming 2019. The king and queen will be crowned at halftime. There will be a dance for NPHS students after the game.
SETTING THE SCENE
The New Palestine Dragons are set to host their 52nd homecoming game as they meet the Shelbyville Golden Bears. NP enters having won 60 straight regular-season games and 20 consecutive games overall, while Shelbyville is looking to snap an 11-game losing streak. The 60-game winning streak is tied for second-longest in IHSAA history.
Dragon senior Charlie Spegal continues to set records. Already the state’s career rushing leader with 8,993 yards, he also broke Brett Law’s 31-year-old state record with his 143rd career touchdown last week.
NP holds a 14-9 lead in the series, including six straight wins and nine of the last 10. The Dragons won 77-7 last year, with Spegal rushing for 225 yards and tallying a school-record eight total touchdowns.
NP has won 10 consecutive homecoming games since 2009.
Last week’s shutout was the first since Nov. 2, 2018, when NP beat Anderson 78-0 in the sectional final. It was the Dragons’ 15th shutout under Coach Ralph and the 85th shutout in the program’s 52-year history.
NP scored 20 seconds into the game on a Lincoln Roth 69-yard TD run. It was the fastest TD to start a game this season.
Spegal ran for 288 yards and six touchdowns, both season highs, in last week’s contest. He led a 457-yard rushing attack. The Dragons amassed 587 total yards last week, a season high.
Spegal is the state’s leading rusher (1,294) and also leads the state in scoring with 138 points.
Senior DB Maxen Hook continues to be a dual threat for the Dragons. He caught a 38-yard touchdown pass and had a game-high 10 tackles in last week’s victory. Hook has five touchdown receptions this year.
Junior QB Lincoln Roth was 7-11 for 124 yards and two touchdowns last week. Roth is completing 63 percent of his passes and has thrown for 14 touchdowns. Roth needs 85 passing yards to reach 1,000 for the season.
For the sixth straight game, five different Dragons caught a pass last week. Hook leads the receiving game with 290 yards and five TDs, while Blake Austin has 243 yards and six TDs. Ryker Large has 189 receiving yards. Austin had three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown last week.
The Red Rage recorded a season-high four fumble recoveries last week. NP has forced 13 turnovers. Maxen Hook has three fumble recoveries and Brody Luker two picks.
The Dragons lead the state in victory margin (42.7 ppg) and lead Class 5A in scoring offense (51.7 ppg). NP is also third in 5A in scoring defense (9.0 ppg). NP leads 5A in total yards (2,940) and rushing yards (1,898), ranking fourth statewide in both categories.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN BEARS
Shelbyville is seeking its first win since beating Greenfield-Central in Week 4 of the 2018 season, a span of 12 games.
Sophomore Skylar Pickett leads a young Golden Bears team in rushing with 194 yards this season. Freshman Cael Lux has 24 receiving yards.
Senior Collin Miltz has a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Lux (29 tackles) and senior Trent File (27 tackle) lead Shelbyville defensively.
The Dragons host the New Castle Trojans next week for Senior Night, as we will honor our senior class. NP concludes the regular season Oct. 18 at 4A No. 5 Delta, which is also undefeated this season.
All New Palestine games are broadcast on NewPalRadio.com. NPHS Athletics is on Facebook (NewPalestineDragons), Twitter (@NPHSDragons) and online (NewPalestineAthletics.com).