The New Palestine football team used a dominant offensive performance in the first half Friday to beat Delta 49-13, clinching the Dragons’ seventh straight unbeaten regular season and HHC title.
The Dragons have now won 21 conference titles in their history, including 11 in the HHC. This season marks the 11th unbeaten regular season in school history, joining 1983, 1984, 1988, 2011 and each year since 2013.
Charlie Spegal broke a 58-yard touchdown run on the game’s third play, but the Dragons broke the game open with a 28-point second quarter, fueled by two takeaways.
Lincoln Roth started the blitz with a 48-yard touchdown pass to Brody Luker with 9:02 left in the second frame. On the ensuing kickoff, Maxen Hook forced a fumble which the Dragons recovered. That led to a brief five-play, 2-minute drive, which Roth capped with an 18-yard TD run. Two plays later, Eric Roudebush intercepted a pass, leading to a 69-yard drive that finished with Ryker Large’s 9-yard TD run. In the final minute, after forcing a Delta punt, the Dragons drove 91 yards in four plays, including a 36-yard pass to Large and scoring on a 47-yard pass to Luker.
It capped a dominant first half for the Dragons, in which they outgained Delta 409-37. NP ran 47 plays in the opening half, while Delta snapped the ball just 18 times. The Eagles’ bright spot was a goal-line stand on the Dragons’ second possession, which kept the game at 7-0 as the two teams exchanged punts on their next two possessions before the Dragons broke the game open.
Spegal ran for 229 yards and three touchdowns on a season-high 30 carries. His three TDs tied Brett Law’s 30-year-old state scoring record with 952 points. Spegal has 158 career touchdowns and 9,662 career rushing yards. Roth completed 9-of-14 passes for 211 yards and two scores – both to Luker, who had 104 receiving yards.
For the game, NP amassed 495 total yards.
Spegal added two second-half touchdowns, sandwiched in-between two Delta TDs.
The Dragons open sectional play Nov. 1 at Whiteland. The Dragons have now won 63 consecutive regular-season games and 23 consecutive games overall.
Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 at Delta High School
New Palestine (9-0, 7-0) 7 – 28 – 7 – 7 – 49
Delta (7-2, 5-2) 0 – 0 – 7 – 6 — 13
NP-C.Spegal 58 run (Kropp kick), 10:57
NP-Luker 48 pass from Roth (Kropp kick), 9:02
NP-Roth 18 run (Kropp kick), 6:57
NP-R.Large 9 run (Kropp kick), 2:29
NP-Luker 47 pass from Roth (Kropp kick), :27
D-Silman 7 pass from Hunt (Stanley kick), 6:27
NP-C.Spegal 5 run (Reid kick), :51
NP-C.Spegal 5 run (Reid kick), 5:36
D-Stitt 9 run (no kick), :00
First downs: NP 20, D 7
Rushes-yards: NP 47-295, D 17-72
Passing C-A-I: NP 9-14-0, D 7-19-1
Passing yards: NP 200, D 104
Total offense: NP 61-495, D 36-176
Fumbles-lost: NP 1-0, D 2-1
Punts-avg: NP 1-38.0, D 4-41.0
Penalties-yards: NP 6-58, D 2-27
Rushing: C.Spegal 30-229, Roth 11-30, Luker 1-17, R.Large 3-16, Canfield 2-3
Passing: Roth 9-14-0-211
Receiving: Luker 3-101, Hook 2-42, Roudebush 2-16, R.Large 1-36, Austin 1-5
Rushing: Whitfield 7-29, Silmon 5-27, Stitt 4-25, team 1-(-9)
Passing: Hunt 7-19-1-104
Receiving: Levers 3-57, Stitt 2-22, Foreman 1-18, Silmon 1-7