The New Palestine “Red Rage” defense was again dominant Friday in a 28-0 football victory over host New Castle.
The Dragons held the host Trojans to 153 total yards – including just 23 yards after the first quarter – and forced three turnovers in posting their second straight shutout and third of the season. Friday marked the fifth time in six weeks NP has held an opponent below 200 total yards. Jack Johnson and Madix Johnson had interceptions in the contest.
It took the Dragons just 21 seconds to find the end zone, as Caleb Byers ran the opening kickoff 66 yards to set the Dragons up at the New Castle 29. On the first play, Grayson Thomas carried for a touchdown.
After the Red Rage stopped New Castle’s first two drives on downs in the red zone, NP embarked on a mammoth 18-play, six-minute drive, but it stalled on downs. However, three plays later, the Dragons forced a fumble, setting up a quick six-play, 23-yard march, capped by Thomas’ one-yard run with 3:14 left in the half. NP regained possession after a quick three-and-out by the Trojans, and marched 42 yards in seven plays, with Thomas carrying for a two-yard touchdown with 24 seconds remaining.
The Dragons added a score on the first drive of the second half – a five-yard run by quarterback Lincoln Roth – to extend the margin to 28-0.
Thomas carried a career-high 35 times for 182 yards and three scores. He now has six touchdowns in the last two games. Roth completed 18-of-31 for 175 yards, setting season highs for completions and attempts. He also moved past Chris Van Dyke into seventh place on the NPHS career passing list. Roth now has 2,429 career passing yards. Blake Austin caught a career-high 11 passes for 72 yards. He now has 984 career receiving yards.
The victory marked the first back-to-back shutouts since blanking Greenfield-Central and Shelbyville in the 2019 season, a span of 14 games.
The Dragons are now 6-1 (5-1 HHC), while New Castle falls to 3-4 (2-4 HHC). The Dragons finish the regular season next week at Kelso Stadium against Delta.
New Palestine 28, New Castle 0
Friday, Oct. 9, 2020 at Neal Field, New Castle
New Palestine (6-1, 5-1 HHC) 7 – 14 – 7 – 0 — 28
New Castle (3-4, 2-4 HHC) 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 0
NP-Thomas 29 run (Tanksley kick), 11:39
NP-Thomas 1 run (Tanksley kick), 3:14
NP-Thomas 2 run (Tanksley kick), :24
NP-Roth 5 run (Tanksley kick), 7:07
First downs: NP 22, NC 8
Rushes-yards: NP 45-220, NC 16-43
Passing C-A-I: NP 18-31-3, NC 13-33-2
Passing yards: NP 175, NC 110
Total plays-yards: NP 76-395, NC 49-153
Penalties-yards: NP 5-35, NC 3-20
Punts-avg.: NP 1-47, NC 5-33.6
Fumbles-lost: NP 0-0, NC 1-1
Time of possession: NP 30:49, NC 17:11
Rushing: Thomas 35-182, Roth 7-31, Austin 1-9, team 2-(-2)
Passing: Roth 18-31-3-175
Receiving: Austin 11-73, Hockett 2-31, Clevenger 2-25, Hurst 2-16, Byers 1-30
Rushing: Grieser 6-21, Thrine 6-19, Bradley 4-3
Passing: Grieser 12-30-1-102, Cooper 1-3-1-8
Receiving: Bradley 4-19, Cooper 3-15, Gabbard 2-48, Hinton 2-16, Bulser 1-8 Boatright 1-4