Boys Varsity Football · Friday football preview: Dragons vs. Delta


The final Friday of the regular season is here as the New Palestine Dragons take on the Delta Eagles in a matchup of 6-1 teams. Both teams enter the game ranked in the top 10 of the IFCA coaches poll in their respective classes. The winner clinches at least second place in the HHC.

Game details

Media/game notes

SETTING THE SCENE

Second place in the HHC is on the line as the Dragons and Delta face off with 5-1 HHC records. The winner can also clinch a share of the title if Mt. Vernon falls.

This will be the Dragons’ fourth game against a ranked team this season. NP is 2-1 against teams in the Top 10 at the time of the game, beating Brebeuf and Yorktown and falling to MV. Delta is 1-1 against ranked teams, beating Eastbrook 42-28.

The Dragons won last year’s meeting 49-13 behind Lincoln Roth’s 203 passing yards. Delta leads the all-time series 15-12, but NP has won seven straight meetings and 10 of the last 11.

DRAGONS NOTES

The Red Rage posted its third shutout of the season and 21st during coach Kyle Ralph’s tenure last week, blanking New Castle 28-0. The Dragons have not allowed a point in 10 consecutive quarters, and have allowed just three touchdowns in their six wins this season. Last week, the Dragons did so by allowing New Castle just 25 yards and one first down in the final three quarters, while also forcing three turnovers. Madix Johnson had a fumble recovery and an interception, while Jack Johnson picked off a pass. The Dragons held New Castle to 153 total yards, the fifth team held below 200 yards on the season.

Nick Bastian led the Red Rage with five tackles last week.

Senior QB Lincoln Roth threw for a season-high 177 yards on 19-of-31 passing last week in the victory over New Castle. Roth moved into seventh place on the NPHS career passing list, passing Chris Van Dyke (1979-81). With 2,488 career passing yards, he needs 12 to reach the 2,500-yard milestone. Roth needs 294 passing yards to catch Gary Greene for sixth place.

Senior WR Blake Austin tallied a career high 12 catches for 81 yards last week, making him the first Dragon since Duke Blackwell (2015 vs. FW Snider) to catch 10 passes in a game. It marked his fifth game of at least 70 receiving yards this season. He now has 993 career receiving yards. He needs seven yards to become the eighth Dragon to tally 1,000 receiving yards. He needs 49 yards to catch Keith Roseman for seventh place on the all-time list, and 67 yards to reach Todd Yoder in sixth place.

Freshman RB Grayson Thomas has posted three consecutive 100-yard rushing games. Last week, he tallied 195 yards on 35 carries. He is averaging 188 yards in his last three games, and has scored three TDs in each of the last two. With 835 yards, he holds the NP freshman rushing record.

SCOUTING THE EAGLES

Delta enters with a three-game winning streak and a 22-16 victory over Greenfield-Central last week. Senior QB Brady Hunt threw for 146 yards and three touchdowns for the Eagles last week, while also running for 70 yards. Senior RB Evan Conley ran for 114 yards.

On the season, Hunt is throwing for 149 yards per game and rushing for 53. Conley is the Eagles’ leading rusher with 537 yards. Delta is averaging 27.6 ppg during its winning streak.

LOOKING AHEAD

After a bye week, the Dragons will open their state championship defense Oct. 30 at home against Franklin in Class 5A’s Sectional 14. If the Dragons win, they will travel to either Seymour or Whiteland for the sectional championship game Nov. 6.

FOLLOW US

All New Palestine games are broadcast on NewPalRadio.com. All home games are also video streamed on the New Palestine High School Athletics YouTube page. NPHS Athletics is on Facebook (NewPalestineDragons), Twitter (@NPHSDragons) and online (NewPalestineAthletics.com).