For the New Palestine football team, Friday’s homecoming game against Shelbyville was one of efficiency and one of rewards.
The Dragons were efficient - scoring on all seven of their offensive possessions in a 49-7 victory over visiting Shelbyville.
Mason Hiatt and Malachi Haines scored their first career touchdowns for the Dragons, while Grayson Thomas ran for 108 yards and three scores, while Gavin Neal was pinpoint accurate in a 221-yard passing day. He completed 9 of his 10 passes and also ran for two scores. Kyler Kropp tallied 126 receiving yards.
The Dragons improved to 5-2 with the victory and 5-0 in the HHC. They can clinch a piece of their ninth conference title in 11 years with a victory next week on Senior Night against New Castle.
The Dragons were dominant on both sides of the ball against an improved Shelbyville squad, , outgaining the Golden Bears 417-127. Shelbyville had six first downs, four of which came on its touchdown drive, which came against NP’s second-string defense.
NP took little time getting started, recovering an on-side kick to begin the game and marching 48 yards in six plays, capping it with Thomas’ first TD from 8 yards out. He had a 23-yard run earlier in the possession. NP then went 62 yards in four plays on its next drive, starting it with a 49-yard pass to Kyler Kropp before Neal punched it in from a yard out.
After a second straight Shelbyville three-and-out, the Dragons dialed up a nine-play drive, which Thomas finished with a 3-yard run to put the Dragons up 21-0 after a quarter.
Shelbyville gained two first downs in the second quarter, but each of its first four drives ended in punts. NP extended the lead to 28-0 on a 47-yard pass to Kropp, setting up Neal’s second 1-yard plunge of the day. After another punt, a 32-yard pass to Ty Mitchell set up a 19-yard TD pass from Neal to Mason Hiatt, giving the Dragons a 35-point lead going into halftime and starting the running clock.
In the second half, Thomas capped off the first drive with a 6-yard run. On the next possession, Malachi Haines finished a drive with a 10-yard run for his first career score.
Week 7: Dragons 49, Shelbyville 7
Friday, Sept. 29 at Kelso Stadium
Shelbyville (3-4, 1-4) 0 - 0 - 0 - 7 -- 7
New Palestine (5-2, 5-0) 21 - 14 - 7 - 7 -- 49
NP-Thomas 8 run (Wells kick), 9:46
NP-Neal 1 run (Wells kick), 6:50
NP-Thomas 3 run (Wells kick), :34
NP-Neal 1 run (Wells kick), 8:28
NP-Hiatt 19 pass from Neal (Wells kick), 1:32
NP-Thomas 6 run (Wells kick), 4;00
S-Martin 4 run (Heifer-Vazquez kick), 9:05
NP-Haines 10 run (Christopher kick), :36
First downs: S 6, NP 19
Rushes-yards: S 18-20, NP 33-196
Passing C-A-I: S 12-15-0, NP 9-10-0
Passing yards: S 107, NP 221
Total plays-yards: S 33-127, NP 43-417
Penalties-yards: S 6-42, NP 4-35
Fumbles-lost: S 0-0, NP 0-0
Punts-avg.: S 5-34.2, NP 0-0
Time of possession: S 25:41, NP 22:19
Rushing: Martin 7-14, Chappelow 9-7, Conover 2-(-1)
Passing: Chappelow 12-15-0-107
Receiving: Brinkman 3-54, Fitzgerald 1-21, Myers 2-15, Conover 2-14, Schene 1-7, Martin 3-(-4)
Rushing: Thomas 16-108, Neal 5-24, Haines 8-35, Harley 1-15, Caldwell 3-14
Passing: Neal 9-10-0-221
Receiving: Kropp 4-126, Mitchell 2-44, Hiatt 2-28, Rollyson 1-23