Football (Varsity) New Palestine High School
Homecoming football preview: Dragons vs. Greenfield-Central
By Andrew Smith | Sep. 22, 2022 10:15 PM
The New Palestine football team returns to Kelso Stadium for the 55th annual homecoming game Friday against Greenfield-Central. Game info 4A #10/RV Greenfield-Central Cougars (4-1, 2-1 HHC) at 4A #1/1 New Palestine Dragons (5-0, 3-0 HHC) Time: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 (gates open 6 p.m.) Site: Kelso Stadium, New Palestine Tickets: $6, available at the gate or in advance online at https://public.eventlink.com/tickets?t=20036 Broadcast audio: NewPalRadio.com (pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m.) Broadcast video: IHSAAtv.org/NewPalestine (pay-per-view) Promotions *-It's the Dragons' 55th annual homecoming game. The homecoming king and queen will be crowned at halftime *-The annual homecoming porkburgers will be available before the game. *-The game will be a stop on the Colts' Friday Night Football Tour. They will have inflatables, games and more beginning at 5:30 p.m. SETTING THE SCENE It’s New Palestine’s 55th annual homecoming and a county rivalry matchup with Greenfield-Central. The Dragons have won 13 consecutive homecoming games and 17 of their last 20. The Dragons have dominated the Cougars historically, holding a 24-5 record in the all-time series. NPHS has won 11 consecutive meetings since 2011 and 14 consecutive in the regular season dating to 2008. The Dragons won a 42-22 decision last year behind Grayson Thomas’ 146 rushing yards and two touchdowns. . The Dragons are in possession of the HHC’s Helmet trophy for the first time since 2020. It will remain in their possession until the next conference loss. The Dragons held the Helmet for seven consecutive years from 2013-20. This will be the Dragons fourth game this season against a team ranked in the IFCA Top 10 at the time of the game. DRAGONS NOTES Senior QB Danny Tippit completed 18-of-21 for a career-high 310 yards and four scores in the 42-14 victory over Pendleton Heights. It was the first 300-yard passing game since Lincoln Roth threw for 341 Oct. 30, 2020 against Franklin. It was the first four-TD passing game since Roth threw for four against Pendleton Heights in 2019. Tippit has completed 69 percent of his pass attempts for 1,042 yards. It is the 19th 1,000-yard passing season in school history. The Dragons have featured a 1,000-yard passer in each of coach Kyle Ralph’s 10 seasons. Sophomore DL Michael Thacker led the Red Rage last week with eight tackles, including three for loss and a sack. He has 15 TFLs and six sacks this season. Freshman Brock Brownfield had two sacks. As a team, the Dragons have 12 sacks this season, including four last week. The Dragons are plus-11 in turnover ratio, with 13 takeaways and two giveaways. Daniel Thacker has three interceptions and a fumble recovery to lead the team. Senior WR Isaiah Thacker had five catches for a career-high 147 yards last week. In the process, he became the ninth player in school history to tally 1,000 receiving yards as a Dragon. He now has 1,050 yards in two seasons at NPHS and needs 10 yards to catch 1996 grad and NFL veteran Todd Yoder for seventh on the career receiving list. Junior RB Grayson Thomas now has 3,117 career rushing yards and 45 touchdowns, both of which rank fifth in NPHS history. His next TD will move him into a fourth-place tie with James Young. He needs 190 rushing yards to catch Nick Roudebush into fourth place on the rushing list. Junior OL Ian Moore is the No. 1-rated offensive tackle nationally by Rivals, who has Moore rated as the No. 1 Class of 2024 prospect in the state and No. 33 in the nation. SCOUTING THE COUGARS The Cougars are averaging 347.8 yards per game rushing, led by senior Andrew Zellers (655 yards, 7.1 ypc) and Brayden Herrell (473 yards, 8.0 ypc). Zellers ran for 147 yards and Herrell 123 in the Cougars’ 54-7 win over Shelbyville last week. Fellow senior Emiliano Bravo ran for 103 yards. Senior Brad Allen leads the Cougars’ defense with 11 TFL and four sacks. Kirk Knecht has four interceptions. G-C scores 38.2 ppg and allows 14.0. LOOKING AHEAD The Dragons hit the road for the next two weeks, traveling to Shelbyville next week and then to New Castle Sept. 30. FOLLOW US All New Palestine games are broadcast free-to-listen at NewPalRadio.com. All home games are also video streamed at IHSAAtv.org on a pay-per-view basis. NPHS Athletics is on Facebook (NewPalestineDragons), Twitter (@NPHSDragons) and online (NewPalestineAthletics.com).