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home : sports : local sports September 16, 2014

11/15/2012 12:01:00 AM
Can Sheridan Finally Defeat The Catholics?
Kent Graham/File photo - Sheridan’s Austin Hoover is the Blackhawks’ leader on defense and offense, with 143 defensive points and 1815 rushing yards. Sheridan hosts Lafayette Central Catholic Friday in the Class 1A North Semi-State.
Kent Graham/File photo - Sheridan’s Austin Hoover is the Blackhawks’ leader on defense and offense, with 143 defensive points and 1815 rushing yards. Sheridan hosts Lafayette Central Catholic Friday in the Class 1A North Semi-State.
By Don Jellison

Sheridan coach Bud Wright owns the all-time career coaching wins record, 380 in all.

Sheridan, down through the years, has captured nine state championships.

But, when it comes to playing football against the Catholics, Wright and the Blackhawks haven't done that well, at least during the last four years. Sheridan, in each of the last four years, has been eliminated from the post-season by a Catholic school.

It all started four years ago when the Blackhawks were beaten by Ritter in the Class 1A state championship game. The next two seasons Sheridan was defeated by Guerin Catholic, both times in the sectional. Last year Wright's squad was knocked off by Lafayette Central Catholic, 17-0, in the semi-state.

Now, this Friday, guess who is coming to Larry Wright Stadium. Another one of those Catholic schools, Lafayette Central Catholic.

It's a matchup better suited for Lucas Oil Stadium and this year's state finals than a semi-state game at Sheridan. Between these two powerhouse programs, they've won 13 state 1A titles, including six of the last seven championships.

Lafayette Catholic is seeking its fourth consecutive state crown. The Knights' only defeat in their last 55 games was to Culver Academy, 14-12, back on Sept. 7. They will bring a 12-1 record to Sheridan.

Sheridan will come in with a 9-4 record. The four teams which have beaten Sheridan have a combined 40-8 record. Three of the four were ranked at the end of the season. Three of the four were 3A teams and the other was a 2A team.

In comparing scores, Central Catholic has defeated Tipton 24-13 and lost to Culver Academy 14-12 and Sheridan has lost to Tipton 40-18 and Culver Academy 19-18. The Blackhawks have won five straight since their loss to Culver.

"It's hard to compare, to take away, anything from the Culver game," said Wright, "because they (Central Catholic) changed quarterbacks after that game. They still are a good running team, but with the new quarterback they throw the ball more. They have a different style of offense.

"We've been hoping it will rain or snow on Friday," Wright joked. "Something to slow down their speed."

Central Catholic has defeated Delphi 52-7, Guerin 21-14, Twin Lakes 17-12, Benton Central 55-12, Tipton, Heritage Christian 54-40, Rensselaer Central 15-0 and West Lafayette 24-14 and in the post season the Knights have easily handled North 35-0, Caston 42-7, Pioneer 38-7 and Winamac 49-14.

They are averaging 33.7 points a game and allowing 11.8 points a contest.

Last week in the regional the Knights held Winamac to 19 yards and no first downs in the second half.

"They are good, and they will come in here wanting to throw the football," Wright said.

Sheridan's defense has allowed opponents to complete 60-of-124 passes for an average of 114 yards a game. Sheridan is allowing an average of 131 yards a game rushing the football.

Leading the Sheridan defense is Austin Hoover with 143 points, followed by Cody Watts 128, Tyler Callahan 117, Adam Hoover 111, Matt Laughlin 98 and Clay Woodworth 93. Watts has five sacks of Sheridan's 17 sacks.

Wright said Sheridan is in the best of health since the second or third weeks of the season.

Sheridan is averaging 32.2 points a game and allowing 19.8 points.

The Blackhawks will enter the semi-state matchup with one of the best rushing attacks in Class 1A football. It is led by Austin Hoover with 1815 yards in 260 carries. That's an average of 7.0 yards a carry. Callahan has rushed 239 times for 1132 yards. Hoover has 30 touchdowns and 180 points and Callahan 19 TDs and 114 points.

Sheridan Probable Line-up

Offense Defense

TE: Cody Watts, 240, Sr. ILB: Tyler Callahn, 232, Sr.

RE: Cort Christy, 160, Jr. ILB: Ad. Hoover, 205, Sr.

T: Mike Burnell, 192, Jr. OLB: Matt Laughlin, 158, Sr.

T: Marty Strong, 330, Sr. OLB: Clay Woodworth, 180, So. G: Jacob Eidson, 191, So. E: Cody Watts, 240, Sr.

G: Jake Jessup, 174, Sr. E: Elliot Barker, 220, Sr.

C: Dale Musgrove, 245, Sr. N: Jacob Eidson, 191, So.

QB: Sam Zachery, 175, Sr. S: Sam Zachery, 175, Sr.

FB: Tyler Callahan, 232, Sr. S: Garrett Chesney, 160, So.

RB: Austin Hoover, 183, So. C: Kent Hollingsworth, 197, So.

RB: Garrett Chesney, 160, So. C: Cort Christy, 160, Jr.

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