10/6/2017 10:51:00 PM Big plays doom Millers in loss to Brownsburg
By Rob Borders
For the Times
It was Senior Night, and the Noblesville Millers football team went into Friday's game against visiting Brownsburg High School looking for its first Hoosier Crossroads Conference victory of the season.
Big play after big play by the Bulldogs, however, kept the Millers in search of that first victory, as Brownsburg left Noblesville's Hare Chevrolet Field with a 41-10 victory over Noblesville.
The dominance didn't just show up in the final score, but in the stats as well.
Noblesville gained just 114 total net yards to Brownsburg's 400.
"We gave up too many big plays," Noblesville coach Jason Simmons said. "And those big plays came at the lack of discipline. And our offensive line didn't give forth the effort to give us a chance to compete tonight."
The big plays began just a minute and a half into the game, as the Bulldogs blocked a Millers' punt, and Brownsburg's Ronnie Williams scooped up the loose ball in the end zone with 10:35 to play in the first quarter.
Later in the quarter, Noblesville tied the score when junior quarterback Grant Gremel hooked up with fellow junior Zach Gruver for a 7-yard touchdown strike with 3:26 to play.
Brownsburg regained the lead with a 64-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Strakis to Bryce Kirtz with 6:59 to play. It was then Brownsburg would never look back. The Bulldogs scored again with 2:25 to play on a RJ Decker 6-yard touchdown run. A bad snap on the extra point kept it 20-7.
Noblesville did go on a nice drive to end the first half. The Millers started on their own 35-yard line. A big pass play - a 16-yarder - from Gremel to senior tight end Ryan Barnes got the drive started. Runs from Christian Collier and Luke Blevins, and another 6-yard reception by Barnes kept the drive going. The drive did stall with less than 10 seconds to play, but they were well within junior kicker Jack Knight's field goal range.
Knight booted a 43-yarder. It had the accuracy and distance that would have carried it past 50 yards.
"That was a nice kick," Simmons said. "And Barnes played his best game all year. It is good to have him healthy.
"But, we aren't a good enough team to just be able to play average and win games," Simmons added. "We need to play with discipline if we want to win games."
Barnes had four catches for 49 yards, and Luke Blevins had four for 37.
Brownsburg finished the scoring with three big plays in the third quarter - a 54-yard pass from Kirtz to Reis Thomas, a 27-yard quarterback keeper by Strakis and then another 29-yard pass connection from Strakis to Kirtz.
"We wanted to be more physical that second half," Brownsburg coach John Hart said. "They were bringing guys up in the box, so we were able to get free for big plays."