In the second game of the Gridiron Classic series at Victory Field, the downtown skyline and crisp weather created the perfect atmosphere to end the regular season for Brownsburg and Hamilton Southeastern.
An experience Bulldogs coach Brett Corner described as “neat.”
“It’s a great experience for our kids, our coaches, our community, etc,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The experience may have been fun, but the game itself appeared anything but for Brownsburg Friday night as HSE prevailed 44-24.
High school football Week 9 roundup
HSE’s offense proved powerful from the start as the Royals (8-1) quickly scored within the first three minutes of the game. The crowd, while thin for both sides, was then introduced to the Aaron Matio and Carter Poiry show from HSE. The seniors were on fire all night.
“We knew that we had to put up points because they had a very good offense,” Poiry said. “We wanted the ball first to prove that we could put up points like they can.”
That’s just what HSE did. The Royals quickly scored three unanswered touchdowns and managed to shut down the Bulldogs’ offense on the other side of the ball. However, Brownsburg wouldn’t give up that easily.
Trailing 21-0, the Bulldogs managed a safety in the middle of the second quarter to put some points on the board. Still, the offense would struggle to gain momentum and HSE’s defense quickly shut down any hopes of Brownsburg scoring a touchdown in the first half. The Royals controlled the rest of the half and Poiry managed a quarterback sneak with 22.3 seconds left on the board to give HSE a 27-2 halftime lead.
The break seemed to be just what both teams needed. Brownsburg QB Hunter Johnson said that the Bulldogs came back out after the half with a new state of mind.
“We just decided that are we going to tank it in or are we going to keep going and put some points on the board?” he said. “Our guys responded and we managed to put some scores on the board in the second half.”
Down 34-2 in the third quarter, Brownsburg managed to score three times in the second half, but never really challenged the Royals’ lead.
“It was a tough one tonight,” Johnson said. “They are a good team.”
With the end of the regular season, both teams head into the postseason optimistic. Johnson said that the Bulldogs will just continue to do what they have always done and “move the ball up and down the field.”
Brownsburg will take on Avon and HSE will play crosstown rival Fishers.
“We’re ready,” Poiry said. “We want to play two halves instead of one this time.”