INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - INDIANAPOLIS_There was little Carmel or Ben Davis could do during the Class 6A State Football Championship on Friday that would surprise each other.
The schools are just 25 miles apart and are rivals from the highly competitive Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference and while Carmel took the regular season matchup, Ben Davis took the season’s final game, 42-24, to earn the Class 6A State Football Championship.
“It’s going to be a good Christmas on the (Indianapolis’s) West Side,” Giants coach Mike Kirschner said. “Sometimes, things are tough on the West Side, but we played hard. The team was awesome.”
It was the Giants eighth football crown and first since it won the 5A title in 2002.
Ben Davis trailed 17-14 to open the third quarter and pinned the Greyhounds deep on their side of the field after a punt. On third-and-short, Asmar Bilal forced Carmel’s Isaac James to fumble and Omar Beasley recovered the ball at the Carmel 26 for Ben Davis.
Seven plays later Dorian Tate powered his way in from the one to give the Giants their first lead 21-17.
It was the first of two scores for Tate with finished with 52 rushing yards.
The Greyhounds found early success running through the middle of the Ben Davis defensive line and ran out to an impressive 17-0 lead after their first three drives, which they gained 142 yards. With 12 of the 21 plays executed up the middle, Carmel looked to have had the gameplan for success.
“After their second touchdown, we all looked at each other and said, ‘We’ve come too far to let it end like this,’” defensive captain Jailyn Harden said.
So Ben Davis made an adjustment to slow the Carmel attack done on its final three drives of the first half and allow the offense to claw its way back.
That momentum carried the rest of the game as Carmel managed just 146 yards of total offense during its final nine drives
Bilal led the defense with 12 tackles and Beasley had 10.
“We knew our assignments,” Bilal said. “We played well. We’ve bounced back from 17-0 before. We had been down that road. It was nothing major. We just knew to keep fighting and playing.”
Ben Davis did not put a lot of pressure on Carmel’s quarterback Michael Viktrup, but did record 2 sacks and the one that Kyle Castner and Justin Brandon combined on led to a stalled Greyhound drive at the Giants’ 32 yardline.
With the defense getting in rhythm, the offense kept plugging away.
Castner led the way for Ben Davis by completing 18 of his 30 passes for 136 yards with a pair of passing touchdowns. His scoring strikes went to Brennan Gillis and Stori Emerson. He also scored from the three on a fake field goal.
Chris Evans had a game-high 131 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown for the Giants.
Shakir Paschall led Carmel (13-1) with 94 rushing yards on 13 carries with a touchdown and Chris Perkins had two rushing touchdowns with 64 rushing yards.
“We were down 17 to Center Grove and we were down to Warren (Central, in regional game),” Kirschner said. “So this didn’t seem insurmountable.”
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.