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Miners won first regional 25 years agoPosted Saturday, October 22, 2011, at 12:26 AM
A lot of Linton-Stockton Miner football fans recall the 1986 squad, the first to win a regional under coach Charlie Karazsia.
I thought I would take a look back at that very solid Miner squad that easily won the Tri-County Conference.
The Miners opened the season on a Saturday night in Indianapolis against Brebeuf High School.
Brebeuf outscored the visiting Miners 21-7 in the second half to post a 28-19 victory. It would be the only loss Linton-Stockton suffered during the regular season.
Brent Sparks had a 51 yard TD run, quarterback Mark Kaiser scored from the 9 to put the Miners ahead 12-7 at intermission.
In the second half, Kaiser hit David Woodruff with a 6-yard touchdown pass.
Kaiser began his record-breaking season by completing 11 of 26 passes for 158 yards with one interception.
Bryan Slay hauled in three catches for 55 on the way to his record-setting year. Brent Sparks had five rushes for 60 yards.
The Miners then flexed their muscles, defeating conference foe North Central 53-7.
Slay caught five passes for 153 yards and three scores. Those TDs came within the first 16 minutes, putting the Miners ahead 20-0.
Kaiser finished an efficient night 10 of 12 for 215 yards and four scores. Curt Bedwell also caught a TD pass.
The 215 yards broke the previous mark of 211 by J.P. Meurer.
Jarman Lannan and Sparks had scoring runs and then Sparks returned an interception for a touchdown.
Nick Yoder also had a touchdown on the ground as the Miners finished with 415 yards of total offense.
The Miners made it two wins in a row when they dominated North Daviess 43-6 at Elnora.
In week four, Linton-Stockton returned home and defeated arch-rival Sullivan 28-6.
Kaiser was a threat on the ground as well as through the air, rushing 23 times for 111 yards and two scores. He completed 7 of 14 throws for 104 yards and a 14-yard scoring pass to Curt Bedwell.
A trip to Cloverdale ended with a 39-6 victory over the Clovers. Kaiser, Yoder, Mike Turchi, Sparks, Chas Moss, Reece Resler, Scott Lancaster and Todd Herman each carried the ball as the Miners rushed for 1,989 yards.
Kaiser, Lancaster, Turchi and Sparks had rushing TDs while Slay and Bedwell each caught a touchdown pass from Kaiser, who completed 8 of 13 for 123 yards.
The 4-1 Miners then made the short jaunt to Bicknell to face North Knox and survived 33-29.
The game featured seven lead changes and the Miners went ahead for good on a 1-yard run by Lannan.
Slay came up with the Miners third interception in the final two minutes to seal their fifth victory.
Slay had four receptions for 145 yards and a 33 yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.
Ironically, North Knox's Gene Hall caught a 4-yard touchdown pass. Hall is currently a teacher at Linton-Stockton Junior High School.
The Miners concluded the regular season with identical 27-0 wins over visiting Union and Owen Valley.
The victory over the Bulldogs clinched the TCC title. They amassed a workman like 314 yards of total offense. Slay had two TD receptions and another interception.
The win over Owen Valley was the seventh in a row for the No. 3 Miners. Kaiser broke Frank Henico's 1951 school record of 13 TDs in a season.
Kaiser tossed two -- one to Bedwell and another to Slay -- to give him 14 for the season.
The win was the 50th, against 19 losses, for that Miner coaching staff in seven seasons.
After the regular season, the Miners had rushed for 1,288 yards and passed for 1,269 yards. That remarkable stat of balance was likely the reason for their success.
In the opener of Class A Sectional 40, the Miners defeated host Clarksville 26-14. This avenged a 12-2 loss to the Generals in the tournament the year before.
The Miners had to rally from a 8-7 halftime deficit. Kaiser threw two TD passes and ran for another in the second half as the visitors finished with 154 yards rushing, led by Sparks' 17 for 76. Kaiser was 9 of 19 for 122 yards with two scores and two picks.
In the sectional semifinal match-up, the Miners defeated visiting Springs Valley 19-0.
The defense allowed 147 yards of total offense, compared to 305 by the hosts.
Slay caught three passes for 137 yards, including a 78-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter with nine minutes and 47 seconds remaining. Woodruff hauled in a 30-yard scoring pass on fourth-and-two to account for all the scoring in the first half.
Kaiser (two), Turchi (one) and Slay (one) combined for four interceptions.
In the title game, Tecumseh marched to the Miner 11 in the final minutes, but Linton stopped the Braves on downs, preserving a 31-27 victory and the second sectional title in three seasons.
Slay broke his own record of seven catches in a game with nine receptions for 218 yards. The yardage record was broken when Cole Bradbury had 238 yards in a win over North Daviess this year.
The Miners then braved the cold to beat host Tri 20-6 in Henry County, north of New Castle. It was the first regional title by any Miner team since the boys basketball team won the Martinsville Regional in 1946.
Slay scored twice -- on a TD pass and on an interception return in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
In their first semistate appearance, the Miners came up on the short end of a 14-6 score to visiting South Putnam.
An interception in the end zone and a missed field goal early in the game left the Miners in a 7-6 hole at intermission.
Chris Arnold's TD pass to Chris Sullivan in the fourth quarter provided the margin of victory for the Eagles.
Kaiser ended up as an All-State selection, completing 112 of 243 passes for 2,083 yards and 20 TDs, including 16 completions for 279 yards against Tecumseh in the sectional final.
For his career, he completed 191 of 422 for 2,950 yards and 28 scores.
Slay concluded his brief two-year career with 86 receptions for 1,771 yards and 18 TDs. In 1986, he had 50 catches for 1,331 yards and 14 scores. All of those numbers are still Miner records.
What some might forget or didn't know is that Slay had nine interceptions that season and 11 for his career.
That 1986 team broke or tied 32 school records, including Brent Sparks, who had seven tackling records and a record with six fumbles recovered.
That Miner squad finished with 11 wins and two loss, the most ever by a Miner team at that time.
That was one very special season some 25 years ago.
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at email@example.com.
1986 SEASON (11-2)
Coach, Charlie Karazsia
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
INDIANAPOLIS BREBEUF 28, Linton-Stockton 19
LINTON-STOCKTON 53, North Central 6
Linton-Stockton 43, NORTH DAVIESS 6
LINTON-STOCKTON 28, Sullivan 6
Linton-Stockton 39, CLOVERDALE 6
Linton-Stockton 33, NORTH KNOX 29
LINTON-STOCKTON 27, Union 0
LINTON-STOCKTON 27, Owen Valley 0
*Linton-Stockton 26, CLARKSVILLE 14
*LINTON-STOCKTON 19, Springs Valley 0
*LINTON-STOCKTON 31, Tecumseh 27
#Linton-Stockton 20, TRI HIGH 6
^South Putnam 14, LINTON-STOCKTON 6
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