UPDATED: Eastern Greene defeats Mitchell
MITCHELL -- In a game that nearly 23 hours to finish, the Eastern Greene Thunderbirds made the most of what they were offered and handed host Mitchell a 46-20 setback here Saturday afternoon.
The game was delayed for nearly 20 hours after lightening preceded a torrential downpour that forced school officials to move the contest to the next day.
"I felt like it was a defensive struggle last night where no one could stop the opposing team's offense then today it seemed like it started the opposite way," Eastern Greene (2-2) coach Luke Dean said on Saturday. "We made a few adjustments and they had changed a few things up from last night. But we made some quick adjustments and it helped us and we were able to punch a couple in there."
The game was a showcase for the talents of Eastern Greene senior workhorse running back Jarred Groomer.
The 5-10, 195 pound bruising tailback continued his march on opposing defenses with third, 100 yard -- and first 200-plus yard -- outing of the year as he toted the football for a game-game 224 yards on 22 carries.
"He's a great kid and he's a phenomenal player," Dean said. "He played a lot last night and tonight."
In his first three games the T-Bird stalwart had amassed a total of 281 yards. That tally includes a dismal 11 yard performance against North Knox in week two.
This time around Groomer gave a rushing performance that the Mitchell defenders won't likely forget. It was an exhibition that included five touchdowns and a two-point conversion.
"It was awesome after last year," Groomer said. "They held me down and limited my yards. This year came out and showed that we should have done better last year -- I think we proved that tonight."
Groomer was able to exploit a defense that knew he was getting the ball but was unable to stop his success.
He rattled off runs of 40, 20, 15, 3 and 2 yards.
"It was crazy," Groomer said. "I just ran hard, had some good blocks and broke some tackles."
For Eastern Greene sophomore quarterback Briar Martindale it was another splendid passing performance.
The upstart gunslinger completed 9 of 16 attempts for 170 yards with just one interception. He was also mobile in the pocket keeping the Mitchell defenders chasing him while receivers worked themselves open.
"He's capable of running, he's capable of throwing and he showed both," Dean said. "He's a very good player and he's a great kid on top of that."
The highlight of his night was completing a pair of double-digit length bombs to Logan Frye.
Frye, a 6 foot senior who hauled in all but two Martindale's throws, caught TD passes of 40 and 34 yards on his way to a 149 yard showing.
"Their defense is tough," Dean said. "You look at some of their scores and they play some tough teams. It wasn't as easy as it might look from the score.
"They're a good team and our kids had to execute. They showed what they could do."
Defensively the Thunderbirds were more than ready to avenge a lopsided loss to the Bluejackets at Little Cincinnati last year.
When the day-night split was over the Eastern Greene defense had allowed a total of 327 yards but threw a shutout after returning for the second day of action.
"We knew they were going to pound it," Dean said. "It's not surprising that they did after what happened last week with North Daviess running against us. We made some adjustments from last night and I think it helped, we were able to stop them this afternoon."
While the Mitchell ground was doing little more than eating the majority of the time off the clock and little else -- especially in the last quarter and a half -- their passing game was being frustrated.
Bluejacket quarterback Jakub Lucas failed to complete a pass attempt until the second half while being intercepted once in the first half and twice more in the second.
The Mitchell offense was also hurt by six fumbles, including two recovered by the Thunderbirds.
"It's something we talked about last week," Dean said. "They had put the ball on the ground quite a few times in the first three weeks and that's what we were looking for -- turnovers on defense.
"Along with that we had a few big stops on defense and we were able to get the win."
Eastern Greene returns to action Friday when they travel to Oakland City for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against the Trojans of Wood Memorial.
THUNDERBIRDS 46, BLUEJACKETS 20
Eastern Greene 18 8 6 14 -- 46
Mitchell 6 6 8 0 -- 20
EG -- Jarred Groomer 40 run (run failed) 9:34.
EG -- Groomer 2 run (run failed) 7:11.
M -- Jakub Lucas 2 run (run failed) 1:32.
EG -- Logan Frye 34 pass from Briar Martindale (run failed) :19.
M -- A.J. Abplanalp 9 run (run failed) 6:45.
EG -- Groomer 5 run (Frye pass from Martindale) 3:39.
M -- Lucas 15 run (Abplanalp run) 8:27.
EG -- Frye 40 pass from Martindale (Groomer run) 6:23.
EG -- Groomer 3 run (pass failed) 1:06.
First downs 11 18
Rushes-yards 31-221 56-258
Passing yards 170 69
Total yards 391 327
C-A-I 9-16-1 4-19-3
Punts-average 3-24 1-27
Fumbles-lost 0-0 6-2
Penalites-yards 2-15 5-45
Return yards 82 120
Time of possession 16:51 31:09
RUSHING -- Eastern Greene, Jarred Groomer 22-224, Briar Martindale 6-5, Dakota Sims 1-(minus 2), Cody Hopkins 1-(minus 2), Cole Postell 1-(minus 4). Mitchell, A.J. Abplanalp 30-87, Jakub Lucas 15-68, Devin Cobb 10-48, Zane Davis 4-29, Dallas Cobb 3-13, Travis Duncan 4-13.
PASSING -- Eastern Greene, Martindale 9-16-1-170. Mitchell, Lucas 4-19-3-69.
RECEIVING -- Eastern Greene, Logan Frye 7-149, Cody Hopkins 2-8, Groomer 0-13. Mitchell, Davis 2-37, Sean McCord 1-20, Da. Cobb 1-10, De. Cobb 1-2.