RICHMOND FOOTBALL: SCOUTING MUNCIE CENTRAL
Coach: Darrick Lee, 0-3 in 1st year at school
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Mike Paul
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Brad Bales
DEFENSE: 4 – 2 – 5
2018 OFFENSE TEAM STATS:
TOTAL OFFENSE: 232
POINTS PER GAME: 17.7
2018 DEFENSE TEAM STATS
TOTAL DEFENSE: 280
POINTS PER GAME: 20.3
2019 RECORD: 0-3 OVERALL, 0-1 NCC
RECENT COACHING RECORDS:
John Hochstetler (1999-2011) 77-72
Brad Seiss (2012-2014) 13-17
Adam Morris (2015-2016) 12-9
Scott Pethtel (2017-2018) 4-16
Darrick Lee (2019-present) 0-2
At Delta L 0 42
Yorktown L 14 33
At Anderson L 16 22
Delta L 6 35
At Yorktown L 20 26
Anderson W 49 19
At Richmond W 20 14
At Indianapolis Tech W 46 28
Kokomo L 17 33
Marion L 0 35
At McCutcheon L 12 28
Logansport L 7 13
At Zionsville L 0 52 sect
BEARCATS FOOTBALL SINCE 1990
RECENT SERIES VS. RICHMOND
LAST MEETING: Muncie Central, 20-14, Sep. 7, 2018.
SAGARIN RATING: Muncie Central, 48.11, 138th overall, 38th in 4A.
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS/2018 stats
Defensive back Trenton Smith
Quarterback Ty’Von Walker
Quarterback Da’Marion Walker
Defensive back Fred Edmund
Defensive back Alonso Golston
Running back/DB Mikey Goul…. 34 tackles
Running back Shoka Griffin
Linebacker Micah Reed
Linebacker Elisha Lloyd…. 11 tackles, 4 for loss
Running back Bryce Smith
Running back Trentyn Neal
Running back Adonnis Logan
Lineman Joseph Johnson
Lineman Kegan Huston…… 30 tackles, 2 for loss
Lineman Woodrow Elliott
Wide receiver Jarrod Wills
Lineman Dasean Wolfe
Lineman Jaelin Wright
Wide receiver Josh Alford
Wide receiver Michael Gross
WR Brandon Crisp
WR/DB Michael Lowe… 20 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries
Lineman Riley White
Lineman Payton Campbell
Lineman Gino Penny…All-NCC
Lineman Jameson Beaty
Lineman DaiVeon Goodwin
Lineman Jason Orr
Lineman Myles McDaniel
TE Iverson Painter
TE Kelton Balfour
KEY PLAYERS GRADUATED
QB Cameron Gillentine…. 270 yards passing, one touchdown…. 263 rushing yards, five touchdowns
WR Braedon Abbott
DB Malek Williams
DB Omar Campbell
DB Vashon Stewart
OL Andrew Bartling
LB Adrian Leavell
WR Nick Phillips
WR Tyrke Walker
RB Andrew Abbott…. 701 rushing yards, seven touchdowns
BEARCATS VS. ANDERSON (MUNCIE STAR PRESS STORY)
ANDERSON, Ind. — The clock is ticking and Muncie Central’s chances are dwindling.
The Bearcats’ drive had started at their own 15 with just two minutes remaining in the game. They trailed by six, 22-16, the score-tying touchdown and two-point conversion they recorded only 30 seconds earlier was no longer enough to force overtime as the Anderson Indians had just connected on a 69-yard touchdown pass to take the lead again.
And as senior Michael Goul runs for a first down to the Anderson 36 yard line six plays into the drive the clock slips to 38.5 seconds left. Then it flashes 7.4 seconds as sophomore Shoka Griffin crosses the 30 yard line and goes down at the 29 three plays later.
Muncie Central head coach Darrick Lee calls a timeout.
When the Bearcats line up again junior quarterback Max Pittman takes the snap and scans the field for a receiver. Each step he takes it becomes more and more clear this may be Muncie Central’s last play. Pittman hurls the ball toward a receiver near the goal line.
An Anderson defender picks it off.
The clock hits zero.
“Tough one, that’s all I thought. I thought about it being a tough one,” said Lee, asked what went through his mind when the Bearcats ran out of time. “This is one that we definitely thought we could win and I think we showed we’re definitely in position to win. It just didn’t go the way that we wanted it to.”
Muncie Central dropped to 0-3 on the season with the six-point, 22-16 defeat. ts search for its first win with Lee as head coach dragging on into a fourth week. The Bearcats had battled back from a 16-0, first-quarter deficit to tie the score at 16 with two and a half minutes left in regulation. Their defense had held firm, not allowing any Anderson points in the second or third quarters, and most of the fourth, as one Muncie Central drive after another stalled before Griffin tallied his second rushing touchdown of the day.
Then the Indians’ junior quarterback, Marcus Armstrong, who limped through most of the game with an apparent leg injury, tossed that gut punch of a touchdown pass with 2:10 left on the clock. Then the Bearcats’ final drive of the night came up short.
Lee consoled, but also challenged, his players as they gathered on the field after the game. Some looked dejected. Others appeared on the verge of tears, if they hadn’t cried already. Anderson players could be heard celebrating further down the field.
Muncie Central entered the matchup 6-1 against Anderson in the last seven meetings between the two programs. The Bearcats had trounced the Indians by 30, 49-19, just a season ago. And now, even with the noteworthy performances Griffin and Goul recorded with the help of their offensive line, Anderson will enjoy bragging rights at least until the two sides meet again. Even with the Muncie Central defense wreaking havoc in the backfield and proving it had made strides through each of the three weeks of the season, those improvements weren’t enough to earn a victory.
Some of Muncie Central’s woes were self-inflicted. Penalties, at times, stunted drives. Holes in its defense’s pass coverage were exploited — although, with the number of drops by Anderson receivers, not as much as they could have been.
But through the swings in momentum Friday, the Bearcats remained in contention. Griffin carried the ball all eight plays of their first scoring drive for 64 yards, the score and the two-point conversion and by game’s end again eclipsed the century mark on the ground. He, along with Goul, who provided a big-play threat and change of pace that kept Anderson from keying in on one guy, often carried Anderson defenders multiple yards before finally going down and kept drives alive. Numerous Bearcats delivered performances that put their team in contention to win.
It all just wasn’t enough.
“We kind of woke up a little late,” Lee said.
BEARCATS VS. YORKTOWN (MUNCIE STAR PRESS)
MUNCIE, Ind. — Mike Wilhelm watched the tape. He knew what his Yorktown Tigers team was preparing for when they traveled to take on Muncie Central.
He knew the Central offense would rely heavily on downhill sophomore running back Shoka Griffin. He knew the team Yorktown was about to see was better than the one that lost in a Week 1 showing against Delta. He knew his Tigers were more than capable of taking home a fourth-straight victory against the Bearcats, even if it was on the road.
What he didn’t know, however, was how his team would come out of the gate. Wilhelm said his team was acting “like we didn’t want to have fun tonight,” when discussing their body language as they entered halftime with the score tied 6-6.
Yorktown turned around to score four second half touchdowns — two on defense — to beat Central 33-14 and move to 2-0 on the season. The Tigers are used to high scoring games, but this wasn’t the type of win in which the Yorktown relied on a high-scoring offense like it has in the past.
Instead, it was the defense that carried them to victory.
“It’s the old cliché, defense wins championships,” Wilhelm said. “It certainly was not perfect tonight; we have to stop the inside runs. Overall, our defense is just making big plays and we haven’t seen that too much in the past.”
And after halftime, it was the Tigers defense that changed the team’s body language almost immediately.
During the first drive of the third quarter, Yorktown linebacker John LaPradd came off the left edge and blindsided Central quarterback Max Pittman — who started for Daire’el Hall after he suffered an ankle injury last week — to force a fumble. JJ Evans picked it up and ran for 20 yards to score the Tigers’ second touchdown of the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, Gehrig Smalstig picked up the muffed kick to set up the Tigers 39 yards away from the end zone. Its defense scored again in the final minutes of the game, thanks to Austin Hill, who returned an interception from the 49-yard line for a touchdown.
The big play effect of Yorktown’s defense is what made the difference Friday night, but through the first two games this season, the Tigers scoring defense is as good as it has been in the past four years.
Yorktown limited opponents to two touchdowns or less in just seven games from 2015-2018. This year, the Tigers have reached that mark in two consecutive games, something it hasn’t achieved since their sectional championship team in 2014.
“The defense, the preparation that we’ve put in as a team, it’s just been unreal this year,” said Hill, who also scored on a fourth quarter rushing touchdown. “It’s definitely set us apart from years past. Our defense is making more stops this year and is being more efficient.”
On Friday, Yorktown stopped almost everything Central’s offense threw at it. That is, everything outside of Shoka Griffin — who ran for nearly 200 of Central’s 301 rushing yards and scored all of the Bearcats points (two touchdowns, one 2-point conversion) in the contest.
“I saw him on film,” Wilhelm said. “I think he’s the real deal. Very difficult to tackle, hard runner. Their offense is a different animal when he’s in the game.”
Griffin’s first score came after he picked up a 52-yard gain on fourth-and-one late in the first quarter and scored from four yards out on that same drive in the second.
The Tigers run defense wasn’t perfect, with most of Central’s runs coming up the middle, but it shone the most when Griffin missed most of the third quarter due to leg tightness. When he wasn’t in the game, Yorktown forced three 3-and-outs in four possessions.
Yorktown’s strong defensive performance made up for the struggles Reid Neal faced in early in the contest. While the senior quarterback found Jorden Beshore on a six-yard passing touchdown during the games second drive, he finished the first half with three interceptions. Neal has four interceptions this season, compared to the eight he had in 11 games last season.
For the second week in a row, Central’s defense pressured its opposing quarterback well, forcing Neal to throw passes on the run and off his back foot throughout the contest. Central cornerback Daeveon Foster picked off two underthrown passes, including one on the first drive of the game, and Michael Lowe intercepted one.
But Wilhelm isn’t worried about his veteran quarterback, who was still able to get in the end zone in the second half with his feet. And at the end of the day, the Tigers’ main concern is about finding a way to win, which they’ve now done twice this season.
“We take away the joy of winning as a team, not individually,” Evans said. “There was some really great plays and that’s going to seem really great on film, but it was just a great team effort.”
That message was shared by Central coach Darrick Lee who, despite the loss, was encourage by the progress he saw after opening the season with a 42-0 loss against Delta. Lee was impressed with his team’s resiliency after suffering injuries to their starting quarterback, several members of its offensive line and linebacking corps.
“A play here or a play there and it’s a completely different ball game,” Lee said. “I’m excited to where we can get. Right now — where we are — is not where I want to be. It’s not where any of our coaches want to be. It’s not where any of our players want to be, but we’re making positive steps and moving in the right direction.”
Friday, Sep. 13
Anderson at Marion 7 pm
Kokomo at McCutcheon 7 pm
Lafayette Jeff at Harrison 7 pm
Logansport at Tech 7 pm
Richmond at Muncie Central 7 pm
|ALL TIMES EASTERN|
|Lafayette Jeff||1-0||47||12||3- 0||157||112||Won 3|
|Harrison||1-0||42||0||2- 1||94||58||Won 2|
|Tech||1-0||54||7||2- 1||98||58||Won 1|
|Marion||1-0||45||6||2- 1||88||60||Won 1|
|Anderson||1-0||22||16||1- 2||25||69||Won 1|
|Logansport||0-1||0||42||1- 2||56||102||Lost 1|
|Richmond||0-1||7||54||1- 2||62||120||Lost 2|
|Kokomo||0-1||6||45||0- 3||39||149||Lost 4|
|McCutcheon||0-1||12||47||0- 3||42||117||Lost 4|
|Muncie Central||0-1||16||22||0- 3||30||97||Lost 8|