BY JARRETT LEWIS (INDIANA SRN)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Week one of high school football kicked off across the entire state of Indiana on Friday, but this team played like they were already in tournament mode. Speedway, coming off their first winning season since 2013, rolled into Zionsville West Middle School to begin their 2022 season and conquered the Warriors of Covenant Christian 41-0.

A lot of experience returned to the Speedway football program from last year, and experience showed out. Junior quarterback Carter Watson had the offense going early and began the game with just a six play, 80-yard drive, capped off by the do-it-all tailback of DJ McFerson trotting into the endzone from six yards out for the games first score. McFerson added another score in the first quarter, a 56-yard catch and run out of the backfield to make the score 14-0.

McFerson, a reigning all-conference and all-state selection, finished the game with six carries and 77 yards rushing, along with his lone catch of the game. Watson, who earned all-conference in the Indiana Crossroads Conference last year as a sophomore, racked up 287 yards through the air against the Covenant defense, and tossed four touchdown passes, all to different receivers. Watson finished 17 of 23 and also ran for a score in the fourth quarter. Watson connected on a pass to eight different receivers.

Speedway led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Scoring plays to Christian Cooke on a 20-yard touchdown reception, and Landon Short from 27 yards out gave the Sparkplugs a 28-0 cushion heading into the locker room. Jazz Coleman caught Watsons fourth touchdown pass in the third quarter on a seven-yard underneath route.

Of the six scoring drives for Speedway, all of them were less than 10 plays and five of the six drives lasted six plays or less. The mixture of so many dynamic weapons and fast-paced play gave the Sparkplugs the edge offensively. However, the defense of Speedway was just as impressive, pitching a shutout to open the year.

The Sparkplugs held returning starting quarterback Tony Flatt of Covenant to 10 of 21 passing and 125 yards. Pressure was applied nonstop from the front line of Speedway, led by Marvin Germany and Carmell Perry, both all-conference last year. John Nabors, the Warriors lead back, was also limited, only able to put up 28 yards rushing on nine carries.

Speedway, who finished 9-3 last year and fell in the sectional championship to Lafayette Central Catholic 56-35, will travel to Scecina next week to take on an Indiana Crossroads Conference foe in the Crusaders. Covenant will also be on the road in week two as they head to Traders Point.