On Friday, October 15, North Central football played Terre Haute North. The Patriots entered the game 2-6, coming off a 0-63 loss to the Carmel Greyhounds. North Central came into the game 4-4, off of consecutive wins against Terre Haute South and Center Grove, with hopes to solidify their first winning season since 2006.
The Panthers started the game sloppy, giving up two first quarter touchdowns on a 65 yard pass and a 6 yard run. The 1st quarter ended with the Panthers down 14-0. The team quickly rebounded in the second quarter as the defense stiffened, stifling the Patriot offense. Solid play from sophomore running back Jalen McIntyre was a key reason for this. McIntyre scored first on a 4-yard run, then on an 8-yard run, then again on a 6-yard run, all in the second quarter. The Panthers had rebounded in the second quarter, and took a 22-14 lead into the half, and were not looking back.
The second half started, and the Panthers kept the momentum. Michael Raby intercepted a pass at the 11-yard line, and took it to the endzone for a score, pushing the Panther lead to 28-14. A 15-yard touchdown pass and two-point conversion by Terre Haute North near the end of the third quarter lowered the Panther lead to 28-22, but North Central rebounded with a 20-yard touchdown run early in the 4th quarter stretched the lead out to 35-21. The game seemed all but over, but the Patriots ended with a fight. An 18-yard run by Brother Scank of Terre Haute North brought the Patriots within six points, but that was not enough, as the Panther defense kept them out of the endzone again, and Jalen McIntyre added yet another score, to put the game score at 43-29.
This win put the Panthers at 5-4 on the season, their first winning season since 2006 when the team finished 8-4. The Panthers will head on to sectionals next week to play at undefeated Warren Central. The Warriors defeated the Panthers 48-16 on September 16.
This win put the Panthers at 5-4 for the season, making it the first winning season since 2006 when the team finished 8-4. The season was highlighted by a 2-0 start with wins at Pike and Lawrence Central, a 47-0 win against Terra Haute South, and hard fought victories at Center Grove and Terre Haute North. Part of this success was due to improved play from the defense, a few breakout performances by sophomore running back Jalen McIntyre, and solid play from the seniors. Most would agree that finally achieving a winning season is a great sendoff for football team’s class of 2012. North Central will play in the first round of sectionals this Friday, at undefeated Warren Central.