IHSAA Football Class 5A Recap

Nov. 26, 2011

Carmel Defense Blankets Penn in Class 5A Victory
The Carmel Greyhounds applied a first-half vise grip to Penn's offense, grabbed a comfortable lead and marched to a 54-0 triumph in the Class 5A state championship game.

Carmel, appearing in the title game for the fifth time in six years, won its seventh football championship. The Greyhounds' Kevin Wright joined an elite group of five coaches who have captured titles at two different schools. Wright won three consecutive championships at Warren Central from 2003-05.

Second-ranked Carmel (14-1) surrendered only two first downs and 53 yards in the first half. The third-ranked Kingsmen (14-1) crossed midfield just once before halftime. Penn totaled only 10 first downs and 186 yards as Carmel's defense, led by Philip Spoerle and Justin Todd with five tackles apiece, dominated throughout.

The Greyhounds led 26-0 at halftime on the strength of a state finals-record four field goals by Billy Stumbo.

Carmel added some high-powered offense to its strong defensive effort. Jalen Duncan rushed for 110 yards on just 14 carries. Brandon Denning completed 14-of-24 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 60 yards and another score.

Penn, which came into the title game unbeaten as it sought a sixth state title, received 131 passing yards from quarterbacks Chad Gindleberger and Zach Oakley. Cory Yeoman is the Penn coach.

Penn’s Patrick Adkins named Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winner
Penn’s Patrick Adkins was selected by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee as this year’s winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award in Class 5A Football.

The award, named in honor of the IHSAA’s third commissioner from 1962-76, is presented annually to a senior in each classification who best demonstrates excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.

Adkins is a two-year starter and three-year letterwinner in football and also serves as captain of the boys track team at Penn.

He ranks at the top of his senior class of 799 students. He is a four-year member of the Student Council serving as class vice president as a junior and is a three-year member and officer of the National Honor Society. He intends to major in Pre-Dentistry at Notre Dame or Bethel College.

His parents are Pat and Jodi Adkins of Osceola.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented a scholarship check for $1,000.00 to Penn High School in the name of Adkins.  Since 1989, more than $745,000 in college scholarships have been presented by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance to deserving high school students in Indiana.

Carmel Coach Kevin Wright
(On being resilient during the tournament)
“Well, in the first place God’s blessed us a lot in many different ways. We’ve had the ball bounce our way and overcome adversity but I do believe that it took God-given resiliency to get us here. Tonight though we had to finish and came out ready to go especially defensively. I thought we got after them pretty good in the first half. Penn’s a very good football team and Coach Yeoman does a nice job and it was an honor to play those guys. We just got on a roll and I think our strength of schedule helps us. It’s hard to play a team that’s fast and big and strong unless you play those kinds of teams week in and week out.”

(On getting to the state championship game)
“I don’t think anybody has ever had to play a schedule like we’ve played in the history of this tournament. To get here and finish like we finished tonight feels really good for our coaches and our players. They put a lot into it really. Going back to the Fishers (sectional) loss last year, we committed ourselves to getting up early in the winter and banged on each other all summer. This is a great way to end.”

(Are you back to stay in Indiana high school football)
“You have to ask our principal. You know we’re all on one-year contracts.”

(On Jalen Duncan)
“A limited performance tonight. Jalen hurt his ankle on the first play and we kind of did running back by committee the rest of the way.”

“Our defense has been outstanding all year and they were tremendous tonight.”

Penn Coach Cory Yeoman
“Carmel played a great ball game. They had a heck of a season and played a heck of a game tonight. You feel sick about what took place tonight, but it doesn’t take away what these seniors and this team has done this year.”

“We dropped the ball some and didn’t tackle as well as we should have. Carmel took advantage of it and that’s what good teams do.”

“Early on we had a couple of turnovers deep in our territory and that hurt us. We were able to get some stops and hold them to three points a few times. As the game went on however, they wore down our defense.”

“I’m upset on how we performed tonight and I know our players and coaches feel the same way. We just didn’t play the way we normally play. Our offense, defense and special teams didn’t have the night we’d hoped for. I think we got out-played and out-coached tonight.”

“This team did great things this year. We won 14 straight games and made a great run. We just fell off tonight. Nobody gave these guys a shot to win the conference this year let alone to get down here.”