ZIONSVILLE – In recent years Hamilton Southeastern has had Zionsville’s number when it comes to football.
The Royals came into Friday’s game at Class 5A No. 6 Zionsville with a seven game winning streak in the series, and five of those wins were by eight points or less.
That dominance continued by a wider margin Friday night, as the host Eagles fell to 2-2 in the tough Hoosier Crossroads Conference with 21-3 loss to the Royals behind a strong defensive effort.
“It is the same thing that has been wrong all year,” Zionsville coach Larry McWhorter said of his stagnant offense. “We’re just not executing very well. We’re not blocking people consistently, we’re not running the ball as we think we should and the passing game is atrocious. We thought it got a little better last week but tonight Southeastern had a lot to do with it.”
For much of the first half the Eagles walked a delicate balance to avoid being blown out. Zionsville gained only 79 first half yards, 39 of which came on a second quarter drive that ended with a 26-yard field goal from Ryan Conner.
Southeastern, on the other hand, gained 224 yards and earned 12 first downs. The Royals started their first two drives inside Zionsville territory, the first of which ended in a 1-yard touchdown run by Tyler Janney.
That drive was aided by a 15-yard penalty on the Eagles and a fumble recovered 12 yards downfield by HSE.
Zionsville’s defense bailed the Eagles out three times in the first half. Zach baker recovered a fumble at deep in HSE territory and returned it to near midfield midway through the first quarter. Conner, playing defensive back, also had an interception deep in Zionsville territory to end another drive.
The Royals moved ahead 14-0 on a 19 yard run by Hunter Hardee with 7:30 left in the first half before the Eagles benefited from an HSE mistake. The Royals went for an onside kick, but interfered with Zionsville’s opportunity to catch the ball and the Eagles got the ball at the HSE 43. That led to Conner’s field goal.