NOBLESVILLE – In possibly its most complete game of the season, Zionsville pitched its second-straight shutout over Noblesville.
Last season the Eagles won 24-0 at home over the Miller, and this year they kept the shutout streak going with a 20-0 shutout at Noblesville’s homecoming.
“Our defensive plan from coach (Larry) McWhorter was phenomenal,” said Zionsville coach Scott Turnquist. “They kept things simple this week so the guys could play fast, but it was extremely effective against a team that does different things. You have to be prepared for different stuff especially against a quarterback that can run and make things happen.”
The Eagles only gave up 161 yards of total offense and 9 first downs in keeping the Millers off balance all night.
Most of that came from quarterback Jayden Barrett making things happen on broken plays. He rushed for 69 yards on 12 carries, but only completed five passes as Noblesville (0-5, 0-3) failed to even cross the Eagle 30-yard line.
Zionsville’s own offense was paced by running back Colin Price, who churned out 144 yards on 25 carries as the Eagles (3-2, 1-2) were able to move the ball effectively.
This was encouraging after last week, as the Eagles failed to score at Franklin Central and even gave up a 100-yard interception return for a score in a tough 17-14 loss at Franklin Central.
“We had a great week of practice and hats off to our coaches,” said Turnquist. “We had some injuries and guys moving around, but out coaching staff did a great job of handling that and making it a productive offense.”
Zionsville did not get on the board until early in the second quarter when Chris Freeman connected on a 32-yard field goal 10:33 before halftime. The Zionsville defense then forced a three-and-out, giving the ball back to the offense at its own 37.
The offense then needed 10 plays to go 63 yards before Cole Wiseman finished the drive with a three yard keeper to make it 10-0 with 4:19 to go before halftime.
After forcing another punt it appeared as if the Eagles would have to go into halftime with a 10-0 lead as the Millers downed a punt inside the 1 with just 1:35 to go before the half, but the Eagles came up with their best offensive drive of the season.
Price got things started by breaking a 28-yard run on the first play of the drive. Zionsville then went the remaining 71 yards in 11 more plays before Wiseman found Dom Vecchiarella for a three-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds left in the half.
“When you’re put in that situation you hope you can put what you work on in practice into play,” said Turnquist. “We didn’t have a chance to really work on the two minute drill this week, but I was just so proud of our guys for executing and calling plays that were perfect and kept us in the right situation with the clock. It was huge to end the half that way.”
With a 17-0 lead at the break Zionsville’s defense never let the Millers back in it. The Eagles managed only a short field goal from Freeman in the fourth quarter for the remaining scoring, but that was more than enough.
Wiseman completed 16 of 28 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown to go with his rushing touchdown. Trey Firestone caught six of those passes for 70 yards.
The Eagles return home next week to host Hamilton Southeastern.