KENDALLVILLE — Looking for a reason as to why East Noble dominated previously unbeaten New Haven, 30-6, Friday night? Maybe it was the Knights homecoming. Maybe East Noble had more to play for. Maybe it was Brandon Mable.
Na, that would just be too simple.
East Noble welcomed back Mable and the senior running back made up for lost time, rushing 30 times for 229 yards and two scores. But, it wasn't just Mable. The Knights also threw for 221 yards and a score and nearly shut out a team that came in averaging over 45 points per game.
“We knew we still had an outside shot at sharing the conference championship and our kids are playing hard, trying to peak at the right time of the year,” Amstutz said. “We had a great night. Our seniors played great. We played hard, forced some turnovers and our offensive line played great.”
New Haven, by virtue of its perfect 5-0 Northeast Hoosier Conference record, had clinched at least a share of the title. East Noble, which came in 3-2, had to beat the Bulldogs. And from the opening kickoff, the Knights showed they meant business.
East Noble drove 49 yards on six plays before Jared Teders booted a 35 yard field goal. It was only a sign of things to come for the Knights. After stopping New Haven, East Noble marched 85 yards on 16 plays, eating up over five minutes of game clock. Mable capped it off with an 8 yard scoring run.
Although unable to score again in the first half, the Knights were put together drives of 11 and 9 plays. The best defense for the Knights was a selfish offense: as long as East Noble had the ball, New Haven's skill players didn't.
“Our offensive line played a great game,” Amstutz said. “(By the second half) I think we were wearing (New Haven) down. They have a lot of players playing both sides of the ball. It was a great game plan.”
A game plan executed by quarterback Harold Wolfe who completed 10 of 16 passes for 161 yards and a score. Bret Sible completed 4 of 6 for 60 yards.
“That was the best game of the year for our quarterback,” Amstutz said. “He made some great reads, threw the ball well and had protection. And the receivers made some nice catches.”
Wolfe couldn't have agree more.
“I've struggled lately with completion percentage, so we've been working really hard on throwing the ball,” Wolfe said. “The receivers had a great game.”
For all the great throws Wolfe made, his most spectacular play was certainly his 37-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that answered New Haven's only score and put the game out of reach, 30-6. Wolfe faked a handoff to Mable to the left and then hid the ball on his right hip as he scampered unnoticed to the end zone.
“Having Brandon out there is a pretty good guy to fake it to,” Wolfe said. “They were keying on him, that's for sure.”
And then there was the defense which not only stopped the Bulldogs on a regular basis, but also in the red zone where the Knights grabbed two interceptions.