The weather is getting colder, snow is on the ground, and November is already here.
It’s playoff time for the Greyhounds.
CHS enters the post-season on the heels of a bumpy, but successful 6-3 regular season. It began with a jarring 41-14 defeat at Trinity (KY), but a four-game winning streak pushed the Hounds to a Number-2 state ranking heading into the Homecoming game.
Then, more turbulence followed: the first Homecoming loss (to North Central) in 16 years, then a humbling 27-14 beating at Ben Davis. Hosting the defending champions Warren Central with the season hanging in the balance, the Hounds rose to the occasion with a tremendous 24-0 shutout before cleaning up Lawrence Central on the last day of the regular season. The playoff run begins with a road game at HSE (5-4) tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Head Coach John Hebert said via email that the losses spurred the Hounds’ strong finish to the regular season. “I believe that sometimes it is the setbacks that provide the most opportunity for growth. It may take things not working out which can lead to a greater sense of focus. Our team felt it had something to prove against Warren Central,” he said.
Defensive tackle and senior Cole Brevard said that the Hounds defense ironed out their flaws after the loss at Ben Davis, regaining their swagger along the way. “We had to fix stuff up; we made a lot of mistakes in that Ben Davis game. Once we got them fixed, we got our confidence back and we had a great defensive performance against one of the top teams in the state, holding them to zero points.”
Hebert pointed to the senior leadership of Brevard, Ty Wise, Garrett Sharp, Dominic Padjen, and Jake Paris as the main factor for the defensive resurgence. The Hounds had allowed 27 points in both losses against North Central and Ben Davis, but only 7 points combined against Warren Central and Lawrence Central. “Those guys are as good as any player in the state at their positions. Overall, when we are locked into our responsibilities, our defense is capable of greatness,” he said.
The offense received a shot in the arm when senior Christian Williams stepped in to the quarterback position as senior Gabe Quigley picked up a foot injury and sophomore Zach Osborne struggled. Williams came in during the middle of the Homecoming game and unleashed a 60 yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Colton Parker on just his third drive. Williams had not even taken snaps as quarterback since he moved to Carmel has a junior, but now he heads into the playoffs as the undisputed number one starter.
Williams reflected on the moment he took over as the starter. “It was kinda cool. I hadn’t been there in a while, so I was a little nervous, as you can imagine, but that’s where I like to thrive and take advantage of the situation as best I can and trust in my hard work,” he said.
Both Williams and Brevard emphasized that avoiding mistakes is the most important priority on both sides of the ball for the playoff run. “In the locker room, we say that our biggest opponent is ourselves. We’ve got the guys, we’ve got the pieces, but sometimes we just don’t put it all together. If we play our game and do our thing, then we feel like nobody can stop us,” Williams said.
Brevard discussed the challenges of facing a tough HSE squad. “They pride themselves on controlling the football. They’re quarterback is really good; he can put the ball anywhere. We just have to make sure we’re ready for them.”
Hebert said, “I wouldn’t change what we’ve been through together for anything. At this point, we need to operate, play, coach, lead, serve, etc. with our hearts. I’m excited about the opportunity to play another game with all of these people I care about so much.”