Boys Varsity Football · Stars shut down Southmont in sectional opener

DOVER — Western Boone head coach Justin Pelley wanted his team to set the tone Friday night.

He knew that if visiting Southmont could get their running game going, they could control the clock and make things difficult on the Stars.

But they never got it going. Southmont was held to negtive-10 yards rushing in the first half, and Western Boone scored on its first five possessions and cruised into the second round of the sectional, 35-7.

“We know this offense pretty well and they do a good job of taking what we give them,” Pelley said. “I was proud of our defense for stepping up and our offense too.”

On the opening drive of the game, Southmont lost 17 yards and a bobbled snap on a punt gave WeBo the ball on the Mountie 17.

Two plays later Spencer Wright found Connor Hole for a 17-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 and after a three-and-out, the Stars need just two plays to go 48 yards, with Caleb Irion going 39 yards for a touchdown.

Irion got a big block from Cortez Stoudemire on the play to spring him for the last 25 yards, and that is the kind of unselfish play the Stars will need moving forward.

“It takes us all to be successful,” Pelley said. “We got rid of that stigma a while back, and that’s not just our team. Our guys will do their part and block for each other, because somebody is going to be blocking for them sometime too. Cortez made a huge block downfield, and he learned that from last year’s group and the guys before them. That’s how you have to play to win. You can win some games individually, but you aren’t going to win championships.”

After a third-straight three-and-out, the Stars needed five plays to score on the ensuing drive, with Wright finding Luke Marsh for a 27-yard touchdown.

The Mounties showed what their offense is capable of doing on the next drive, using 18 plays to get down to the Western Boone 5, but the Stars held them out of the endzone, with Josh Benson getting a sack on fourth down.

The Mounties had just 18 yards in the first half, with 42 coming on that drive.

“Getting three quick scores was big, but they had that (18-play) drive and that’s what they are capable of,” Pelley said. “We made some adjustments on defense and got the stop, but schematically they are pretty good and thankfully we got off to a great start.”

The Stars make it 27-0 at the half, scoring on a 32-yard run by Wright late in the second quarter.

They made it 35-0 on the second play of the third quarter, when Wright ran it in from 58 yards.

Western Boone’s offense was on the field for just 18 plays, but collected 275 yards (15.2 a play) and five touchdowns.

Wright finished 3 of 5 for 53 yards and two scores, and added 99 yards rushing.

“The trick this week was staying focused and keeping our edge,” Pelley said. “We came out focused and our kids know what’s on the line. Southmont’s seniors are done playing football, and as young as they are, they know that’s the reality of it now – it’s win or you are done.”

The Stars JV was able to play the entire second half with a running clock.

The Mounties got on the board with a 57-yard run by Dillan Lauy in the third quarter.

Pelley said any rest you can get in the post-season is valuable.

“We aren’t as deep (as last year) and not as healthy,” Pelley said. “We have gone through our fair share of injuries this year and still have some guys out. It is good for our young guys too. They don’t have any games left, and they work their tails off all week long and getting them on the field is good for their morale too.”

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter and Zionsville Times Sentinel. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.