Boys Varsity Football · Two-minute drill sparks Stars

Looking at the final score of Friday night’s semi-state win for Western Boone, a second-quarter drive in a three-score game may not seem overly important.

But Western Boone’s final drive of the first half made of the difference in the game, and led the Stars back to their second-straight state championship game.

Triton Central had just finished off their best drive of the game, going 64 yards and scoring on a 19-yard run to cut the Western Boone lead to 14-7 with 1:33 left in the half.

With the Stars getting the ball first in the second half, and could have been content to run out the clock and take the lead into the half.

But Western Boone had other ideas.

“We work on that all the time,” Western Boone head coach Justin Pelley said. “People call it a two-minute drill, but I call it a 48-second drill. In practice, we try to drive 70 yards in 48 seconds, giving them a timeout and using the out-of-bounds. Our kids made those plays tonight.”

The Stars used the sideline to their advantage, and getting quick passes of 7- and 12-yards from Spencer Wright to Connor Garrity, then a 6-yard pass to Cortez Stoudemire to five them first-and-10 from the 35 with 44 seconds left.

After three-straight incompletions, the biggest drive came on fourth-and-10 with 30 seconds left.

Wright lofted a pass down the right sideline to Stoudemire, who got a step on his man and made a fantastic diving catch to give the Stars first-and-goal at the 2.

“We had been working on the play all week, and I thought it was out of reach, but I just barely got it.”

Stoudemire only started playing offense in Week 5 against North Montgomery, and coming into the game had only 15 catches on the season.

He said Friday night that he feels more and more comfortable on the offensive side of the ball, and came up with the big catch when the Stars needed it.

“They make me look good,” Wright said. “I just threw it to a spot, and trust in those guys. They are all so fast, and he was able to get there and catch the ball.”

Two plays later, Robby Taylor punched it in to give the Stars a 21-7 lead, and they took the second half kick-off and added another touchdown to make it a 28-7 game, and basically put the dagger in Triton Central’s hopes.

“It was a big drive for us,” quarterback Spencer Wright said. “We practice our two-minute drill everything Thursday, which helps a lot. It was really big to get that touchdown heading into the half.”

The win gave Western Boone its fourth-ever semi-state championship.

For the senior class, it gives them a chance to walk off the field next week as champions.

“It means a lot,” Stoudemire said. “It is a great feeling to go back again. We have had chemistry for a long time, and it is just a great feeling.”

Wright said that while the Stars are happy to be in the position they are in, they know they have to be better next week if they want to win the title again.

“We know our works not done,” Wright said. “There is always room for improvement and we will be ready for next week. We will watch and lot of film and come up with a good game plan.”

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