Boys Varsity Football · Stars blow out Eastbrook to go back-to-back

Nov 30, 2019

Indianapolis – As they stood on the 35 yard line, they almost couldn’t believe what had just transpired.

Connor Hole, Cortez Stoudemire, Brett Wethington and Spencer Wright, four of the key senior members of the Western Boone football team just embraced one other, enjoying their final moments on a football field together.

This was more than excitement about winning the program’s second-straight state championship in emphatic fashion, topping Eastbrook 44-7 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

This was about leaving a legacy, brotherhood, and giving everything you had for one another as you achieve your ultimate goal.

“This is everything we wanted,” Hole said. “It was really emotional for us, because we had this goal and had this plan from day one, and we achieved it today. We love each other and it’s just an amazing feeling.”

This was a senior class that wanted to make sure they left a legacy that would be talked about in the upcoming generations of Western Boone football players.

From seventh grade until they ended their careers at Western Boone, they lost six games, and went 29-1 with two state championships to close it out.

“It’s the greatest class to ever go through Western Boone and I don’t think anybody can gripe about that now,” Pelley said. “They had some really talented players with them last year, and they needed each other, but this is their team. They rose to the challenge.”

But it may have been the way they stamped their legacy that was the most impressive.

Even when thinking of best case scenarios, Pelley couldn’t have dreamt up what happened with his football team on Saturday afternoon.

The Stars dominated Eastbrook in every phase of the game from the opening whistle, out-gaining the Panthers 512-127 and were up 41-0 before the Panthers scored.

“I’m not sure if I could have written this script out,” Pelley said. “It speaks volumes to our culture, our coaches, our kids, our administration, everybody. I don’t know what to say.”

The Stars set the tone from the opening kick-off.

WeBo took the opening possession and went 65 yards in 10 plays, nine on the ground, and scored on an 8-yard run by Connor Hole.

After forcing an Eastbrook punt, the Stars went 97 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 31-yard pass from Spencer Wright to Connor Hole, and all of a sudden it was 14-0 early in the second quarter.

“We had to have that mentality to hit them in the mouth and we did that,” Hole said. “We took it down and scored, stopped them on defense and scored again. That’s what we needed to do, we did, and now we are state champs.”

The Stars defense responded with a three-and-out, and Robby Taylor capped off another 10-play drive, scoring on a 2-yard run to put Western Boone up 21-0.

Western Boone nearly made it 28-0 right before the half, but after driving to the Eastbrook two yard line with 20 seconds left, Wright was intercepted in the end zone, keeping it 21-0 at the half.

“Our kids just played off the charts,” Pelley said. “They kept that edge all year long. We can finally breath a little and it’s like a huge weight is lifted off our shoulders. Our kids played to their potential, and that’s our jobs as coaches.”

Any momentum that the Panthers looked to have from that interception quickly went away.

On the second play of the third quarter, Eastbrook’s Wyatt Stephenson fumbled and it was nearly returned for a touchdown by Caleb Freeman.

Three plays later, Taylor punched it in to make it 28-0.

“I think that was really deflating for them,” Pelley said. “Being down three scores and getting the ball, it’s not overwhelming. But that was the nail in the coffin.”

From there, the Western Boone defense took over.

On Eastbrook’s first three offensive drives of the second half, they totaled minus-1 yard of offense.

The Stars added touchdowns after each drive, with Wright finding Connor Garrity for a 37-yard score, and Taylor adding a third rushing touchdown to make it 44-0.

Wright finished the game 14 of 18 for 254 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He added 54 yards on the ground.

He finished his storied career 39-6 as the Western Boone starter.

“He’s two state football games, he has thrown for over 500 yards, and has just been great,” Pelley said. “He hasn’t had to do that all year, but today, we knew they were going to try and stop the run so we had to loosen them up a little.”

His big target was Cortez Stoudemire, who caught five passes for 130 yards.

The catches and yards were both career highs for the senior.

“It felt great to contribute like that,” Stoudemire said. “This week I moved out to receiver more and more and we have worked on those long balls and they worked today. We were able to accomplish something that has never been done in WeBo history, it’s a great feeling, especially to do it with these guys.”

The only negative was Western Boone loosing the shutout in the fourth quarter, when Eastbrook scored with 10:55 to go.

But at that point, the game was already decided, and the Stars could sit back and think about finishing the mission they had set forth on years ago.

“We knew our grade was special,” Wright said. “We knew with last year’s group that we had a good chance and we got it, but we weren’t satisfied with that. That was our junior year, we wanted to do it our senior too. Going 29-1 is pretty good, and with the two state championships, I’ll take it.”

Hole said that he hoped that this senior class’s legacy could be to inspire future generations of Western Boone football.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Hole said. “It’s such an amazing feeling. It was our dream and it came true. We are never going to forget this. This is history at Western Boone and it’s going to be there forever. Future players are going to look up and see that, and hopefully it inspires them to continue on.”

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