Sheridan drew blood first Friday night, but Monroe Central’s offense scored 26 unanswered points as the Bears defense clamped down on the Blackhawks leading to the school’s first ever sectional championship, 26-7.
Sheridan senior Joe Callahan capped the opening drive with a 30 yard TD run. The PAT gave the heralded Blackhawks a 7-0 lead.
The 4th ranked Bears then put a drive together which ended with senior Israel Nash punching it in from one yard out with 2:35 left in the first quarter. The 2-point conversion pass failed but MC was on the board albeit trailing 7-6.
After that it was all Bears. The Blackhawks possessions the rest of the night were a majority 3 and out. Sheridan had two turnovers, ended both halves with stalled drives and punted numerous times.
Callahan that averaged almost 160 yards a game was held to 76 and 30 of those came on one run.
Senior Keegan Kane capped the Bears’ 2nd drive with a 5 yard TD run at the 8:55 mark left in the half. Senior QB Casey Conatser passed to Seth Wilson for the conversion points and the Bears went on top for good 14-7.
The Blackhawks were deflated on their ensuing drive. After hitting a big pass that led Sheridan down deep in Bear territory, a fumble was recovered by Nash. The Bears drove out across midfield before kicking the ball away. The Blackhawks could not muster anything the rest of the half.
After taking the 2nd half kickoff, Nash broke loose for a 50 yard run down to the Sheridan 26. After getting inside the 10, a penalty moved the ball back to the Blackhawk 20 and set up a 4th down play. Conatser connected on 20 yd TD pass to Matt Poole in the corner of the end zone to put MC up 20-7 wit 7:11 left in eth 3rd.
In the 4th, senior Wyatt Snyder punched it in from 3 yards out to give MC a 26-7 lead with 6:43 to go in game.
A last hope for Sheridan was snuffed out when Nash intercepted a pass.
For the game, Conatser was 8-of-14 passing for 62 yards and one touchdown. The ground game produced 225 yards led by Nash with 83 on 12 carries. Snyder ran for 74 yards, Seth Wilson had 52 yards and Kane finished with 11 yards.
Poole led the receiving corps with 20 yards, while Nick Mitchell had 15, Wilson had 11 and with 10 was Snyder. Nash had a single catch for 6 yards.