May 21, 2024

Spencer, IND – Over 7,000 people showed up at Patriot Field in Spencer, IN to watch what many would call the game of the Sectionals to this point. This game lived up to that hype as both Gibson Southern and Owen Valley gave the throngs of ravenous fans a spectacle that will be remembered for a long time. Owen Valley would come out ahead and break Gibson Southern’s 21 game winning streak and spoil the chance for the Titans to repeat as State Champions.

Here’s How It All Went Down

Gibson Southern would come out on fire. They used their passing attack and stout defense to go up 14-0 early on in the first quarter. Gibson had a game-plan coming into this contest and executed it perfectly to take that 14-0 lead into the first break. QB1 Tanner Boyd and WR Isaac O’Neal were on the same page as they connected from 23 and 17 yards respectively for the games two opening touchdowns. Owen Valley just didn’t seem to have an answer for the defending State Champions.

Then Came The 2nd Quarter.

Seemingly a whole new Patriot team came out in the second quarter. Owen Valley took the best punch that Gibson Southern had and did not fold. The Patriots’ defense was finally able to get some pressure on Titans’ QB1 Tanner Boyd and forced him into some early and pressured throws. The turning point and momentum swinger for Owen Valley came when Tim Hraden read Boyd perfectly and was able to intercept his pass and take it all the way to the house. Offensively, the Patriots were able to get Christian McDonald and their running game into groove and begin to punish the Titans’ defense. McDonald would add a bruising 21 yard TD run, dragging a few Titans along with him. The score would be all knotted up at 14 going in to the half.

I mean, it’s just like any other any other game that we talked about being a 48 minute football game, you know, I say to our guys all the time. If we get down 14 points early. Are we fine? And everybody responds with Yes, sir. You know, so very, very, very happy with the way we responded but it’s a 12 round fight. It’s a 15 round fight. It’s a 48 minute football game. So just taking care of business for 48 entire minutes and not getting too down on ourselves.

Owen Valley Head Coach Rob Gibson on getting down early

2nd Half

The second half would begin with a bang as after a Owen Valley punt, Titans QB1 Tanner Boyd would throw an absolutely beautiful deep ball to WR Cole Mckee for a 39 yard score. This would put the Titans up again 21-14 and would momentarily swing the momentum back to Gibson Southern. Owen Valley would tie it back up with a brutal run by Patriots QB1 Brody Lester. He lowered his shoulders and dragged three Titan defenders into the end zone with him. He was determined to get that ball across the goal line. Take a look for yourselves.

Chris Marshall / SISN

4th Quarter

As has been the theme all night, the Patriots and Titans would go into the final frame all knotted up at 21. Owen Valley’s pass rush absolutely dominated the offensive line of Gibson Southern. Multiple times they would break through and either force Boyd into a pressured throw or just outright sack him. Owen Valley would seemingly take the lead on a blocked field goal returned for a TD but an inadvertent whistle from one of the officials would blow the play dead.

It was a huge momentum swing too had it worked. But I understand how big a game it was for both teams. Which means it was a big game for the officials as well. It ended up okay!

Owen Valley Head Coach Rob Gibson on the blocked field goal

It certainly did end up okay for the Patrtiots as they would get the ball after that blocked field goal and drive it all the way down the field. Brody Lester would get his second rushing TD of the night on a 1 yard QB sneak. Gibson Southern would get the ball back but could not get anything going against the Patriots amped up defense. Tanner Boyd would be sacked on 3 of the last 4 possessions to ice the game for the Patriots. It was a crazy scene right after the final pass from Boyd was tipped at the line and fell incomplete. Owen Valley will move on to face Pike Central in the Sectional Championship next Friday.

Chris Marshall / SISN

Players of the Game

Offense

Senior RB Christian McDonald – Owen Valley

Chris Marshall / SISN

McDonald ran he ball for 140 yards on 21 carries, good for a very impressive 6.7 yards a carry. He added one touchdown on a punishing 21 yard blast down the middle. McDonald ran behind a great offensive line all night and was able to move the chains and keep the Titans high powered offense off the field.

Senior QB Brody Lester – Owen Valley

Chris Marshall / SISN

Brody didn’t light up the game statistically but he was one of the most important players on the field Friday night. He showed his toughness again and again driving through Titans defenders. He scored the game winning touchdown halfway through the 4th quarter and then helped the defense ward off the last second Titans flourish.

Defense:

The Entire Pass Rush

Chris Marshall / SISN

I can’t nail down a specific player that I’d like to give this award to so we might as well give it to all of em. Owen Valley sacked Titans QB1 Tanner Boyd 9 times. That’s right 9! When they weren’t hitting the QB they were forcing difficult throws, one of which was picked and taken to the house. Congratulations go out to all the players and coaches on that side of the ball, they deserve it.

Photo Gallery

Relive the sights and emotions of Friday Night’s contest by clicking here: PHOTO GALLERY

Game Stats

Stats Courtesy of Digital Scout

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