The Maconaquah Braves celebrated homecoming with a huge Mid-Indiana Conference and Miami County rivalry victory over Peru on Friday night, 28-19.
Maconaquah (5-2) stayed near the top of the MIC with a 4-1 record. The Braves are tied with Western, and trail Hamilton Heights, which is perfect at 5-0. Peru dropped to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
As for the game, it was a real battle between arch-rivals fighting for county bragging rights. The first half was an offensive showcase, while the second half showcased more of a defensive struggle.
Maconaquah took control in the first half as Cody Hicks scored touchdowns on 35- and 55-yard runs. After Hicks scored, Peru’s Nolan Brimbury had touchdown runs of 18- and 20-yards. The Braves' K.J. Walton then added a touchdown reception on a 15-yard pass from Kyle Dinn. Peru's Steven McBride closed out the scoring for the first half with a two-yard touchdown run.
The difference was Maconaquah kicker Jorge Cortez, who hit all three extra-point kicks, while Peru failed on two two-point conversions before Eddie Childers made an extra-point kick on the Tigers' third TD.At halftime, Maconaquah had 208 rushing yards and 70 passing yards, while Peru had 215 rushing yards and 35 passing yards.
“We felt like offensively, we were moving the ball,” Maconaquah coach Mark Hartman said. “We were doing a good job of getting first downs and eating up the clock. We struggled defensively. We weren’t able to stop their option game, so we made adjustments at halftime as far as the front. We bent, but we didn’t break.”
Those adjustments helped the Braves in the second half as Peru didn’t score another point. The furthest the Tigers got in the second half was down to Maconaquah’s 14-yard line, before they fumbled it away.
“We fumbled the ball here after converting on a fourth-down play, and we missed a field goal that was close. There was other opportunities, but both teams played hard, and they put everything out there that they could,” Peru coach Bob Prescott said. “We didn’t make enough plays to win, and they did. We knew that they had great athleticism, speed and size. Our kids came at it, and gave it their best shot with everything they had. We didn’t execute flawlessly enough to win the game.”
Maconaquah’s final score came on a seven-yard run by Hicks for his third TD of the night with 1:38 left in the game. The touchdown was set up by a great acrobatic catch by Walton on a 28-yard pass from Dinn to give the Braves a first down.
Hicks led Maconaquah with 220 rushing yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns — his third straight 200-yard game and the fourth of his career. He also had a 200-yard game against Peru last year.
Walton had four receptions for 42 yards and one touchdown, and Dinn was 11 of 14 passing with one interception and one touchdown.
McBride led Peru with 31 carries for 192 yards and a TD.
This week, Maconaquah visits Cass, and Peru hosts Northwestern.
— Kenny Hetzler
WHITKO 49, N. MIAMI 35
North Miami enjoyed its highest scoring game of the season, but came up on the short end of a 49-35 decision against visiting Whitko in Three Rivers Conference play. Whitko is the league leader at 5-0.
The Warriors have scored 56 points over their last two games after scoring just 39 points over their first five games.
Next up for the Warriors (1-6, 1-4 TRC) is a game at Tippecanoe Valley on Friday.