TIPTON — With a potential rematch with Class 2A No. 2 Lafayette Central Catholic looming in the second round, Tipton’s football team had to first find a way to dispatch a Lewis Cass squad that Blue Devils coach Aaron Tolle know couldn’t be overlooked.
The No. 7-ranked Devils did not get caught looking ahead.
Quarterback Austin Hooker accounted for 334 total yards and five touchdowns, leading Tipton to a 38-13 victory over the Kings on Friday night in the opening round of Sectional 35 play.
“You better not overlook a Cass team,” Tolle said. “They have great history, great tradition and an outstanding coach. If you were ever to overlook them, you’d go home. I was impressed with our intensity out of the gate. We took charge from the beginning, so I’m proud of our kids.”
The Blue Devils (7-3) built a 21-0 lead by the early stages of the second quarter on the arm and legs of Hooker. Hooker scored on 10- and six-yard runs in the first quarter, and threw the first of three TD passes early in the second quarter on a 10-yard hookup with Nate Friend to put Tipton up 21-0 with 9:23 to play in the first half.
Hooker finished the night with 90 yards rushing on 11 carries. The 2012 KT All-Area Offensive Player of the Year was 13-of-22 through the air for 244 yards, three TDs and an interception in his fourth game back after suffering a broken non-throwing arm in Week 2.
“We’ve been holding him back a lot,” Tolle said of Hooker. “Two weeks before he came back he was practicing — he was throwing and running. We sat down and came up with a plan, and gave him five quarterback calls his first game back, 10 the next couple games after that, and [Friday] night we said, ‘Do whatever it takes.’ He’s been champing at the bit.”