BY JOSH SIGLER
---- — BUNKER HILL — A promising start turned into a prime example of Murphy’s Law for the Maconaquah football team in Friday’s clash with Mississinewa.
The Braves forced a turnover on the Indians’ first drive, and made Ole Miss pay with a touchdown three plays later.
From that point on, everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Braves, who committed four turnovers and were whistled for nine penalties as the Indians scored 42 of the game’s next 45 points after the early touchdown to run away with a 42-9 win on Maconaquah’s turf.
“I think effort is the thing that we were missing [Friday] night,” Maconaquah coach Mark Hartman said. “We thought, for the most part, we had scouted [Mississinewa] out pretty well. Mississinewa does what Mississinewa does, and hadn’t changed much from what we’d seen in previous weeks. We felt like, at times, we were in position but just didn’t make plays. That comes down to just will.”
Cody Hicks gave Maconaquah (1-1) the early 6-0 lead with a six-yard touchdown run with 9:11 left in the opening stanza, but gave the ball back to the Indians on five of its final eight drives of the night on two fumbles, two interceptions and a bad snap on a punt that turned the ball over on downs.
As a result, the Indians (2-0), began to pull away with a punishing rushing attack. Ole Miss took a 19-9 lead into intermission and shut the Braves out in the second half as it finished the night with 302 rushing yards on 49 carries.
“I really thought this would be a tough, hard-fought game coming in, and it could’ve been,” Mississinewa coach Curt Funk said. “We were just able to overtake some momentum there in the second quarter, sustain drives and stop some of their big drives. If they finish a couple of their drives in the second and third quarters, it could’ve been a totally different score. I was not expecting a score of 42-9. ... We preach creating turnovers on defense, and our defense has done an outstanding job of doing that.”
Junior Blake Dailey had a night to remember. The Ole Miss tailback finished with 234 yards and three TDs on the ground on 27 carries. Senior Montana Waddling added five carries for 59 yards and a TD as well as three catches for 54 yards and another score.
Hicks finished the night with 76 yards and a TD on nine carries. He was limited to three carries in the second half as the Braves went to the air after falling behind by multiple scores.
Quarterback Kyle Dinn completed 13 of 23 passes for 103 yards and a pair of interceptions. K.J. Walton was his favorite target, hauling in seven catches for 50 yards.
Maconaquah’s other scoring drive came in the second quarter, when kicker Jorge Cortez capped an eight-play, 49-yard drive with a 23-yard field goal to pull the Braves within 13-9 with 6:47 to play in the first half.