Senior staff writer
When it’s time for a big play, first-year Center Grove receiver Russell Yeast wants the ball in his hands.
Yeast and senior quarterback Jack Kellams combined for touchdown passes of 60, 11, 58 and 32 yards plus the winning 7-yard strike in a thrilling 44-41 overtime triumph Friday against Cathedral at Ray Skillman Stadium.
“Big-time players want the ball in big-time games,” said Yeast, who played football in Ohio for three seasons. “I definitely wanted the ball in key situations.”
Certainly there were many key situations that demanded special plays from the 6A No. 3 Trojans against Cathedral.
Center Grove went up 35-17 on the duo’s fourth TD pass early in the third quarter, but the Irish fought back to tie it on a 12-yard scoring pass with only 27 seconds left in regulation.
Cathedral scored first in overtime on a 20-yard field goal after a third-down monster stop by Trojans defensive captains Nick Arbuckle and Dan Root. Two plays later, Kellams floated the game winner to Yeast in the end zone.
“The touchdown before the end of the first half was my favorite,” said Yeast, who made a dramatic cutback to midfield at the 20. “Every time they (Cathedral) made a play I just wanted to get back out there and make another play. The touchdowns really didn’t hit me until I got back to the sidelines.”
Yeast came to Center Grove when his dad, Craig Yeast, a former standout receiver at the University of Kentucky, was hired as an assistant coach at Franklin College. Yeast’s mom, Torri, is a former UK basketball player.
Yeast played at Fremont Ross High in Ohio as a defensive back and receiver, catching five TD passes in a game as a sophomore. Under Trojans coach Eric Moore, Yeast had to learn the wing-T after playing in spread formations in Ohio and to become a running back.
“The thing that was hardest was learning the offense,” Yeast said. “I’ve watched more film in one season than I ever have. I had never played running back. Competition-wise this was just as intense.”
Yeast is being sought by Louisville, Mississippi, Auburn and Alabama, and he can add Iowa and Nebraska, whose coaches talked to him after the game.
The Trojans also scored on Trevor Hohlt’s 9-yard run and Luke Eckert’s 35-yard field goal.
The Trojans, along with all Class 6A teams, have an off night Friday before the 16-team 6A playoffs begin Oct. 28.
First-round matchups, 7 p.m. Friday.
Beech Grove (7-2) at Lebanon (7-2) – Seven wins, most wins since 1989 for Hornets … third straight winning season under coach Mark Weller … belted Mooresville 49-21 Friday behind five-TD, 420-yard passing attack of senior QB Chase Andries … high-powered offenses will collide Friday … Tigers average 44.9 points, Hornets 40.3 … Sectional 21 winner most likely meets No. 1 Roncalli next.
Greenwood (6-3) at Frankfort (2-7) – Third winning season in five years for Woodman coach Mike Campbell … rare passing game Friday downed Whiteland 21-10 … senior QB Seth Gallman was 17-of-20 for 217 yards Friday for Woodmen … ground game led by Brandon Rosado and Isaiah Borjas … Woodmen only team with winning record in lower bracket of Sectional 21 … winner meets Mooresville-Western winner Oct. 28.
Northview (6-3) at No. 1 Roncalli (9-0) – First unbeaten regular season since 1999, when Rebels won 3A title … defeated 3A No. 2 Guerin Catholic 28-21 Friday … Patrick McManama, 156 yards with 26 carries, scored winning TD in third quarter … QB Derek O’Connor workmanlike 13-of-13 for 109 yards … winner meets Beech Grove-Lebanon winner Oct. 28.
Manual (5-4) at No. 9 Lawrenceburg (8-1) – Redskins’ first winning campaign since 2005 … … defeated Tindley 42-12 Friday … Redskins have viable running game … drew Sectional 30 favorite Lawrenceburg … Tigers outscored last four foes 216-40.
No. 12 Lutheran (6-3) at Cambridge City Lincoln (1-8) – Fourth straight winning campaign under coach Dave Pasch … defeated Washington 49-0 Friday for third win in row … played eight teams above Class A … defeated only 1A foe Oldenburg Academy 71-0 … winner meets Deaf School-Tri winner.
Friday, Oct. 28
Southport (5-4) vs. Perry Meridian (3-6) at Perry Stadium – Both teams lost Friday … Cardinals thwarted of upset of No. 10 Columbus North on 30-yard field goal … Bloomington North shut out Falcons 28-0 … Sectional 7 game is a rematch of the Sept. 2 Battle of Perry Township, in which the Cards struck early for 27-0 lead on four TD passes by QB Ed Schott …. Cards’ defense was led by Keyton Moore, 10 tackles, and Gage Higgs, seven, … Falcons’ Frank Hammond gained 87 yards … winner likely faces No. 1 Warren Central.
Jeffersonville (4-5) at No. 3 Center Grove (8-1) – defending state champion Trojans riding eight-game win streak … expect injured running back Titus McCoy in action … Red Devils snapped four-game skid with 35-29 win against Jennings County … winner most likely to face No. 10 Columbus North.
Franklin Central (4-5) at No. 1 Warren Central (8-1) – Flashes on upswing under coach Grant Lewis … most wins in three years … missed winning record in one-point loss Friday to Terre Haute North 42-41 … FC’s Jaylen Brown ran for 347 yards … Warriors on seven-game win streak … winner faces Battle of Perry victor.