Whiteland’s Jakarrey Oliver (8) sacks Castle’s Michael Lane (10) for a loss in IHSAA 5A semistate game.
By Doug Clements / Pro Motion Photos
That is what Whiteland did against Castle in the 5A Semi-State Championship on a cold Friday night. Whiteland had only been in this position one other time in the school’s history. This time, the Warriors and coach Darrin Fisher made the most of the opportunity, winning 21-7 by asserting their power game on the ground.
The Warriors relied heavily on their trademark running game. Sixty of the 62 plays were on the ground for 325 yards. Whiteland passed for only 10 yards.
Senior running backs Peyton Emberton and Jonathan Crowley combined for 200 of those yards with Slate Valentine adding 82 yards and two touchdowns.
Whiteland’s defense was very stingy and allowed only 80 yards rushing and 106 passing and a lone TD.
Whiteland’s defense has not given up more than 14 points in any game since September. They have allowed only three TDs and one field goal in four playoff games.
Thanks to a dominating ground game and tenacious offense, the senior-heavy Warriors will compete for the high school’s first IHSAA team championship in any sport when they meet Valparaiso at Lucas Oil Stadium for the 5A title Saturday at 7 p.m.