(SOUTHSIDER VOICE PHOTOS BY JOHN SMITH)
Three Southside high school football teams captured their opening games on the first night of IHSAA playoffs.
Roncalli, Beech Grove, and Greenwood found victory in convincing fashion Friday and advanced in 4A sectionals. The 51st football playoffs also will be joined by classes 5A and 6A Friday night.
After leading only 14-0, Roncalli (4-6) surged for four touchdowns and a safety in the second half against undermanned Shortridge (3-6).
Nathan Turner led the defense with an 18-yard return of a Shortridge fumble for a touchdown, four tackles and a sack. Casey Horton impressed with 11 tackles and one sack. The Royals held Shortridge to a mere 30 yards total offense.
Meanwhile, the Royals offense produced 287 yards total offense with Zach Dozier and Henry Adams each scoring two touchdowns. Rudy Schoettle caught a 10-yard TD pass in the second quarter from quarterback Collin Ash.
Beech Grove (5-5) traveled to Muncie Central (4-6) jumped to a 20-7 first quarter lead and an eventual 14-point triumph.
Running back Jeremiah Lee charged for four touchdowns, gaining 172 yards on a workhorse 37 carries.
Quarterback Jay’mar Davis threw two touchdown passes among eight completions for 261 yards as the Hornets offense romped.
Greenwood overcame losing four of its last five games with a resounding sectional triumph at Connersville. The Woodmen rolled to a 42-7 halftime lead for a running clock in the second half.
Woodman quarterback Brock Riddle’s season-long air attack continued with four touchdown passes and 259 yards. Riddle also scored on two short TD runs.
In Class 2A, Eastern ended host Christel House Manual’s season, 49-29. The Eagles finish with a 3-6 season.
Defending state champions, 6A Center Grove (8-1) and Class A Lutheran (8-0) open sectional play Friday night.