CLAYTON — Second-year Cascade football coach Jason Thompson thanked his seniors and praised its contributions to the football program after Friday night’s sectional game with Speedway
Despite their best efforts, the Cadets came up short in their rematch with the Sparkplugs, falling 39-0. Speedway downed Cascade 40-13 in the regular season.
“We can make some plays and we have some big-play guys and have more bullets,” Speedway coach Denny Pelley said. “We didn’t play very well the first time we played, but part of that’s due to Cascade. Jason does a great job and (the Cadets) do what they should be doing and hung in the game, but our athletes are going to make plays.”
No Speedway player made bigger plays against Cascade than wide receiver/defensive back Jordan Furlow. The senior caught six passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns. He also tallied two interceptions of Cascade quarterback Sawyer Donovan, returning one 36 yards for a score.
“Furlow makes plays as well as anybody and is an explosive kid,” Pelley said.
With as many weapons as Speedway has, including Notre Dame-commit Justin Brent, the Sparkplugs presented a tough game-planning challenge.
“They have fantastic athletes,” Thompson said. “They got their kids the ball and our kids got there to make plays, but their kids came up with the ball.”
Cascade hung with Speedway through a scoreless first quarter and held the ball for nearly seven minutes before coming up short on an incomplete pass on fourth down at the Sparkplugs’ 30-yard line.
Three plays into the second quarter, Brent ran it in from 46 yards out to start the Sparkplugs’ scoring.
Furlow intercepted Donovan on the Cadets’ ensuing drive and shortly after that, Speedway quarterback Nick McCormick found Furlow for the first of his three passing TDs on the night.
Furlow’s pick-six three plays later put Speedway up 20-0 in the span of four minutes. Brent scored on a 6-yard run before the half and Speedway led 26-0.
McCormick found Furlow on Speedway’s opening drive of the second half for their second hookup, and then threw to Sam Aherns on the first play of the fourth quarter to end the scoring.
“Our team didn’t give up and it would have been very easy to get down but they did not quit,” Thompson said.
Cascade’s Zach Batts led the defense with 14 tackles and a blocked extra point.
“He watches so much film and knows what play is coming before it happens,” Thompson said.
Finishing 6-5, it was Cascade’s first winning season since 2006, and Thompson’s first. Thompson spoke highly of the seniors who helped make that record a reality.
“It’s not easy having a coaching change in the middle of your high school career, and they did everything I asked them to do from the first day,” Thompson said. “They busted their tails and it showed up on the football field. Their work ethic is unreal and we’re going to miss them.”
Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @JacobEThompson