INDIANAPOLIS — With the Class 3A Sectional 29 football title on the line Friday night, the Tri-West Bruins were a part of history.
Unfortunately, it was another team’s history as the Brebeuf Braves won their first-ever sectional football title with a 42-21 win.
“We just couldn’t make enough plays on them and they could,” Tri-West coach Chris Coll said. “That’s what it came down to.”
Brebeuf couldn’t have started the game much better as running back LeVante’ Bellamy broke around the right side for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play. Bellamy finished the night with 299 yards on 25 carries and four touchdowns.
“He’s fast, but his lateral movement is like nothing I’ve seen… and his ability to jump cut, to laterally slide, oh my goodness,” Coll said.
Brebeuf coach Mic Roessler attributed the Braves’ success to a “culture change” and student body and athletes that have bought into what the first-year coach has asked of them — and a great running back doesn’t hurt either.
“(Bellamy) is really something special,” Roessler said. “He’s got the power to run through it, the vision to see around it and the ability to make every bad play look great.”
Tri-West responded to Brebeuf’s opening salvo with a 13-play, 80-yard TD drive that culminated with an 18-yard strike from Jake Hendershot to Colton Jobe.
Brebeuf answered as Bellamy scored his second TD of the night from 3 yards out.
Both teams turned the ball over on downs and then Brebeuf held Tri-West to a three-and-out.
Brebeuf took advantage as Aaron Banks found Jack Roberts for a 36-yard TD strike and the Braves led, 21-7.
Brebeuf scored after another Tri-West three-and-out with Bellamy going in again, this time from 38 yards out.
Tri-West responded with a make or break type of drive as Hendershot threw his second TD of the night, this time to Casey Coll, and the Bruins trailed 28-14 at the half.
Tri-West received the ball to begin the second half, but a Hendershot interception led to Bellamy’s fourth score of the night and Brebeuf again led by 21.
Banks found Ethan Beaty on a 5-yard TD throw for Brebeuf’s last score of the night.
Tri-West mounted a 15-play scoring drive as Hendershot hooked up with Coll for their second TD with 1:20 left in the third.
Hendershot accounted for most of the Bruins’ offense, throwing for 187 yards and rushing for 79 yards. The junior quarterback threw two interceptions in the second half.
“There were some challenges and some struggles where he got frustrated a couple of times, but he kept his composure and that really came through late in the second half when we’re still putting drives together because he’s making plays,” Coll said.
Twelve Tri-West seniors took the field for the final time last night and their contributions will be remembered. Tri-West (9-3) finished as Sagamore Conference champs for the second consecutive season and delivered a sectional title opportunity to their head coach for the first time in his tenure.
“They battled and played their butts off all year long,” Coll said. “I’m very proud of that group and they stuck together. They’re great in the classroom and great in the community.”
— Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @JacobEThompson