By Matt Anderson
FISHERS — The Brownsburg players raised their helmets high and repeatedly chanted 9-and-0 in their huddle after their final regular season game.
To do so, the Bulldogs spoiled Fishers’ senior night as the Brownsburg football team capitalized on turnovers to win in dominating fashion, 31-0. For just the fifth time in school history, the Bulldogs went undefeated and did so for the first time since 1994.
“Our kids played like they wanted to be 9-0,” Brownsburg coach Brett Comer said. “To get it done in the HCC . . .week in and week out it doesn’t matter who you play or where you play it’s a meat grinder and to be undefeated and to be HCC champions we are very, very proud.”
The top two teams in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference were playing for bragging rights in the final game of the regular season with the Bulldogs having already clinched the conference title. Yet, Brownsburg was not prepared to let up and rest, going for the historic, undefeated season.
“[Coach Comer] made us stay focused,” Brownsburg quarterback Ian Good said. “He told everybody we were going to win it and he wasn’t going to pull us.”
However, with such a lopsided game the Bulldogs’ first team offense and defense got a little break in the fourth quarter.
Fishers’ mistakes started early allowing Brownsburg to build a significant lead. On the first play from scrimmage, the Tigers fumbled, allowing the Bulldogs to recover and set up shop on the Fishers 21-yard line.
Good connected with Haden Shipman for the first time of the night on a 19-yard gain to set up a first-and-goal from the 2-yard line. However, the Bulldogs could not punch it in and settled for a Brandon Dowers 22-yard field goal to take a 3-0 first quarter lead.
Fishers went with backup quarterback Ben Pritchett after their usual starter Connor Christiansen broke his hand the previous week. Pritchett struggled heavily in the first half going 2 of 8 for two yards and two interceptions.
Safety Chase Dutra caught a ball thrown right at him and returned it for 24 yards, setting up a Toks Akinribade touchdown. Akinribade’s 1-yard run put Brownsburg up 10-0 with three minutes left in the first half.
Caleb Cooley stepped in front of another poorly thrown ball on the next drive. After a Good incompletion, he promptly kept the ball on a triple option and ran 53 yards and Brownsburg led 17-0 at halftime.
“Those were uncharacteristic turnovers by Fishers,” Comer said. “We sputtered early, I can’t say that we came out hot, because we didn’t and I thought we were in for a dogfight.”
Shipman remained Good’s favorite receiver in the second half. The two connected on a 55-yard touchdown pass, which Shipman pulled down with one hand, stretching the lead to 24.
“He’s got speed, he’s got hands and I can rely on him to catch it,” Good said.
Shipman finished with four catches for 96 yards and a score. Good completed 7 of12 passes for 105 yards with one touchdown pass and another rushing.
Akinribade rushed for 82 yards and two touchdowns, including the final score, a 24-yard dash.
Brownsburg drew HCC foe Zionsville for its opening game in sectional play at home next Friday. The Bulldogs defeated the Eagles 14-0 last week en route to clinching their HCC Championship.
“We don’t like our draw . . . playing an HCC team, not an easy way to go,” Comer said. “But we’re going to show up and play no matter what.”