GAME RECAP: Royals down Zionsville, move to 5-1

Noah Spirek

On Friday night, the Hamilton Southeastern Royals went on the road and returned with a big 41-21 victory over the Zionsville Eagles. The win was the Royals’ fifth of the season and provided a big bounce-back from the loss to Westfield just a week prior. For the Eagles, the loss dropped them to 3-3.

The game started out as a defensive battle, with the teams scoring just seven points each in the opening quarter. At the 7:47 mark, Zionsville was able to get on the board first with a one-yard run from quarterback Luke Murphy. However, HSE responded quickly with a 22-yard connection from Sam Jacobs to Ian Bucher.

In the second quarter, the defenses dominated, as both teams struggled to sustain drives. The Royals stingy secondary limited the opportunities for the Eagles receivers, and the Royals were unable to get the running game going. Fortunately, with 2:28 left in the half, Blaine Wertz took a two-yard run into the endzone for a big touchdown. After the PAT from Alex Geroulis, the Royals led 14-7.

The lead didn’t last long, unfortunately, as Zionsville used its quick-strike ability to score a touchdown with 52 seconds left in the half. QB Luke Murphy delivered a strike to senior receiver Julian Molife from 22 yards out, and the score remained tied at 14 going into halftime.

After the halftime break, the Royals came out strong, and took a 21-14 lead after a great catch by senior receiver Jack Wafford. On the ensuing Eagles possession, Cole Earlewine secured a huge interception that killed what had been a great drive for Zionsville. After the big momentum-shift, QB Sam Jacobs took off for a 91-yard rushing TD, putting the Royals comfortably ahead, 28-14.

In the fourth quarter, the Royals combined fantastic defense with a couple touchdowns from Owen Jones to finish off the win. Jones scampered for two touchdowns from 39 and 44 yards respectively, and the Royals defense continued to hold the Eagles offense at bay. By the end of the night, Cole Earlewine had two interceptions, Noah Wolf had one, and Griffen Haas had one.

The final score ended up 41-21 in favor of the Royals, who will look forward to hosting Noblesville next week. For Zionsville, they will look to get back above .500 as they travel to Brownsburg next week.