It has been 32 years. 321 games. 15,408 minutes of Trojan Football. Finally, the streak is over. New Castle’s boys of fall celebrated senior night with a 24-14 victory over Greenfield Central which takes NC’s record to 5-4, the first winning regular season since 1985. It wasn’t pretty, and it was a hard fought game, but the boys dug deep and the defense did what they do: Bend but not break. Possessions were at a premium as both team had long drives, but NC scored on theirs, and GC didn’t, getting shut out the second half.
GC got the kickoff and went 3 and out and the GC punt travelled 15 yards. NC took possession and moved it to the GC 12 yard line when on 4th down, Carter Brown hit a 29 yard field goal out of the hold of Nicholas Grieser, and NC led 3-0. GC came back on the next possession and scored, taking the lead 7-3. NC then moved the ball down the field, aided by a 38 yard Dakota Durick run. Durick finished it of by scampering 15 yards for the TD. Brown added the PAT, setting the record for career extra points in the process and NC led 10-7 after 1.
The second quarter saw the Trojan Defense hold GC, and forced a missed FG. NC took the ball and moved down the field, where Luke Bumbalough ran it in from 13 yards out, and Brown added the PAT to give NC a 17-7 lead. GC then took 7 minutes and 26 seconds, getting 3 fourth down conversions on the drive and scored with 53 seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 17-14 at the break.
GC tried an onside kick to start the second half, but touched the ball before it travelled 10 yards. NC moved the ball but turned it over on downs. GC got possession and moved it inside the Trojan 10 yard line where a holding call moved them back. On 4th down, Stephen Spears broke through and planted GC’s QB on the turf and the defense held. NC had the ball and was moving when the 3rd quarter ended, facing 4th and goal from the 13 yard line.
On the 1st play of the 4th quarter, Niah Williamson scrambled right and threw a dart to Bumbalough in the corner of the end zone for a 13 yard TD. Brown added the PAT and it was 24-14. GC took the kick and moved the ball into NC territory where on 4th down, their pass was incomplete. NC took over and imposed their will, taking 6 minutes off the clock, getting 4 first downs on the drive. Williamson hit Grieser for a 9 yard gain to make it 4th and 1 and he snuck it for a 1st. Williamson hit Bumbalough on 3rd and 9 for an 11 yard gain and GC was out of timeouts. 32 years of frustration went away when NC got into the victory formation and Williamson took 2 knees to seal the victory. The celebration ensued and NC had ended the streak.
Offensively, Williamson was 19-32 for 233 yards and 1 TD. Durick ran the ball 6 times for 68 yards and a TD. Bumbalough had 10 catches for 114 yards and a TD, and ran 3 times for 26 yards and a TD. Chesher had 4 catches for 71 yards, Grieser 3 for 32, and Tytus Ragle 2 for 16.
Defensively NC was led by Dylan Beck with 14 tackles and a pass defended. Colin Holcomb and Stephen Spears had 13 tackles each, Dalton Clouse 12, Travis Reeves 11, Trenton Williams 9, Grieser and Chandler Marcum 7. Spears and Caleb Pierce had sacks.
NC plays at Richmond to open sectional play next week. Gametime is 7 pm. It was a full house for senior night as all the fall senior athletes and band members were introduced. But this night belonged to the 11 senior football players. They can say they were the leaders of the first team in 32 years to have a winning season. This is just the start. We can all say we are Proud to be a NC Trojan football player, parent, or fan. As they say when they breakout: Family on 3. 1,2,3 FAMILY!!!