Behind the 1-2 punch of senior running back Josh Thacker and junior fullback Hayden Kermode, the Triton Central Tigers smashed the Beech Grove Hornets 40-7 Friday night at Beech Grove’s TCU Veterans Stadium. Thacker, who got the start in place of classmate Keaton Kermode, carried the ball 26 times for 260 yards and two touchdowns (9 and 4 yards, respectively) while Hayden Kermode, Keaton’s younger brother, picked up 133 yards on 13 carries and scored four TDs (on runs of 12, 15, 12 and 7 yards). Keaton Kermode missed Friday night’s game due to participating in a national dance competition out of state.
Triton Central (5-3, 4-2 in the ICC) drew first blood six minutes and 34 seconds into this Indiana Crossroads Conference tussle when Kermode barged in from 12 yards out, giving the Tigers a 6-0 advantage. It would add to that margin early in the second period when Thacker punched it in from nine yards, making the score 13-0. Three minutes and 34 seconds later, Kermode found the end zone from the Beech Grove 15-yard line, extending the Triton Central lead to 20-0.
The host Hornets showed signs of life late in the first half as quarterback Gavin Mitchell scored on a 2-yard run to draw his team to within 20-7 with 1:41 left to play in the first half. However, that rally turned out to be short-lived as Kermode tallied two more touchdowns and Thacker one in the second half to squelch any hopes of a Hornet comeback on a rainy, chilly night.
Mitchell led the Hornets with 81 yards on 22 rushes; however, those yards were hard-earned as Beech Grove (3-5, 2-5 in the ICC) could muster just 164 yards of total offense. Despite committing no turnovers, the Hornets were forced to punt 10 times. Senior Josh Fryar totaled 339 yards on those 10 punts (33.9 AVG), his longest 51 yards.
Now finished with play in the Indiana Crossroads Conference this season, the Hornets will face unbeaten East Central (8-0) in the regular season finale next Friday night at TCU Veterans Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., since East Central High School is located just outside Cincinnati, OH.
One item of note: the state football tournament pairings show will air late Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. on IHSAA TV (internet broadcast; go to www.ihsaatv.org to view the show live). After Sunday’s internet broadcast, which will last approximately two hours, the sectional pairings will be made available on www.ihsaa.org (Beech Grove is in Class 4A Sectional 22).