Hobart power running game leads way to 18-12 win at Lowell Homecoming

A USA-365.com Special Report by Mark Smith



Team 1 2 3 4 F
Hobart (4-2) 0 7 8 3 18
LOWELL (2-4) 0 6 0 6 12

Friday, September 23, 2016 - 72 degrees, humid in LOWELL, Ind.

Lowell junior Ethan Igras (16) plans his next move against the Hobart offense last Friday. Igras was credited with 13 tackles. (All Photos by Mark Smith)
Hobart senior QB Michael (Mickey) Wolfe (18) breaks loose on the option in the fourth quarter.
Lowell safety Logan O'Hanlon (10) holds up his second quarter interception in the end zone.
Lowell junior Jaeger Gill (2) looks back and sees no one there on his 32-yard second quarter TD run.
Mickey Wolfe (18) and Nick (24) get set to attack the Devils defense with Hobart leading 7-6 in the third quarter.
Big Nick Ray (24) was a hard man to hold down Friday in Lowell. Ray carried 28 times for 226 yards.
Lowell tight end Mitch Wildman (24) grabs what turns out to be a 24-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Lowell defensive back Jaeger Gill (2) deflects this pass away from Hobart senior receiver Brandon James (7) in third quarter action at Lowell.
Lowell's Max Steward (64) charges into the Hobart backfield to try to stop the Brickie running attack. Hobart rushed for an unofficial 293 yards.
Lowell's students showed up for the Homecoming night game with Hobart in an American flag theme.
I'm not sure what these Lowell dance team girls are trying to say. Maybe they were hoping for a six point touchdown to tie the game with Hobart.
Senior Maggie Binder (next to substitute king Ryan Missal) was named the 2016 Lowell Homecoming queen. The 'real' king was senior Mitch Sacco, who was busy in the Lowell locker room and couldn't wear the crown during halftime ceremonies.  (All photos by Mark Smith)
Copyright © 2016 USA-365.com and Meyer Multimedia Services, a division of Meyer Broadcasting Corp.  All rights reserved.
Revised: September 27, 2016 .

1st QtrNo scoring.
2nd QtrLOWELL (6-0) Jaeger Gill, 32-yard run. 82-yard drive, 4 plays. Bad snap on conversion. 10:17 left.
HOBART (6-7)
Nick Ray, 85-yard run. 85 yard drive, 2 plays. Adrian Cantos kick. 1:50 left.
3rd Qtr: HOBART (6-15) Nick Ray, 29-yard run. 82-yard drive, 11 plays. 2-point conversion pass from Jared Zanolla to Giovante Galloway. 6:20 left.
4th Qtr: HOBART (6-18) Adrian Cantos, 29-yard field goal. 46-yard drive, 13 plays. 5:27 left.
LOWELL (12-18)
Mitch Wildman, 29-yard pass from Ethan Igras. 65-yard drive 5 plays. 2-point conversion pass incomplete. 3:35 left.


HOBART (48 carries, 293 yards, 2 TDs, 0 fumbles): Nick Ray (FB) 28 carries, 226 yards, 2 TDs, Chris Tyler (HB) 13 carries, 60 yards, Mickey Wolfe (QB) 6-4 yards ( 2 sacks minus-9) Jared Zanolla (HB) 1-3 yards.

LOWELL (19 carries, 131 yards, one TD, 0 fumbles): Trevor Espravnik (HB) 11 carries; Jaeger Gill (HB) 5 carries, 63 yards; Austin Giordano (FB) 3-42 yards, Dayton Hornickel (QB) 2 carries, 4 yards.

HOBART: Mickey Wolfe (QB) 6 of 13, 60 yards, one interception;
LOWELL : Dayton Hornickel (QB) 0-for-3, one interception, Ethan Igras (QB) 2-2, 39 yads, TD, Jaeger Gill (HB) 0-for-1, one interception.


HOBART: Chris Tyler (HB) 2 catches, 38 yards, Brandon James (WR) 2-12 yards, Jared Zanolla (HB) 2-11 yards; LOWELL: Mitch Wildman (TE) 2 catches, 39 yards, TD.

HOBART: 353 yards, 16 first downs, one turnover; LOWELL 170 yards, 5 first downs, 3 turnovers.

Logan Charters (LOWELL), Jared Zanolla (HOBART), Brandon James (HOBART).

Fumble recoveries:
Brandon James (HOBART).

LOWELL (09-23-2016) If one team has the ball all night and the score is close, is it a close game?

Friday night at Lowell, it was close enough where you can say the Devils could have won. But when you check out how Hobart had the ball for 61 scrimmage plays to just 27 for Lowell, the Brickies should have won and they did 18-12 in a somewhat bumpy Northwest Crossroads Conference (NCC) game.

"We've got to find a way to finish," said Hobart coach Ryan Turley, who was happy, but not thrilled by the flawed game.

"We had the ball a lot, but you've got to get it in the end zone. I guess we made it exciting for the fans."

The Brickies (4-2, 3-1 in NCC) out-gained Lowell 353-170 even with the Devils rushing for six yards (21 carries for 135 yards) a carry.

When Adrian Cantos' 29-yard field goal put the Brickies ahead 18-6 with 5:27 to play, it looked like Hobart was going to walk to the bus with a decisive win.

But Lowell (2-4, 2-2 NCC) drove 65 yards in five plays (and less than two minutes) with backup QB Ethan Igras tossing a 24-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Mitch Wildman with 3:35 left, making the score 18-12. The Devils had a chance to steal this game despite all the good Brickie statistics.

Hobart then got a boost from junior halfback Chris Riley, who broke the first play from scrimmage around left end for 29 yards and a first down to the Lowell 43 and the Devils couldn't get the ball back with any real time left.

"We've got a lot of young players out there," said Lowell coach Keith Kilmer, frustrated with Lowell's fourth loss by eight points or less. "I love this team. I love these guys. But we're making just enough mistakes to lose."

Hobart drove 16 plays on the Brickies' first possession, but missed a 29-yard field goal. The Brickies' Jared Zanolla intercepted Lowell QB Dayton Hornickel at the Lowell 31-yard-line with 25 seconds left in the first quarter. But three plays later, the Devils' Brandon Chocholek and Zac Galvan sacked Hobart QB Mickey Wolfe on fourth down to get the ball back for Lowell.

The Devils took the lead when fullback Austin Giordano broke a trap play for 33 yards to the Hobart 37 yard line. After a 5-yard penalty on the Brickies, Jaeger Gill ran a sweep around left end 32-yards for a TD with 10:17 before halftime. At that point, Lowell led by six even though Hobart had run 20 plays from scrimmage to just 10 for the Devils.

There were some strange plays in this game. Lowell had a collision on a kickoff return as two of their own players went for the ball with the resulting fumble going over to Hobart.

Hobart fumbled a conversion snap and somehow holder Jared Zanolla escaped a couple of Devil tacklers and threw a 'hope for the best' pass into the end zone to tight end Giovante Galloway.

The Devils jumped offside when Hobart had the ball 4th-and-5 in the third quarter leading to a Brickies' TD. And I'm not sure what happened on that score. Hobart has a 4th-and-2 at the Lowell 29 yard line with 6:20 left in the third quarter. With the Brickies leading 7-6, I believe there was supposed to be a direct snap to somebody on Hobart, but the ball dribbled to Ray, who ran 29 yards for the key touchdown of the game.

"Sometimes the football Gods are working against you." Kilmer said.

For the game, Hobart ran 61 plays that were not punts, while Lowell was limited to 27 plays. The Brickies had the ball the first 20 plays of the third quarter (Lowell fumbled the kickoff after Hobart's third quarter TD) and the first 13 plays
of the fourth quarter. The final score was a little misleading.

The reason Hobart dominated the ball was largely, with the help of his offensive line, senior running back Nick Ray (6-0, 200), who came into the game with 613 yards on 90 carries and added an unofficial 22 runs for 226 yards. The big Brickie might have reached 250 yards, but he came out of the game with a minor leg problem early in the fourth quarter. Lowell just couldn't tackle him with one man and they aren't the first team to have that problem.

"That's what he does," said Turley. "That's what we expect of him. He's a senior. One of our leaders. And our line is coming along. But we get down close and we can't score. We can't keep doing that."

Lowell can't keep losing. They have too many good players to be 2-4. Old people know that Lowell has a history of starting slowly and then coming on to play for the sectional title. But the present players only know about two wins and four losses. By scores of 9-3, 28-27, 17-9 and now 18-12.

"We can't listen to outsiders telling us what's wrong," said Kilmer. "The toughest days will be the next three or four. Once we get back out there, we'll be okay. It's hard on the seniors, but guys like Giordano and (Trevor) Espravnik are giving us all they can. But we don't have many seniors. We're good, but we're young. When I look in the huddle I see some very young faces. We just have to stick together and we'll be fine."

Lowell senior Maddie Binder was named Homecoming queen and starting Red Devil center Mitch Sacco was named Homecoming king.

The game was played in a semi-fog of humidity, but temperatures were pleasant for one of the few times all season.
In Lowell's four losses, they have gone scoreless in the fourth quarter. Lowell has allowed 80 points in six games (13.3 points per game) and they are 2-4. Lowell's offense was effective when they had the ball. Utilizing both senior Dayton Hornickel and junior Ethan Igras at quarterback, Lowell averaged over six yards a play.

Linebacker Austin Giordano was credited with a career-high 15 tackles against Hobart. Ethan Igras was in on 13 tackles. Junior Logan O'Hanlon had nine tackles and his first career pass interception.

Lowell finished the regular season at 5-4 in 2014 and they won Class 4A Sectional 17. Lowell was 2-4 in 2006 and they also won the sectional championship. Lowell was 2-5 in 1992 and they won the sectional title.

And in their finest hour, Lowell was 1-4 in 2005 before they won the 4A state championship.

Coach: Keith Kilmer, 44-28 in 7th year at school
Aug. 19 at Crown Point {6A} 2ot  L   3-  9   
Aug. 26 Portage {6A}   L 27-28   
Sep. 2 Kankakee Valley {4A}‡  W 35-  0   
Sep. 9 at Griffith {3A}‡   L   9-17   
Sep. 16 at Highland {4A}‡  W 41-14   
Sep. 23 Hobart {4A}‡   L 12-18   
Sep. 30 at Hammond Morton {4A} 7:00 pm   
Oct. 7 Munster {4A}‡ 7:00 pm   
Oct. 14 at Andrean {4A}‡ 7:00 pm   

Coach: Ryan Turley, 28-30 in 6th year at school
Aug. 19 Gary West {4A}  W 41-  6   
Aug. 26 at LaPorte {6A}   L 10-27   
Sep. 2 Griffith {3A}‡  W 22-  7   
Sep. 9 at Kankakee Valley {4A}‡  W 27-  7   
Sep. 16 Andrean {4A}‡   L 28-55   
Sep. 23 at Lowell {4A}‡  W 18-12   
Sep. 30 at Munster {4A}‡ 7:00 pm   
Oct. 7 Hammond Morton {4A} 7:00 pm   
Oct. 14 Highland {4A}‡ 7:00 pm   

  W-L Pts OP W-L Pts OP Streak
Griffith 3-1 61 64 4-  2 137 127 Won 3
Hobart 3-1 95 81 4-  2 146 114 Won 1
Andrean 2-1 120 77 3-  3 211 162 Won 2
Munster 2-1 89 43 3-  3 138 110 Lost 1
Lowell 2-2 97 49 2-  4 127 86 Lost 1
Highland 0-3 48 140 3-  3 155 167 Lost 2
Kankakee Valley 0-3 19 75 2-  4 91 121 Won 1
Friday, Sep. 23
Andrean 52, Highland 28‡
Griffith 24, Munster 21‡
Hobart 18, Lowell 12‡
Kankakee Valley 28, Hammond 6
Friday, Sep. 30
Andrean at Kankakee Valley‡, 7 pm
Highland at Griffith‡, 7 pm
Hobart at Munster‡, 7 pm
Lowell at Hammond Morton, 7 pm
Friday, Oct. 7
Andrean at Griffith‡, 7 pm
Hammond Morton at Hobart, 7 pm
Kankakee Valley at Highland‡, 7 pm
Munster at Lowell‡, 7 pm
‡Conference game