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INDIANAPOLIS — Edinburgh’s bid to advance to the Class A sectional championship ended Friday night at Lutheran, where the host Saints earned a 50-28 win.
With the victory, Lutheran (7-4) will take on the winner of the South Putnam-West Washington game in next week’s sectional championship game.
Despite the loss, the Lancers (5-6), under the leadership of fourth-year coach Bill Unsworth, enjoyed one of their finest seasons in many years.
“I told them I was really proud of them and they had nothing to be embarrassed about,” Unsworth said. “This was a situation where they could have folded the tent, but they showed some grit, sucked it up and kept getting after it.
“The team won five games, which is more wins than any team has won since 1995, so they accomplished something a lot of Edinburgh teams haven’t done. So they should be proud of it. They’re hurting right now, but they had a heck of a year.”
With an offensive line that averaged 250 pounds per man, Lutheran’s I-formation was led by three running backs.
The Saints’ top running back, Dalton Nidey, rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. Backfield teammate Austin Mays scored three touchdowns, finishing with 166 yards on 20 carries.
And Saints fullback Dylan Goddard rushed for 60 yards on 15 carries and scored one touchdown.
“They just got in there and ran it at us,” Unsworth said. “We just couldn’t match up with them physically.”
Although the Saints scored early and often, the Lancers scored the opening touchdown, following a Lutheran fumble.
Senior Dakota Dayton picked up the loose ball, caused by junior tackle Elijah Parmer, and raced 60 yards to the end zone to make it 7-0.
Dayton scored his second touchdown of the night on a 51-yard run with 2:47 left in the first period to give Edinburgh a brief 14-7 advantage.
The Saints, however, kept the ball on the ground and powered down the field to go up 29-14 at the half.
In the opening minutes of the third quarter, Mays ran it in from four yards out to give the Saints a 36-14 lead.
On the Lancers’ next possession, they moved 83 yards in five plays, capped by a 75-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Bobby Simpson to Dayton.
With 10:53 left in the game, Dayton ran back a Lutheran kickoff for 85 yards, giving him his fourth touchdown of the game.
“What a great way to end your high school career with four touchdowns,” Unsworth said. “He had an amazing night.”
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