Archive for September 23, 2012

KOKOMO’S NORTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE FOOTBALL WIN STREAK IS SNAPPED AT 39

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

RICHMOND, Ind. – It was a battle between two storied North Central Conference programs – the visiting Kokomo Wildkats and the host Richmond Red Devils. Richmond leads the conference with 23 football titles while Kokomo is second with 17.

Everyone knew these squads have had epic and bruising battles, and with both teams 3-0 in loop play, the game was ripe for excitement. But there was something else on the line between these two teams – pride. Kokomo entered with a conference record 39-game win streak and five consecutive outright titles – a record they share with Richmond. On the other hand, Richmond wanted nothing more than to be the team to end those streaks and start one of its own – after all, Richmond holds the record with six NCC titles from 1970-1975.

Score one for Richmond (4-2) as they knocked the Kats (4-2) off its conference perch with a 26-22 victory in what can only be described as a strange outing. Kokomo jumped to a 22-7 lead and seemed to be in run-away mode only to have Mother Nature erupt and force the Kats to drive home in a lightning storm and make the return two hour bus ride the following afternoon. Maybe it was sitting in a bus for a combined six hours over two days, maybe it was a lack of attention, or maybe it was desire by Richmond; but two different teams took the field Saturday as Richmond stormed back for the win.

“Three fumbles and a number of offensive penalties is something you can’t overcome,” said  head coach Brett Colby. “We really had a tough day – you have to come to play every day, and if you don’t, this is what happens. The better team won.”

If a finger can be pointed, it would most likely be pointed at the Wildkat special teams. Two times, Richmond grabbed an onside kick that proved deadly for Kokomo. Add in a 78-yard kickoff return by Ben Parrish to open the second half and the upset was delivered by Richmond in front of a joyous Homecoming crowd.

“Special teams absolutely destroyed us today,” said Colby. “Everyone can take the blame for this one. Coaches too. We are the ones who have to get our kids ready to play.”

Kokomo was led by the two touchdowns and 99 rushing yards by Michael Copeland. Tayler Persons found Anthony Clayton for a 46-yard score to account for the Kats third touchdown.

For the Kats to win its sixth consecutive NCC title, it needs to win its final three conference games and hope Huntington North can knock off Richmond on Oct. 5 to force a tie at the top (or pray New Castle or Logansport pull off a major upset). Kokomo returns to action Friday night at Logansport.

(NOTE: Kokomo last lost an NCC game on Oct. 6, 2006, in a 28-27 triple overtime loss to Marion.)

IUK LADY COUGARS DOWN LADY REDWAWKS IN STRAIGHT SETS

KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo improved their record to 4-14 in front of a home crowd on Thursday night defeating Indiana University Northwest in straight sets (25-15, 25-18, 25-11).

Coach Kristen Snoddy and the team knew there was an opportunity for a home victory against the RedHawks who came in struggling with a 1-12 record. On paper, the Cougars were the favorite and Snoddy expressed her excitement with the growth her team showed in meeting those expectations.

"This was an important win for us. IU Northwest is struggling this year and for us to get a win against them shows that we are maturing," said Snoddy. "This was a match that we knew we could win if we played well and we got it done. I told the team after the win that this is the best kind of win, everyone contributed and it was a total team effort."

Juniors Carless Davis (Medaryville/West Central [Ancilla College]) and Miranda Hammons (Indianapolis/North Adams Jerome [Ancilla College]) led IU Kokomo at the net with eight kills each for IU Kokomo.

"We received solid performances by hitters Davis and Hammons tonight," said Snoddy. "I thought all of our hitters hit harder than they have been. Several hitters have not been making sufficient approaches to really pound the ball, and last night I felt they focused on that and executed better."

Freshman setter Courtney Hanson (Logansport/Pioneer) had a team high 14 assists and sophomore Lael Burrus (Denver/North Miami) led the way with 12 digs on the defensive end for the Cougars.

"Cortney Hanson had a great all-around performance and her serving gave Northwest some fits," said Snoddy.

The Cougars return to action on the road this Saturday in Lima, Ohio for the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) Tri-Match.  IU Kokomo takes on the host team UNOH (11 a.m.) followed by a match-up against Ursuline College (2:30 p.m.).

(Courtesy of IU Kokomo)

INDIANA MUSTANGS WIN DIVISION; WILL HOST SATURDAY PLAYOFF GAME

(Courtesy of the Indiana Mustangs)

KOKOMO, Ind. - The Indiana Mustangs (4–3) semi-professional football team will host the Chicago Thnnder (6–2) on Saturday, Sep. 22, 2012, at Indianapolis Park Tudor High School (7200 N. College Ave.). Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Members of the Crossroads of America Council Cub Scout Pack #16. based out of the Irvington Community School District, will serve as honorary captains for the game. Tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for students/seniors. Children six and under and all military personnel receive free admission by showing their military identification.

The Mustangs won the Southeast Division of the Mid-States Football League and received a first-round bye in the playoffs last week. The Chicago Thunder are coming off a dominating 42–6 win over the Joliet Buccaneers. The Thunder are one of the most successful teams in the league and they have won four league championships, more than any team in league history.

The Thunder and Mustangs have only played once, back in 2004, and the Thunder defeated the Mustangs enroute to the Mid-States Football Championship and an undefeated season. The Thunder are well-coached, well-respected and one of the top teams in the Midwest each year, and the Mustangs are looking forward to the challenge.

For more information on the Indiana Mustangs, contact Rich Castanias at (317) 379-4669.

2012 Indiana Mustangs Regular Season July 14   vs Lake County Steelers (Win, 55–0) July 21   at Northern Illinois Cowboys (Win, 42-24) July 28    vs Indiana Generals (Win, 16–10 OT) Aug 4      at Indiana Nighthawks (Win, 30-18) Aug 11    Chicago Mustangs (Lose, 12-26) Aug 18    Springfield Foxes (Lose, 27-42) Aug 25    at Lincoln-Way Patriots (Lose, 0-28)