Patriots can’t contain Ervin, Lindauer

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Sports editor

sports@spencercountyjournal.com // zclodfelter@spencercountyjournal.com

LINCOLN CITY – After nine regular-season games, Heritage Hills went with a different look in Friday’s Class 3A football sectional opener against Evansville Memorial, but the change had mixed results as the Patriots fell 41-21.

Instead of starting Cade Jones at quarterback, Heritage Hills went with Cole Sigler there and used Jones at running back and receiver in addition to his duties as a linebacker and punter.

“We were trying to give ourselves more of a run option,” Patriots Coach Todd Wilkerson said. “Cole is really fast - he’s the fastest kid on our team. We felt like with Cole’s speed we could get in more of a dynamic run game, and it is what it is.

“It didn’t quite get us over the hump this year, but we’ll continue to look at that and see how things come back next year.”

Wilkerson said the move was based on several options available to his team.

“Having to play Cade at linebacker, it puts a lot of pressure on him to play both of those positions,” Wilkerson said. “Linebacker is so physical and quarterback is so mental and draining. We run a lot in our scheme too.

“Options are great - we played a lot of young kids down the stretch.”

For Memorial, quarterback Michael Lindauer had plenty of options to go to.

Two minutes into the game, he kept the ball on an option and scored on a 7-yard run to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

With 5:32 left in the opening quarter, Kenyon Ervin scored on a 1-yard run to make it 14-0.

“They do such a great job blocking for him,” Wilkerson said. “He’s a tough runner too, he’s a kid who is tough to bring down.”

Ervin scored again on a 3-yard run with 6:15 left in the second quarter to extend the Tigers’ advantage to 21-0.

Heritage Hills answered on a flea-flicker pass from Jones to Caleb Keller for a 51-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 21-7 4:38 before halftime.

However, Memorial put a drive together before the half and it ended with Lindauer completing an 8-yard touchdown pass to Luke Montgomery to make the score 27-7 heading into the break.

“The score before halftime was huge,” Wilkerson said. “We were going to get the kickoff in the second half, so if we could’ve just stopped that and got a little push in the second half, maybe we could’ve kept it closer.”

In the third quarter Montgomery scored on a 19-yard reception and Ervin scored for the third time with 2:38 left in the period on a 5-yard run to make it 41-7.

Heritage Hills scored twice in the fourth quarter. Sigler completed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Keller with 6:10 left and Jones scored on a 3-yard run with 20 seconds remaining.

Lindauer finished 15 for 24 passing with 195 yards and two touchdowns to go with an interception.

Ervin rushed for 181 rushing yards on 19 attempts with three touchdowns.

Keller had just three receptions but finished with 123 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Sigler was 6 for 15 passing with 97 yards as he threw a touchdown and interception. Jones was 2 for 3 with 63 yards passing and a score.

Memorial accumulated 432 yards of offense while Heritage Hills finished with 265.

“We wanted to play the run game better,” Wilkerson said. “They just hurt you so many ways - running on the edge, the sweeps. When you can sweep a team like they swept us, it’s hard to figure out what you want to do defensively.”

The Patriots will lose just seven seniors from this year’s team.

“They’re great kids,” Wilkerson said. “High school football is a lot of fun. A lot of times it’s the best memory some guys have.

“When it’s over, you have to pick yourself up and move on and grow into a great man.”

For the players returning, Wilkerson said the ingredients are there to improve on this year’s 5-5 record.

“They are going to have to do the work in the offseason,” he said. “We have the system in place for them to do that, they have to buy in and get it done.”

Memorial improved to 9-1.

“Both sides of the ball, they were just better than us,” Wilkerson said. “That’s all there is to it.”