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Indiana Shuts Out a Tough NDC

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Indiana Shuts Out a Tough NDC

Indiana breaks around the edge. Alex Goff photo.
Matchup Overview
GRR Ranking: 
Iindiana #10
Notre Dame College #26

Silverbacks Power Rating Prediction
NDC by 1.5

Indiana shut out Notre Dame College 26-0 Saturday at Notre Dame College’s Mueller Field.

A non-conference game for both, this game was closer than the score made it appear, as NDC was at or over the IU goalline at least four times. But IU’s dogged goalline defense produced some key stops—a held up, a couple of turnovers, and an interception that led to a try.

“We’re a young team and we made young-team mistakes,” said NDC Head Coach Jason Fox. “But they’ll learn.”

NDC was dynamic and also benefited from some Indiana University penalties, but little handling errors and high body height in their mauls didn’t help.

Meanwhile, Indiana, when they got the ball, still looked dangerous. It took them a while to score—an interception in their own 22 led to the forwards recycling and bashing on, with No. 8 Russel Lemaster finally blasting over. With the conversion it was 7-0.

Later in the first half, Indiana punished a penalty at midfield and used the ensuing lineout to attack through the backs. Notre Dame College’s defense held on for a while by eventually prop Andy Guhl picked up and was over for his team’s second and a 14-0 lead that held until halftime.

“Something we had really focused on at training was walking away with points,” said NDC’s Hugh Johnstone. “So every time we’d go over in a maul we’d just break off early and make silly mistakes … in the second half we just dropped our heads; it was just tough.”

In that second period, prop Adam Zareb got close for IU and then later after a half break from fullback Will Chevalier, the forwards galloped in and set up lock Zach Marsh to charge over.

The backs got into the act more this time after the forwards set it up—Lemaster cut through from the IU 22 and found flanker Dan Hughes in support. The ball was recycled quickly and center Case Fleck chipped a perfectly-weighted kick for Peyton Wall, who raced past the cover defense to touch down in the corner.

That was it—26-0. NDC came close later but that one extra pass or one extra move just wasn’t there for them.

“All week on defense we were emphasizing our line speed, just coming up putting pressure in their face,” said IU fullback Will Chevalier. “And their first receiver’d catch it and would have to eat ball.”

For Indiana it was a second-straight shutout after giving up 31 against Ohio State. They absorbed pressure and the players said they were very impressed with what NDC brought to the table, but the Hoosiers are still rolling.