ST. LEON, Ind. – The reigning state champion East Central football team did not disappoint in its 2018 debut.
“I think the one thing you saw tonight was how good East Central really is,” Lawrenceburg coach Ryan Knigga said.
East Central exhibited why it’s ranked No. 1 in Indiana’s Class 4A Friday night as the host Trojans defeated Lawrenceburg 38-7 in front of a packed house at Trojan Field.
It also marked the first game for the new field turf at the stadium on the opening weekend of the 21st annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.
East Central had 366 yards of total offense including 291 yards on the ground.
“The offense was just eating it up,” Trojans interim head coach Don Stonefield said.
Senior quarterback Alex Maxwell rushed for three touchdowns and was named the Most Valuable Player for the game.
The Trojans left little doubt on both sides of the ball. Maxwell, a three-year starter, showed why he's so valuable to the program.
“Time and time again he just puts us in a good play,” Stonefield said. “Whether it’s running the ball or handing the ball off or kicking it over to the other side. He has the freedom to do that. We appreciate him taking the initiative and really owning that offense.”
Maxwell scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter to help give the Trojans a 7-0 lead at the 5:20 mark.
East Central’s defense held firm on Lawrenceburg’s drive and the Trojans stopped a fourth-down run attempt.
Two plays later, the Trojans took advantage when senior Eric Rosemeyer scored on a 48-yard run on the opening play of the second quarter to give the Trojans a 14-0 lead.
Rosemeyer finished with 11 carries for 196 yards.
East Central fumbled on its next drive, but the Trojans’ defense proved to be stout once again and forced a Tigers’ punt.
Maxwell scored his second touchdown on a fourth-and-1 on the Lawrenceburg 28 with 33.7 seconds left in the first half.
East Central senior Caden Browndyke added a career-longest 44-yard field goal in the third quarter to make it 31-7. Browndyke enjoyed the season opener in a festive atmosphere in front of the home crowd.
Lawrenceburg had the ball for 31:27 for the game.Sophomore running back Adam Burd had 16 carries for 102 yards for the Tigers.
“I think there was a lot of positive things we did, to be honest,” Knigga said. “We didn’t execute in some areas, but a lot of positives that we can build off of.”
East Central (1-0) defeated Lawrenceburg (0-1) for the second straight year in the event. The Trojans won 15-14 in Lawrenceburg in 2017. The schools have a four-year deal in place with the 2019 game in Lawrenceburg.
East Central next plays at Oak Hills at 7 p.m. Aug. 24.
Lawrenceburg plays host to Taylor at 7 p.m. Aug. 24.