The Braves have been playing for their season since Week 3. Since dropping two of its first three games of the season, Indian Hill
has rolled off nine straight wins, including a 53-14 win over the
Circleville Tigers in a Division III, Region 12 semifinal game Friday. Using its high tempo, no huddle offense, Indian Hill (10-2) rolled up 511 total yards of offense.
The Braves have been playing for their season since Week 3.
“We lost to Turpin and Valley View early in the season and we knew after that we had to win every single week to make the playoffs,” Indian Hill head coach Kevin Siple said. “We had to take every week very seriously or we’d miss the playoffs.”
Since dropping two of its first three games of the season, Indian Hill has rolled off nine straight wins, including a 53-14 win over the Circleville Tigers in a Division III, Region 12 semifinal game Friday.
Using its high tempo, no huddle offense, Indian Hill (10-2) rolled up 511 total yards of offense.
Leonard Riston scored four touchdowns — three coming on runs – to power the Indian Hill attack.
Indian Hill took control of the game early, scoring 33 points in the first half.
Riston scored on runs of five, eight and 10 yards, while Danny Gill added a one-yard plunge over the goal line to put the Braves ahead 26-0.
Indian Hill then went to the air for a score as junior quarterback Bo Cordell found Nick Kereiakes for a 30-yard touchdown strike to take a 33-0 lead.
“They’re a very good and aggressive football team,” Circleville head coach Keith Downing said. “That’s a hard offense to prepare for because we don’t have kids like that. To try and prepare for them in a week was something we couldn’t do.”
Circleville hit the board right before halftime on a 60-yard slant pass from quarterback Kory Hartinger to Drew Clanin.
“We had a fade pass called but they were in a prevent defense so Kory checked me off to a slant,” Clanin said. “I just caught it and the next thing I knew no one was in front of me. I just took off, got hit at the five-yard line and dove to try and get us on the board.
“We fought hard, we didn’t give up at all.”
The Kort Wolfe extra point made the halftime score 33-7.
Indian Hill remained in control during the third quarter by throwing three touchdown passes.
Cordell connected with Kereiakes on an 18-yard strike and found Gill for a 36-yard pass to pay dirt. Backup quarterback Sam Hendricks then entered the game and hit Riston on a 27-yard pass.
“We were almost perfect in our execution on both sides of the ball,” Siple said. “Our offense was moving the ball and our defense was shutting them down.
“When you can get up on somebody in this kind of game, that’s big. Another big difference was we could platoon our kids while they had eight guys going both ways. That just wore them out.”
Circleville hit the scoreboard again in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard pass from Hartinger to Travis Dray.
Cordell finished the game by completing 23-of-30 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns.
Riston had eight carries for 80 yards and caught three passes for 50 yards.
Kereiakes was the leading receiver for the Braves with seven catches for 106 yards.
Siple credited the success of the Indian Hill offense to the hard work of his kids.
“We’ve been running that offense for the four years,” he said. “We go to different camps, work on it a lot and go through a lot of 7-on-7’s during the summer.
“The kids meet during the summer on days we don’t work out to continue and get better. Our offense looks easy but it really isn’t. It’s a difficult thing to do and it’s all timing and running with the football.”
On defense, the Braves forced four turnovers, three coming on interceptions by Mac Mintum.
Circleville running back Cody Griffin, returning from an appendectomy Oct. 28, gained 86 yards on 17 carries and also caught two passes for 12 yards.
Clanin hauled in seven passes for 110 yards and Hartinger completed 14-of-25 passes for 192 yards.
Indian Hill advances to the regional championship game to face Lemon-Monroe, which defeated Canal Winchester 47-21.