KOKOMO — Rensselaer Central scored on six straight possessions and got four touchdown runs from senior running back Dylan Kidd in its 43-8 romp of host Northwestern on Friday night, Oct. 8.
The Bombers (5-3) dominated the non-conference match-up after fumbling away the ball on their first possession after just three running plays. But Northwestern (0-7) coughed the ball up on its first possession, giving Rensselaer a chance at recording the game’s first score.
The Bombers chewed up over 10 minutes on their next possession, which was capped by a 1-yard TD run by Kidd.
Kidd would score four straight times for the Bombers, including TD runs of 1, 2, 22 and 8 yards. Rensselaer led 29-0 at halftime.
With Northwestern keying on the run, the Bombers turned to senior quarterback Tate Drone, who threw for two scores in the third period. He hit senior Kelton Hesson for a 57-yard TD pass for a 36-0 lead, and after the Tigers scored on a Cameron Davis an 18-yard pass to Connor Austin, Drone connected with freshman Diego Hernandez-Reyes on a 56-yard pass play for the game’s final score.
Drone completed 5 of 5 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Hesson led the ground game with 109 yards on 10 carries, while Kidd, who saw limited playing time over the past two weeks with an ankle injury, gained 75 yards on 13 carries with four scores.
Rensselaer managed 374 total yards to 227 for the Tigers, who were led offensively by tailback Cole Cardwell with 164 yards on 25 carries. Cardwell got many of those yards after the game was decided.
Defensively, senior Ky Risner had seven tackles with a tackle for loss and a sack. Colton Metzger, Trent Simmons, Jordan Cree and Hernandez-Reyes had six tackles each, with Hernandez-Reyes adding a fumble recovery. Hesson had an interception.
Northwestern was limited to 17 passing yards on 7 of 16 completions.
The win sets up a Hoosier Conference playoff match-up between Hamilton Heights at RCHS on Friday, Oct. 15. Hamilton Heights (5-3) beat the Bombers, 26-21, on Sept. 3 on a night RCHS committed four turnovers, including a key turnover late in the game when it appeared they were going in for the game-clinching score.
Hamilton Heights, a member of the conference’s East Division, and RCHS of the West Division will play in the fifth- and sixth-place game. The game will serve as Rensselaer’s senior night.
Here is a peek at next week’s playoff schedule:
Hoosier Conference Playoffs
Western (6-2) @ West Lafayette (8-0) for 1st./2nd
Tipton (7-1) @ Lafayette Central Catholic (5-3) for 3rd/4th
Hamilton Heights (5-3) @ Rensselaer Central (5-3) for 5th/6th
Lewis Case (2-5) @ Twin Lakes (2-6) for 7th/8th
Northwestern (0-7) @ Benton Central (0-6) for 9th/10th