Pride and records were at stake for the Giants and Warriors. Their rivalry dates back to 1936 and while the official series record is in dispute, since 1984 the series was tied 17-17. The Giants last victory against the Warriors came in 2001, so seniors were hoping to break an eight- game winning streak. Both teams entered the field with 2-1 records for the season and 13 state titles between them, meaning it could have been anyone’s game.
Ezra Kie Bates
Kie Bates plays center for the Ben Davis Giants and carries a 4.27 GPA. Kie is dedicated to his academic and athletic activities at the school, and is a member of the National Honor Society and wrestling team. His parents are Kent and Kristie Bates.
Mike Gegner is a 3-year starter on the offensive line and a team captain for the Warren Central Warriors. He carries a 3.01 GPA and is ranked in the top 11% of his class. Mike is also a member of FCA, the Principal’s Advisory Council, Best Buddies, and Student-Athlete Council. He is the son of Mike and Terry Gegner.
The Ben Davis Giants came out strong and took an early lead less than two minutes into the game, with running back Donte Asher scoring a 1-yard touchdown. However, that would be the last time the Giants would get on the scoreboard until the third quarter. The Warriors answered back on the next possession, gaining three points with a 27-yard field goal by kicker Derek Loyal. By halftime, the Warriors were ahead 10-7 as senior wide receiver Demetrius Cowherd caught a 22-yard pass for the touchdown.
The Giants evened the score during third quarter with a field goal by #17 Justin Sabol. But Warren Central fired back in the fourth quarter with a 3-yard run by senior running back Shakir Bell, giving the Warriors a 17-10 lead. Neither team losing momentum, the Giants tied the score on their next possession with less than five minutes on the clock as senior running back Phillip Dudley caught a 14-yard pass in the endzone.
With enough time in the game to break the tie, the Warriors’ vision of victory was temporarily shattered when Shakir Bell fumbled the ball. The Giants had a chance to win it, but they too failed to perform under pressure, forcing the game into a heart-stopping overtime. Seeking redemption for his earlier fumble that could have cost his team the game, Shakir Bell came back with a 2-yard run in overtime, giving the Warriors their ninth straight victory over the Giants and making him the Rivalry Series MVP of the game.
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