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The more things change the more they stay the same at East Central. Before the season started former head coach Don Stonefield moved over to handle athletic director duties full-time at the school. In stepped Tim Behlmer to take over the program.
Behlmer had a successful three-year stint leading the Trojans before Stonefield’s decade long run at the helm. The lively and infectious attitude of the squad’s new leader struck a chord with his team.
The Trojans responded with their 11th EIAC title in the past 12 years. It was the seventh time this century that EC had won at least nine games in a season as they did it with a tough defense and stellar ground game.
Let’s take a game-by-game look at East Central’s 2011 campaign:
GAME #1 –EAST CENTRAL 41, RICHMOND 7: Some things in life are for certain – death, taxes and East Central beating Richmond in the season opener. The Trojans scored 27 unanswered second half to win for the ninth consecutive time versus the Red Devils in Week 1. A trio of juniors paced East Central on offense. Running back Tyler Douthit ran for a career-high 209 yards, including touchdown runs of 38 and 49 yards after intermission. Quarterback Seth Federle threw for 177 yards and three scoring tosses. Evan Fette hauled in four of Federle’s passes for 108 and a touchdown. ClassmatesPayton Stonefield and Taylor Werner also had touchdown receptions. On defense, Nick Lambrinides returned an interception 42 yards for a score in the fourth quarter. It marked the eighth time in the last 12 games dating back to Week 3 of last year that the Trojans have held their opponent to eight points or less.
GAME #2 – EAST CENTRAL 21, HARRISON 17: The 35th edition of the Border War was a memorable one for the home team as East Central got the best of rival Harrison, 21-17. The Trojans, who had fallen short in four of the previous last five meetings, avenged last season’s 25-0 loss to the Wildcats at Nippert Stadium. Down 17-7 at halftime, East Central turned up the heat on defense as they held the Wildcats to just 1-of-9 on third-down conversions on the night and 66 yards of total offense after break. Harrison could only muster 87 yards on the ground on 32 carries against the tenacious Trojans. Federle engineered two late second half drives that led to a 20-yard touchdown pass to Fette and short run by fullback Taylor Mischell that crossed the goal line for the game winner in the fourth quarter. Douthit led all rushers with 100 yards on 25 carries.
GAME #3 – EAST CENTRAL 41, EDGEWOOD 6: The hometown boys were at it again as East Central pleased their fans with another quality victory over an Ohio school. The Trojans jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead and were never really threatened by Edgewood. Mischell ran for two touchdowns and Federle threw for two more in the opening 24 minutes. Federle, who threw for 189 yards, now has six scoring tosses on the season, with one in each game going to Fette. Mischell would add another rushing touchdown after intermission and finished with 89 yards rushing. The Trojans racked up 297 yards on the ground on 41 carries. Douthit had 180 of those yards while crossing the goal line once.
GAME #4 – EAST CENTRAL 41, FRANKLIN COUNTY 7: Douthit ran for 221 yards and four touchdowns as East Central won their league opener over Franklin County. The Trojans would run for six touchdowns in the contest. Mischell also topped the century mark with 106 yards rushing. The senior had the team’s other two rushing scores. The Trojans spotted the Wildcats a six-point advantage 1:14 into the contest before reeling off 41 unanswered points. East Central punished the Wildcats for 328 yards on the ground on 38 carries.
GAME #5 – EAST CENTRAL 35, BATESVILLE 14: On the big stage at Lucas Oil Stadium, East Central broke open a 7-7 game at halftime with 21 unanswered, third-quarter points to pull away from Batesville. The Bulldogs were the only EIAC team to beat the Trojans in league play over the past decade but it was not to be on the magical night in Indianapolis. The one-two punch of Mischell and Douthit proved to be too much for the Bulldogs to contend with. Mischell ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Douthit finished with 105 yards on the ground, two receptions for 55 yards while finding the end zone three times, twice via the run and once via a reception. Federle tossed two touchdown passes. On defense Kole Pettit killed two Batesville drives with interceptions.
GAME #6 – EAST CENTRAL 33, SOUTH DEARBORN 0: Defense was the name of the game as East Central made it loud and clear who had the best line in the EIAC in defeating South Dearborn. The Trojans held the Knights to 24 yards on 28 attempts. They held South Dearborn to just 2-of-8 on third-down conversions and came up with four takeaways. Five seconds into the fourth quarter kicker, Ethan McCoy finished an East Central drive with his fourth short field goal of the game to make it 19-0. The East Central would not cross the goal line until three minutes left in the contest as Miischell would score the first of his two rushing touchdowns. The senior led the team with 72 yards on the ground.
GAME #7 – EAST CENTRAL 53, LAWRENCEBURG 7: East Central put away Lawrenceburg early building a 32-0 lead by halftime. Douthit galloped for 172 yards and scored three of the Trojans’ seven rushing touchdowns. Classmate Greg Bonomoni had the best day of his career with 123 yards on the ground and a score. Sophomore Eric Wolfzorn scored his first varsity touchdown in the fourth quarter. Federle threw for 128 yards with two touchdowns rushing and one passing. Fette hauled in three passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. The EC run defense was fantastic again holding the Tigers to 26 yards on 23 carries and did not allow an offensive score for the second straight week.
GAME #8 – EAST CENTRAL 34, GREENSBURG 15: East Central built a 27-8 halftime lead over Greensburg and cruised to their eighth victory without a defeat. The Trojans captured their ninth EIAC title in the last 10 years. The EC offense was too much for the Pirates to handle as they racked up 270 yards rushing. Douthit set the tone with the games first two touchdowns on runs of 15 and 64 yards. The junior finished with 156 yards on 16 carries. Federle threw for two scores in the second quarter to Fette and Stonefield. He ran for the team’s final score in the victory. The signal caller finished with 79 yards through the air and 15 on the ground. The Trojans have yet to give up more than 17 points in a tilt. Greensburg was just the third team to score more than seven points on East Central.
GAME #9 –RONCALLI 24, EAST CENTRAL 7: East Central came out flat in the regular season finale and Roncalli built a 21-0 lead en route to their sixth win of the season. The hopes of an undefeated season dissipated quickly for the Trojans. Five turnovers and 135 yards of total offense was easily the poorest performance of the year by East Central. Fette was the lone bright spot on that side of the ball with five receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown.
GAME #10 – EAST CENTRAL 31, SOUTH DEARBORN 0: For the second time in five weeks East Central shutout South Dearborn, 31-0, in the post-season opener. The Trojans’ defense was excellent holding the normally relentless South Dearborn rushing attack in check with under 140 total yards and holding them to 0-for-14 on third-down conversions. It was the sixth time that they have held an opponent to seven points or fewer. Lambrinides had an interception for the winners. Federle threw for touchdowns to Fette and Stonefield. Fette would score for the second time in the first half on a 30-yard interception return which made the score 17-0 less than 16 minutes into the tilt. Mischell found the end zone for the game’s final score. Douthit ran for a team-high 100 yards. The Trojans move on to play a second round Class 4A Sectional playoff game at Columbus East, one of the favorites to win the state Class 4A title.
GAME #11 – COLUMBUS EAST 27, EAST CENTRAL 17: In a game that pitted two IHSAA Class 4A top seven teams, Columbus East knocked off old-time, playoff rival East Central, 27-17. It was the fifth straight time the #4 rated Olympians have defeated the #7 Trojans in the Sectionals. Each time they have gone on to win the Sectional 15 title. The game was everything you could expect from two quality post-season squads. It would be Gunner Kiel who would step up and lead Columbus East. He threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scoring passes came in the second to Luke Hampton who had three receptions for 93 yards. Andrew Wlison added the game’s final score when found the end zone from four yards out with just under three minutes left to seal the victory. Mischell pulled the Trojans to within four at 21-17 on short run just before the end of the third quarter. East Central could not generate much else on offense the rest of the way against an Olympians defense that stiffened when it need to most. Mischell would finish with 150 yards as he ends a fine career. East Central got their other score when a great effort from receiver Fette hauled in a Federle pass in the third quarter. Fette caught five balls for 66 yards.
MILESTONES AND MORE
--East Central is now 62-27 all-time in the playoffs. The Trojans’ 15 Sectional titles are tied for 16th best in Indiana history. It was the fourth consecutive year that East Central has had at least nine wins. Since 2000, the program has posted a 109-35 record.
--The offense ran for 2,346 yards and 32 touchdowns.
--Behlmer is now 34-11 as the Trojans head coach
--Douthit finished the year 1,317 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. His performance was good enough to earn him EIAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors. In two varsity campaigns the junior has 1,593 rushing yards, 19 rushing touchdowns, 2,177 all-purpose yards and 20 total trips to the end zone.
--Fette was named team MVP, All- Dearborn County and earned Class 4A Honorable Mention All-Indiana honors for his overall play. The junior had 27 solo, 51 assisted tackles to go along with 14 tackles for losses and three interceptions. On offense he led the Trojans 28 receptions for 510 yards and eight touchdowns. He also returned an interception and a blocked punt for scores.
--Wes Brown, Nic Smith, Thom Nuhring Douthit, Fette, Mischell, Stonefield, Pettit and Lambrinides were All-EIAC selections. Brown was the team’s MVP of the offensive line. Lambrinides racked up 502 yards in total returns.
--Mischell ended his senior season with 748 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing as a fullback. Over the past two seasons he racked up 1,502 yards and 20 scores on the ground.
--Federle has been a model of consistency for two years under center for East Central. The junior went 71-of-136 for 1,129 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Heading into his senior season in 2012 he has already thrown for 2,203 yards, 24 touchdown passes and only 14 interceptions.
--The accolades continue to pile up for Stonefield, who became East Central’s all-time leader in tackling points on his way to earning Class 4A Honorable Mention All-Indiana honors and as a Second-Team, All-EIAC selection. On defense he was the team’s leading tackler with 35 solo and 84 assists as well as two interceptions, 3.0 quarterback sacks and nine tackles for losses. On offense the junior caught 11 passes for 201 yards and five touchdowns.
--McCoy was almost flawless in the kicking game as a transfer. He knocked down 6 of his 7 field goal attempts and 42-of-44 PATs for 60 points.
East Central is our TristateFootball.com Indiana Team of the Year. The winning team will be recognized at our Year in Review Shows coming up in January. Stayed tuned to the website for further details.
Greg is a co-founder of TSF and is now entering his ninth season as a Featured Analyst for the website. The Xavier University grad also serves as the Content Manager for the website and is widely considered one of the top high school football experts in the region. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.