INDIANAPOLIS — Spencer Gilbert wasn’t a fan of the way his high school season ended at Eastern Hancock last November. Finishing Class A state runner-up at Lucas Oil Stadium, defeat left a sour taste.
On Friday night, he turned bitter into sweet at North Central High School during the 2014 Grange Insurance North-South All-Star Classic.
Gilbert finished his prep football career victorious as he and three other Hancock County gridiron standouts helped the South rule the night with a decisive 30-2 win against the North. The victory marked the South’s fourth consecutive and 27th overall in the series, which began in 1967.
“Losing at state was kind of sour, but winning this tops it off with a cherry,” Gilbert said. “We didn’t talk about the streak that much, but we knew we had a reputation to uphold. It was there in the back of our mind.”
After electing to receive to start the game, the South wasted little time showcasing its cohesiveness on offense.
Opening with a 10-play drive that stretched 65 yards and needed a little more than four minutes, quarterback Jake Purichia (Cardinal Ritter/University of Indianapolis) connected with Cress Kimbrough (Avon/undecided) for a 10-yard touchdown pass to put the South ahead 6-0. The pass was set up by South MVP Christian Perry (Southport/DuPage), who carried the ball seven times.
Purichia completed 7-of-11 passes for 85 yards as the South won the aerial margin 193-26 behind 14-of-23 passing. Perry gained a game-high 131 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown measuring two yards early in the fourth quarter.
On the ensuing drive of the first quarter, the South’s defense set the tone for the night.