STEVE HANLON: This one's not made for PBS

2012-10-05T22:00:00Z 2013-05-06T22:41:15Z STEVE HANLON: This one's not made for PBSSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
October 05, 2012 10:00 pm  • 

GRIFFITH | Whether Big Bird gets defunded or not, one thing remains the same.

Even if a brilliant mind shows up to a debate late, which is being held at 5,000 feet altitude, he should still know what day it is, right? Right?

One thing remains the same, regardless of which way the planet is spinning.

The Andrean-Griffith rivalry is “DaRegion's” top showdown. It doesn't matter if the teams are ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the state or, like on this Friday night at The Boneyard, they are two solid but unranked teams continuing to find their feet.

The Panthers have won four of the previous seven meetings. Neither team has won back-to-back games in this stretch, until now. Five of last six years, the point differential has been 7, 1, 4 and 1. A total of 13 points in those four games.

Few blowouts have occurred. In 2004, Griffith won 48-14 in the regular season game, when former Panthers' coach Russ Radtke faked a punt. Andrean came back in the sectional and won 36-35 on a fourth-and-26 pass followed by a 2-point conversion fake.

Andrean went on to win the Class 3A state championship.

With Andrean's 42-25 win on Friday, the series is now tied 9-9 over the last 18 games. This was the first time Andrean coach Phil Mason had won in Griffith.

“If you look at this, is hardly ever more than six points,” Mason said. “Yes, I think is still a great region rivalry.”

All the other ones ebb and flow through the decades. This is the one that will be a great game whether both teams are 7-0 or 0-7.

“The history is what makes this so great,” said Andrean quarterback Matt DeSomer, who rushed for 146 yards and had three scores. He also picked off Griffith's last pass.

“We haven't liked each other for a long time,” he continued.

DeSomer smiled when he was told there were only four combined penalties in the game, after all those unsportsmanlike tilts in the past, to go along with all the hand shakes and helping up after a hit.

“I didn't expect all the sportsmanship,” he said. “When my brother played (at Lowell), Griffith was one of the dirtiest teams around.”

Things change, thankfully. You can be a great football player without being a punk. Griffith's Austin Brown showed that all night. The kid is a standout. On three consecutive plays Brown had a 47-yard punt, a TFL and an interception.

That's why Mason took several minutes talking to Griffith's No. 15 after the game.

Both of these squads are good. The IHSAA draw is Sunday. Both teams have a great shot of winning a sectional title. This time, though, they are not in the same class.

“This is a great one and I think it will always be,” DeSomer said.

Yes, this is true. Whether Mr. Snufffleupagus gets his quarters from Washington D.C., or not.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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