GRIFFITH | Don Howell created a monster at Hobart, and the Brickies still command attention whenever they take the field.
Griffith, with three less state championships than Hobart, has always been one of its biggest rivals with close scores and some wild finishes thanks to former coach Russ Radtke.
Coaches Ryan Turley and Jim Pickett want desperately to keep the rivalry strong.
Friday night's well-attended Northwest Crossroads Conference opener was Exhibit A as the Brickies outlasted Griffith 56-38 in a game that made Arena Football seem sluggish.
Noah Smith ran for 198 yards and one touchdown -- a 67-yarder on the first play from scrimmage. Zach Satterfield rushed for three TDs. Tight end Nick Bokun caught a scoring pass and added a 75-yard interception return TD, and Andrew Barras threw for 143 yards and a pair of scores.
"Hitting people. That's what I love," Smith said of carrying the football. "It's a contact sport. You sit at school all day waiting to play, and then you can go out on the field and hit people -- legally.
"But it's all about the linemen up front. That's the Hobart tradition."
Smith, Satterfield and Drey Devereaux did most of the damage on the ground as Times' No. 5 Hobart (3-0, 1-0) rushed for 344 yards.
"That's the identity of Hobart -- running the football," Turley said. "We're also fortunate to have a great quarterback in Andrew Barras. When he has to throw, he throws.
"Noah's a stallion, a workhorse. Big Nick's a player. He made some plays on offense but almost got stripped on that interception return."
The Brickies led 21-18 at the half, trailed 25-21, 32-28, then wound up outscoring Griffith (1-2) in the second half, 35-20.
Quarterback Kyle Buikema threw for 181 yards and one touchdown, ran for 232 yards but fumbled at the Hobart eight to set up an eventual Brickie score.
Griffith's Justin Green, hampered by a stiff ankle and cramps, had 82 yards rushing on 12 carries but also fumbled at the Hobart three to eventually set up another score.