Football stock
Damian Rico, The Times

MERRILLVILLE — New Prairie fans began arriving at Andrean 90 minutes before Friday night's game.

Sound familiar?

Their Cougars wore light-colored gold uniforms with black lettering.

They run more than some cross country programs.

Need another clue?

Their coach led his former team to the 1997 Class 4A state football championship.

Drum roll, please.

Russ Radtke, Griffith's winningest coach, welcome home.

"It's fun being back. A great atmosphere here," Radtke said after his Cougars demolished Times No. 3 Andrean, 42-3. "Lowell, Highland, Andrean, Morton ... those were great rivalries. I could write a book about it. We had fun with all of them.

"It looked like a Griffith-Andrean game tonight. There was a lot of good hitting going on out there."

Andrean had scored 100 points its first two games, New Prairie 85. Fans were probably expecting an NBA shootout, though the Cougars preferred running the football (757 yards) to winging it (43 yards) their first two outings.

Andrean (2-1) couldn't do either on Friday.

The Cougars led 28-3 at the half, piling up 337 yards of total offense to 45 for Andrean.

Quarterback Nicholas Wilson attempted only two passes — for 87 yards and touchdowns to Dan Flaharty and Jacob Tuttle.

Austin Weiland added an 80-yard TD run and Wilson a 7-yarder.

On the night, Wilson also ran for a pair of scores and 158 yards as New Prairie rushed for 485. Weiland finished with 10 carries for 171 yards, Chase Ketterer ran for 94 yards.

"I don't think I'm coaching any different. We're trying to build a program and it's exciting to watch it, isn't it?" said Radtke, 341-133 in this his 41st season overall.

This is his sixth season at New Prairie, where the Cougars are now 51-13 and 24-5 on the road.

"Our freshman team is undefeated, our (junior varsity) is undefeated and we messed up in just that one game with LaPorte," Radtke said.

With a fourth-and-2 at its 10-yard line late in the third quarter, Radtke called time and the Andrean PA announcer accidentally blurted out: "Timeout, Griffith!"

"We look like that with the uniforms we have," Radtke laughed.