Rensselaer football coach Chris Meeks was relaxing at home watching ESPN Sports Center on Wednesday night when the No. 1 play just about made him fly out of his chair.
Dalton Souders' double blocked punt in last Friday's game at Lafayette Central Catholic earned Wednesday's top spot in ESPN's Top 10, besting Derrick Rose's acrobatic basket in a Bulls exhibition game.
"It's been crazy today," Meeks said. "I've getting more texts and calls than I probably ever have in my life from all over, Houston, Florida, from people who've seen it. They're just watching SportsCenter, and look, there's my old high school. All the pro athletes and teams and here's little Rensselaer, in the middle of the cornfields of Indiana, beating them out. It's pretty cool."
The play happened in the opening minutes of the game, giving the Bombers a 6-0 lead. Souders blocked the punt, and after a scramble, another punt was attempted, and he blocked that, too. It was recovered by Beau Boswell for a touchdown.
"First of all, it's not very often you get a blocked punt," Meeks said. "The fact that it was blocked twice on the same play with the same kid didn't sink in during the game. Sunday, we were watching film and thought, 'Dang, that's pretty cool.' We knew it was a great play, but we didn't think about anything like SportsCenter."
Meeks was then contacted by MTC Sports in Mulberry, which aired the game, and was told they were submitting it to ESPN. Again, Meeks didn't give it much thought, until texts started pouring in from former players during Wednesday's practice that it appeared on ESPN's SportsNation. At that point, it was ranked "only" fifth out of 15. Its ascent to No. 1 corresponded with the rise in Souders' celebrity status.
"Dalton's a quiet, low-key kid," Meeks said. "He was just all smiles about it. I thanked him for doing it and was telling him ESPN contacted me that if it wins, I'm going to go out there for the ESPYS. We're having a lot of fun with it."
And the fun's not over yet. In online voting, the double block was beating out David Ortiz from the Red Sox, 93 percent to 7, to retain the top spot.
"I just want an ESPY," Meeks said. -- Jim Peters
Bishop Noll 25-25-25, Griffith 16-14-11: Asya Hobbs recorded 15 kills, 13 digs and three aces to lead the Warriors to a rout of the Panthers. Carly Cappello led Noll with 19 kills and added 12 digs, while Brittany Anderson notched 20 assists and 12 digs.
Kankakee Valley 25-25-25, North Newton 12-8-10: Gab Martin and Danielle Ruesken had eight kills each to lead the Times No. 6 Kougars (24-6) to a win over the Spartans.
Martin also had five aces, and Lauren Stokes had 14 assists. Lexi Howard added six aces and Madison DeYoung six assists.
Munster 25-25-25, Portage 17-19-9: Elizabeth Kloos' nine kills and Victoria Foster's eight paced the No. 3 Mustangs in a win over the Indians (15-18).
Shannon Farrell had six kills and 12 digs, while Toni DalleeCarbonare had four kills and 17 digs. Morgan Switalla added two aces and three kills.
Chesterton 25-25-25, Highland 16-19-16: Jessica Urycki, Sammi Ostrom and Ali Ostrom all connected on seven kills in the victory. Chesterton (21-12) received 15 assists from Kennedy Baltus, 14 digs, and Ashley Hecimovich and four aces from Shelby Snyder.
River Forest 25-25-25, Clark 17-22-17: Led by Caylyn Bellar's nine kills and five aces, the Ingots beat the Pioneers. Alondra Avalos had five kills, and Katie Anderson had four aces.
Clark's Alexis Christian had 11 kills, and Tique Woods had eight.
Lake Station 23-25-25-25, Hammond 25-15-14-20: Ashlinn Jorgensen had 16 kills and three aces as the Eagles beat the Wildcats. Joanna Dwyer had four aces and nine kills, and Tristan Majka had four assists.
Portage sectional tickets on sale Monday: Portage High School will hold advance ticket sales next week for its Oct. 25 Class 6A Sectional 2 game against Penn. Tickets will be on sale in East bookstore (Entrance C) from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to noon on the day of the game. All tickets are $6 for ages 6 and up. There are no passes for postseason games. The game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Gates will open at 5:30.