After being front and center in Jimtown’s football season, Brody Olson brought up the rear on Friday night.
The torturous 100-yard walk from Heritage High School’s field to the locke room must have seemed like a 100 miles to the senior — the same 100 miles it took to drive to Monroeville, just southeast of Fort Wayne.
“That’s a feeling you never want to feel,’’ said Olson, the last Jimmie to slowly march across an open field.
Mike Campbell, Jimtown’s young head, was only a few steps behind Olson. The walk was as frustrating and heart-breaking as his team’s 40-29 sectional championship game setback.
“Obviously, it’s a very disappointing loss,’’ Campbell said. “We had high hopes to go much deeper in the tournament.”
But it’s Heritage and its speedy, high-flying passing game which will move on to the regional.
The Patriots made every play when it needed one, mostly leaping, two-handed receptions on third- and fourth-down. Of the six Heritage touchdowns, three came on third downs and one came on a fourth-down call.
Many of the plays came after Carter Gill, Jimtown’s starting free safety, turned an ankle while completing a 45-yard catch-and-run late in the first quarter. The 6-foot-3 senior spent the rest of the game on the sidelines.
With Jimtown’s tall, fast presence gone from the secondary, Heritage quarterback Conner Sheehan took full advantage, striking for five TDs and 323 yards.
“Carter does a lot of good things for us,’’ Campbell said. “The kids battled. We had penalties at inopportune times and they beat us in places we normally don’t get beat.”
Jimtown didn’t expect to get beat at all in 2012.
For Campbell, it was tough to watch his seniors walk off the field a final time. It’s always tough unless you win the state title, a prize the Jimmies legitimately thought they had a chance at this fall.
“The seniors did everything they could,” Campbell said. “The seniors battled like they always had. Not just Brody, it was Tanner (Adams), Devan (Emerson), Evan (Oblinger)
all of them.”
Olson, who put the Jims on his back when little seemed to work much of the game, took hit after hit at QB and delivered plenty of his own as a strong safety.
His long walk after the game encompassed many pains for sure.
“It’s a never ending road,” Olson said. “This is the last time I get to wear these pads. They executed and took away what we’re usually able to do. They were definitely the better team tonight.”
Bill Beck can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org