GOSHEN — When Tyler Lehner wasn’t having a blast engineering the Elkhart Memorial offense, the senior quarterback was having one while watching the Crimson Charger defense.
That combination equaled a blast all night long as Memorial drummed Goshen 48-0 for its most lopsided Northern Lakes Conference high school football victory ever Friday at Foreman Field.
“Oh my gosh, that was a lot of fun,” Lehner said of his team’s defense. “We got some dogs on that side. They go pretty crazy. It makes me pretty excited about what the rest of the season holds for us.”
Lehner completed 11-of-15 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns, nearly all his damage coming in the first half as the Chargers (1-2, 1-1) roared to a 34-0 lead by the break.
Memorial running backs Ivan Soeun and Derrick Woods Jr. each finished with 100-yard rushing nights. Woods closed at 117 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, and Soeun picking up 103 on 14 to go with two TDs.
Graham Elli and Ty Winters each intercepted first-half passes for the Chargers, with Elli returning his 36 yards for a score.
Breydan Weston and Jaylen Holmes added first-half sacks, while Clayton Lundy had a tackle for loss and a couple blow-up hits on special teams.
“I think we played about as complete a game as we could,” Memorial coach Scot Shaw said. “We needed to get back on the (win) side, and the kids kept working for that. We
had a great week of practice and I thought our execution was good.”
Only a missed extra point in the second quarter kept Indiana’s new running-clock rule from taking effect at the start of the second half.
The Chargers went on to trigger it with a 13-play 82-yard touchdown drive to open the third period, good for a 41-0 spread.
“They played very well and we played very poorly,” RedHawks coach Kyle Park said. “We knew what they were going to do, and they did exactly that. They overloaded the side, went unbalanced, and we couldn’t get all the blocks, and we also couldn’t make all the tackles with arms. It’s just one of those nights.”
Tyren Mason and Damien Funnell hauled in Lehner’s two TD passes, good for Memorial’s first two scores. The two receivers combined for eight catches and 93 yards, all in the first half.
“We were hungry for a win,” Lehner said. “Losing the Mangy game is never fun (a 41-21 loss to Elkhart Central to open the season) and then we felt like we shouldn’t have lost last week (31-18 to Concord). We’re going to take the next 24 hours to be happy about this game, but then we’re going to focus on Warsaw, because that’s next.”
The Chargers committed five turnovers against the Minutemen, after coughing up two against the Blue Blazers, and stood minus-5 in takeaways-giveaways heading into Friday.
They added no turnovers against Goshen and finished the night scoring on all seven of their possessions.
They did initially punt on their first third-quarter possession, but a personal foul penalty on the Hawks wiped that out. Elli, doing the punting on the play, suffered a knee injury and did not return.
Memorial safety Dylan Rost suffered an apparent head injury early in the first quarter and was sent home.
“He wanted to stay,” Shaw said, “but the doctors wanted to play it safe.”
Goshen (1-2, 0-1) headed into the game with its own set of injuries, particularly on the offensive side.
“It caused some personnel adjustments,” Park said. “We’re going to have to get it figured out, but they were in our backfield a lot. We couldn’t get receivers open and we struggled to run the ball.”
The Chargers owned a 297-50 advantage in total yards by halftime.
Memorial, in its 19th year in the league, surpassed its 54-13 win over Northridge in 2003 for its widest NLC victory margin.
Goshen suffered its 14th straight conference loss since beating the Chargers early in the 2017 season and will visit NorthWood next Friday.
Memorial’s game with Warsaw will be its home opener at last, and will be the first of four straight at home, most in a single season since playing four in a row at home in 2005.
MEMORIAL 48, GOSHEN 0
Scoring By Quarters
M — Tyren Mason 23 pass from Tyler Lehner; Christian Santiago kick; 6:59.
M — Damien Funnell 16 pass from Lehner; Santiago kick; 8:32.
M — Ivan Soeun 9 run; Santiago kick; 2:42.
M — Graham Elli 36 interception return; kick failed; 2:02.
M — Derrick Woods Jr. 76 run; Santiago kick; 0:53.
M — Soeun 11 run; Santiago kick; 5:19.
M — Breydan Weston 1 run; Santiago kick; 8:45.
Memorial: Rushing — Derrick Woods Jr. 11-117, Ivan Soeun 14-103, Tyler Lehner 8-21, Breydan Weston 5-19, D’Arjon Lewis 1-7. Passing — Lehner 11-15-116 (0 int.), Woods Jr. 1-1-13 (0 int.). Receiving — Tyren Mason 5-55, Damien Funnell 3-38, Woods Jr. 2-16, Zack Rohm 1-13, Junior Estrada 1-8. Interceptions — Ty Winters, Graham Elli.
Goshen: Rushing — Bryant Grewe 10-20, Colin Turner 9-16. Passing — Turner 5-21-55 (2 int.). Receiving — Wesley VanHooser 2-26, Brayden Hinkel 2-23, Mason Schrock 1-8.