The Delta Eagles started off the 2023 season 4-0. However, the last five weeks of the season have not been kind as the Eagles are 1-4. Their latest loss was in Friday’s regular-season finale against New Palestine, where the Eagles fell 35-7.
In the post-game huddle, Delta head coach Chris Overholt told the team that a new season starts tomorrow.
“The nice thing is we're not done,” he said. “We're very excited for the next part of the season.”
The Dragons (7-2) came into the matchup as the No.3 team in 3A and first place team in the Hoosier Heritage Conference [HHC]. With that, the Eagles already had a tall task.
The other issue that became a huge factor was the weather. With five minutes remaining before kickoff, rain started to spray the playing field. A few minutes into the game, fans on both sides knew it would be a run-heavy game.
“It slowed us down a little bit,” Overholt said. “Both teams had to play in the conditions and it was just about overcoming that.”
While the Eagle defense was able to slow down the Dragons at certain points, New Palestine found ways to move the ball.
“We made them earn a lot of tough yardage,” Overholt said. “They have the best back [senior Grayson Thomas] in the conference right now, and he got loose on a few plays.”
Thomas ended the night with 211 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Another key component for New Palestine was senior Kyler Kropp, who had three rushing touchdowns.
For the Eagles, their lone touchdown came from a 33-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Bronson Edwards to junior Chase Ritchie.
For the blue and gold seniors, this was their last regular season contest at Delta High School. Ritchie believes that the upperclassmen have been a big part of the season.
“They have shown a lot of leadership and they've been a really good senior class,” he said. “[Us younger players] really appreciate it.”
One of those seniors is Jonny Manor. While Manor appreciates his time with the blue and gold, he believes the best is yet to come.
“We need to be ready,” he said. “When it comes time to play the game, we need to clock in.”
Delta will open up sectionals on the road as they face Norwell on Friday, Oct. 20. The game is set to start at 7 p.m. The Eagles defeated the Knights 34-16 in week two. Even with that, Overholt knows how his team should prepare.
“Every game is played with a sense of urgency,” he said. “When you're talking about ending a seniors’ season on another team, no one's gonna die easily. Especially when you're on the road, you gotta play hard and play clean.”
In other scores around the county, Wes-Del (4-5) won their third straight game by defeating Cambridge City Lincoln (1-6) 42-6 and Yorktown (4-5) fell to Mount Vernon (5-4) 35-21.
Contact Zach Carter with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on X @ZachCarter85.