By Brady Extin | The Times-Post

GREENFIELD — Pendleton Heights found itself in a spot it has been putting opposing teams in so far this season when it traveled to Greenfield on Friday night.
After outscoring opponents 77-6 the previous two weeks, it was the Arabians who turned out to be on the wrong side of a lopsided score.
They were shut out by the Greenfield-Central Cougars, 35-0.
“Greenfield deserves a lot of credit,” Pendleton Heights head coach Jed Richman said. “I thought our preparation was good enough to come in here and compete, but they’re an awfully good football team. It’s disappointing, but I thought our kids played with a lot of effort. We’ve just got to play smarter.”

Story continues below photo.

Pendleton Heights quarterback Isaac Wilson runs the ball against Greenfield Central Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Mike Brown | For The Times-Post

The Arabians had an opportunity to strike first after Nolan Souders intercepted Greenfield-Central quarterback Dallas Freeman on the opening drive of the game.
After moving the ball into Cougars territory, they were stuffed on a third-and-one runup the middle and elected to punt.
Following the punt, Greenfield-Central drove down field, and fullback Andrew Zellers punched in a 1-yard rushing touchdown.
On the next play from scrimmage, it was Pendleton Heights quarterback Isaac Wilson’s turn to be intercepted, and then just two plays later Zellers found the endzone again.
For the Arabians, that was the story of the night.
In the second quarter, the Arabians missed two more chances to put points on the board.
Early in the quarter, they were stopped on a fourth-and-one run from the Cougars 29-yard line. On the following possession they found themselves past midfield once again. After a third down snap over the head of Wilson put them in a fourth-and-long situation, Richman chose to go for it.
Nate Derolf broke free down the right sideline and had nobody between him and the endzone, but the pass from Wilson was just out ahead of him.
The Pendleton Heights defense was able to force two more turnovers before the end of the half, but the offensive woes continued.
“We got them off the field, and then we did nothing with it. We had three takeaways and did nothing with it,” Richman said. “Our defense gave us a chance in the first half. The offense just couldn’t sustain, and we hurt ourselves. We’ve got to learn to be more consistent and sustain drives and get them off the field. We’ve got to fix that, and we will.”
After accumulating 224 yards of total offense the week prior in their 35-0 victory against New Castle, the Arabians offense was held to just 125 yards.
Wilson paced the team in both passing yards and rushing, throwing for 76 and running for 27.
Derolf was the leading receiver, catching three passes for 37 yards.
“You’ve got to have your A-game against good teams, and our schedule the rest of the way is some really good teams,” Richman said. “We’ve got to learn from this in a hurry.”
The first of those really good teams might just be the best team left on the Arabians’ schedule when they play host to No. 1 Class 4A New Palestine on Friday, Sept. 16.
Running back Grayson Thomas leads the Dragons on the ground, where he averages 160 yards per game along with finding the endzone 10 times already this season. Quarterback Daniel Tippet leads things through the air with eight touchdowns and 732 yards passing this season. They have a stable of receivers in Isaiah Thacker, Blaine Nunnally and Kyler Kropp.
On defense they are led by defensive tackle Michael Thacker, who has five sacks to his credit so far this season. The Dragons have combined for eight interceptions in four games this season.
“We’ve got to fix ourselves first. It doesn’t matter who we play next if we don’t fix ourselves,” Richman said. “But we’re ready and willing. I’ve got a good locker room of kids and coaches, and we’re going to learn from this.”
Reporter Lori Wood contributed to this story.

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