Knights hand Bulldogs first loss

East Noble totaled 304 rushing yards and the Knights used a key third quarter goal line stand to knock off previously unbeaten New Haven 42-21 Friday night in Kendallville.

The East Noble victory, coupled with Leo’s 34-13 win over Columbia City, sets up a three-way tie between New Haven, Leo and East Noble at 5-1 in league play with one week remaining.

New Haven (7-1) will host Huntington North (0-8, 0-6) next Friday while Leo (6-2) visits DeKalb (3-5, 3-3). East Noble (6-2) welcomes in Bellmont (2-6, 2-4) to close its regular season.

Andrew McCormick led the way for the Knights with 103 rushing yards and a pair of scores while Griffen Dafforn-Koebler added 82 yards and a touchdown. Damian Bowker chipped in 53 yards on the ground and a pair of scores as well for East Noble.

With the game tied at 7-7, Bowker scored on runs of 3 and 14 yards in the second quarter to put East Noble on top 21-7. It was a lead the Knights wouldn’t relinquish.

The key play of the game came in the third quarter.

With East Noble in front 21-14, the Knights came up with a goal-line stand of the Bulldog offense that kept New Haven from tying the game. The defensive stand included a stop on fourth and goal from the two and that stop shifted all momentum to East Noble.

A McCormick touchdown run early in the fourth quarter expanded the Knight lead to 28-14 before a pick-six 43-yard interception return by Hayden Jones made it 35-14 and East Noble cruised the rest of the way.

East Noble’s defense also was able to contain the Bulldog rushing attack.

New Haven’s Stephen Owens, who entered the game with 919 rushing yards and was averaging 131 yards per game, was held to 63 yards on the evening.