Carmel slows Ben Davis, but can't stop top-ranked Giants

Paul Shepherd
IndyStar correspondent
FILE – Jermaine Hoskins caught four passes in Friday night's Ben Davis win over Carmel.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Carmel football team made it tough on host Ben Davis in Friday’s Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference matchup.

The Greyhounds played an almost mistake-free game, forced four Ben Davis turnovers, dominated in time of possession and held the Class 6A top-ranked Giants to their lowest point total of the season.

It still wasn’t enough to spoil Ben Davis’ homecoming. The Giants remain undefeated and found a new way to win in topping the depleted No. 4 Greyhounds, 28-10.

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While every team has tried to slow the high-octane, up-tempo Giants, Carmel proved to do it best so far. Ben Davis (7-0, 5-0 in the MIC) entered the game averaging nearly 50 points per contest, was winning by an average of 34 and hadn’t scored fewer than 40 in a game.

“They used the clock to their advantage,” said Ben Davis coach Mike Kirschner. “They kept us off the field, but we didn’t help by turning it over four times.”

But the Giants did what Ben Davis does and got touchdowns in chunks. Just three plays into the game, senior quarterback Reese Taylor found Jermaine Hoskins deep down the sideline for a 41-yard gain. Hoskins fumbled on a Carmel strip, but teammate Brent Harris scooped it up and finished off the remaining 22 yards to the end zone. The extra point kick attempt was low, but Ben Davis had a 6-0 lead just 1:04 in.

Carmel (4-3, 3-2) successfully slowed the game with methodical drives that exhausted the play clock, keeping the Greyhounds close. They trailed 6-3 after the first quarter following a 43-yard field goal by junior backup kicker Matt Fortier.

Taylor added a pair of early second quarter touchdown throws — a 45-yarder to Hoskins and a 19-yarder to Broc Thompson — but Carmel used a 17-play, 80-yard drive to drain more than 7 minutes off the clock and close to within 21-10 at halftime on senior quarterback Jake McDonald’s 6-yard touchdown toss to Jackson Rodimel.

The Ben Davis defense put the clamps on in the second half, though. After a Giants fumble, the defense responded with four stops on five plays that ended in negative yardage for the Greyhounds.

“Our defense made some plays to put the offense in some good situations, but we just weren’t able to capitalize on those,” said Carmel coach John Hebert. “We’ve got to get better at taking advantage of the opportunities we create.”

It didn’t help the defending state champion Greyhounds that they were without both starting kickers and running back Camari Hunt. McDonald suffered an apparent knee injury midway through the fourth quarter and ended the game on the sidelines in crutches.

“It doesn’t look good,” Hebert acknowledged. “I feel tremendously for him. He’s a great kid. He’s been an unbelievable leader for us. We just have to hope for the best.”

Sophomore running back Dylan Downing finished with 105 yards rushing on 32 carries for the Greyhounds.

Taylor, an Indiana recruit, sealed the win in the fourth with his third touchdown pass of the game and second to Thompson. He finished 22-of-29 for 309 yards, and now has 22 touchdown tosses on the season. After throwing an uncharacteristic third interception, Taylor completed nine of his final 10 passes.

“I feel like he’s the best quarterback in the country right now,” said Thompson, who finished with 10 catches for 136 yards.


Carmel        3   7   0  0  — 10
Ben Davis   6  15  0  7 — 28

BD – Brent Harris 22 fumble recovery (kick failed)

C – 43 FG Matt Fortier

BD – Jermaine Hoskins 45 pass from Reese Taylor (KeSean Tunstill pass from Taylor)

BD – Broc Thompson 13 pass from Taylor (Isaac Torres kick)

C – Jackson Rodimel 6 pass from Jake McDonald (Fortier kick)

BD – Thompson 11 pass from Taylor (Torres kick) 

Rushing — Carmel, Dylan Downing 32-105, McDonald 6-4, Gabe Davin 1-1. Ben Davis, Tunstill 1-2, Johnny Adams 11-82, Harris 1-22, Taylor 7-35, Mimms 3-13, Hoskins 1-10, Joey Person 2-17.

Passing — Carmel, McDonald 11-19-104, Gabe Quigley 1-2-4. Ben Davis, Taylor 22-29-309.

Receiving — Carmel, Aidan Ellison 5-84, Rodimel 3-13, Wesley Watson 2-8, Downing 2-3. Ben Davis, Hoskins 4-116, TieKwon Henderson 1-9, Thompson 10-136, Harris 1-24, Person 2-4, Tunstill 3-16, Adams 1-4.