Indiana grounds Burrell, sails to decisive victory

Friday, September 3, 2021 | 10:23 PM

With 100 yards of plush two-tone green field turf surrounded by a bright cosmic blue track, Buccaneer Stadium’s new makeover gives the illusion the Burrell football team is playing on an island.

The Bucs’ ship never set sail Friday night and stayed grounded as Indiana put up 22 second-quarter points to roll past Burrell, 44-7, in a WPIAL Week 1 nonconference matchup.

“Just too many mistakes,” Burrell coach Shawn Liotta said. “We got a lot of first-year kids out there and they’re getting better, but there’s some growing pains associated with that.”

Both teams played to a scoreless first quarter before Indiana (1-1) opened the scoring when running back Korbin Wilson sprinted for a 14-yard touchdown to make it 8-0 with 11 minutes, 50 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Wilson finished the night with 96 yards on nine carries.

“It’s always good to win,” Indiana coach Brandon Oberdorff said. “Last week, we let one slip away. Tonight, we took care of the ball and we had some players make some unbelievable plays.”

After a three-and-out drive from the Burrell offense, Wilson scored again when the speedster outran the Burrell (0-2) defense for a 34-yard touchdown to put Indiana up 14-0 after the failed conversion.

After a missed 35-yard field-goal attempt by Burrell (0-2), the Indiana offense went back to work. Running back Zach Herrington broke out of a scrum at the line of scrimmage and ran away from the Bucs defense for a 60-yard touchdown run to extend Indiana’s lead to 22-0. Herrington rushed for 111 yards on 11 carries.

“We blocked well on offense and on the perimeter well, and we improved on a lot of things we didn’t do well last week,” Oberdorff said.

Indiana took the opening kickoff to start the second half and picked up where it left off. Quarterback Devin Flint called his own number and raced for an 85-yard touchdown to extend Indiana’s lead to 30-0 with 11:30 remaining in the third quarter. Flint finished the game with 156 yards on 13 carries.

“Our kids just came and were willing to play physical football for 48 minutes and made plays,” Oberdorff said. “That’s what it really comes down to.”

Wilson added a 6-yard touchdown run to put Indiana up 36-0 and enact the running clock.

The Burrell offense did find a spark in the fourth quarter when running back Caden DiCaprio scored on a 37-yard touchdown run to avoid the shutout. DiCaprio finished with 96 yards on 11 carries.

Indiana’s Josiah Johnson added a 69-yard touchdown run to complete the scoring.

“We’ve got to be patient,” Liotta said. “Patience is the word. Patience is the word. We’ve got to get better at blocking and tackling, obviously, and continue to work on the fundamentals every day. We just need to continue to get better.”

Listen to an archived broadcast of this game on Trib HSSN.

William Whalen is a freelance writer.

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