Kick-off was scheduled at seven on the dot, but first and foremost the community as a whole, from both sides of the field, stood up in a moment of silence to honor Jake West, a LaPorte player who died earlier in the week. Players sported an orange 26 sticker on their helmets in his memory.
What followed was the singing of the National Anthem performed by Mia Gjeldum (12). Shortly into her performance her microphone went out, so students took things into their own hands. The fan section gave Gjeldum a helping hand and they sang the rest of the song together.
Play started with a lot of firsts for the team. The Homecoming game was third-string quarterback, Ethan Darter’s (10), first start of the year after the first two succumbed to injuries.
“It was a great atmosphere just because it was a varsity game on top of Homecoming. There was some jitters, but my team really calmed me down, and Coach St. Germain really did a great job getting me ready in the week,” Darter said.
The team also found a first in their new kicker, Jillian Doan (11). She was first girl to ever dress as a member of the varsity football team or play in a game, much less the Homecoming game.
The Indians fell behind in the first quarter as Michigan City got on the ball first, but turned it around quickly.
“We started off really slow and it felt like we were not prepared. Eventually, we got used to the bigger crowd. I think we used the atmosphere to our advantage and it gave us energy and momentum. It felt like the fans were really into it,” Jake Turngren (12) said.
The offense picked up and went into halftime with a 10-10 score.
During the half, the annual banner walk took place and homecoming court was introduced. Thomas Quinn (12) and Bridget Protsman (12) were that night’s king and queen.
“Winning king was very surprising. I had no idea that I was going to win. At the time, I really did not care if I won, I was so focused on the game. I kept asking the teacher in charge if I could just go back to the locker room. We played a really good team and we really took control in the second half of the game,” Quinn said
The team kept their pace in the last half of the game. Brandon Scott (11) lead the offense with 143 rushing-yards and two touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters.
“Whenever I threw the ball, the receivers made great catches every single time,” Darter said.
Doan also added points to each of the touchdowns, resulting in a 24-10 win. It was the fifth straight win for the team, making them 5-1. The next game will be Friday, Oct. 4 in Chesterton.