Linton closed out its regular football season in prime form Saturday, defeating North Central 68-0 in Lucas Oil Stadium to win the Southwest Seven Conference championship.
The Miners finished 9-0 for the second straight season and at least the third time in coach Steve Weber’s tenure at the Greene County high school.
Next up is North Knox in the start of Class 1A sectional action.
Linton set the tempo for the first of three “Championship Saturday” games when Zane Hayden returned the opening kickoff 60 yards as Linton ran its first play on the NC 38-yard line.
Five plays later, Austin Karaszia hooked up with Grant Stamm for a 19-yard scoring play and Dyllanne Deischer kicked the extra point to give Linton a 7-0 lead.
Deischer made Lucas Oil Stadium history by becoming the first female to play football in the facility. She had five more kicks in the contest to hike her scoring total at Linton to 217 points.
The Miners had good field position much of the day and began their next possession at the NC 42 and went up 14-0 on Karaszia’s 2-yard pass to Cole Bradbury following Koye Kaiser’s 23-yard run.
Linton got the football back on a North Central fumble but failed to score.
Bradbury and Kaiser both scored in the second stanza and Karaszia closed out the half by hooking up with Stamm for a 50-yard scoring play and the Miners took a 34-0 lead into the lockerroom at the intermission.
Stamm intercepted a pass and returned it 50 yards for one of three third-period touchdowns and Austin Hale went 66 yards for the final Linton score in the fourth period.
Karaszia was 6 for 6 in the second half to go 18 for 23 in the contest for 284 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
“Austin had a heckuva game … the offensive line gave him lots of time. Our defense helped set up the offense,” said Weber.
Kaiser netted 68 yards rushing on just 13 carries and caught five passes for 40 yards, while Hale had 91 yards rushing on five totes aided by his 66-yard scoring run.
Stamm caught five passes for 105 yards and scored three times. Bradbury also scored twice and had two interceptions on defense.
North Central finished 7-2 for the year and 5-1 in the conference. Chase VanSchoyck led the Thunderbirds in rushing with 51 yards, while Justin Burris netted 37 on 10 carries.
North Central meets Turkey Run in a home game to begin Class A postseason play.
Linton 68, North Central 0
North Central 0 0 0 0 — 0
Linton 14 20 20 14 — 68
L — Stamm 19 pass from Karaszia (Deischer kick), 9:49 1Q
L — Bradbury 2 pass from Karaszia (Deischer kick), 6:39 1Q
L — Bradbury 2 run (Deischer kick), 6:31 2Q
L — Kaiser 4 run (Deischer kick), 2:29 2Q
L — Stamm 50 pass from Karaszia (kick failed), 1:92 2Q
L — Neff 5 run (Deischer kick), 6:13 3Q
L — Hayden 20 run (Deischer kick), 2:09 3Q
L — Stamm 40 interception return (kick blocked), 1:15 3Q
L — Eaton 8 run (Jackson kick), 3:49 4Q
L — Hale 66 run (Vowell kick), 1:29 4Q
Next — Both teams begin Class 1A sectional play Friday. Linton (9-0, 6-0 Southwest Seven) is at North Knox. North Central (7-2, 5-1) is host to Turkey Run.