WARSAW JV 20, MICHIGAN CITY 6
Jackson Dawson had two touchdown passes to Julius Jones and Patrick Zollinger as Warsaw defeated the Wolves at Fisher Field. Brandon Estepp added an 84-yard fumble return for a touchdown for the Tiger defense. Jose Martinez and Zach Ransbottom added interceptions.
WAWASEE JV 14, WEST NOBLE 9
Wawasee took a 14-2 lead before holding on for the win against the Chargers at Warrior Field. Stats for the game were not provided.
TRITON JV 18, LAVILLE 8
The Trojans recovered from a tough varsity loss to the Lancers by picking up a JV win in Bourbon. Stats for the game were not provided.
INDIANA 34, BALL STATE 24
Stevie Scott III ran for two second-half touchdowns and Logan Justus made four field goals Saturday to help Indiana get past Ball State 34-24.
The Hoosiers have won 14 of their last 16 season openers.
Ball State has lost five of its last six overall and six straight against Big Ten foes and three in a row against the in-state Hoosiers.
Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. had a roller coaster day in his starting debut. He led the Hoosiers to a field goal on their first possession and hooked up with Nick Westbrook for a 75-yard touchdown on the second series.
“He missed some reads, but that didn’t surprise me. You’re going to have some growing pains and they did a good job disguising things,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “But he was able to make something out of nothing sometimes.”
Then things got rougher. Penix was picked off on each of his next two series and the Hoosiers didn’t reach the end zone again until Scott’s 4-yard TD plunge to open the third quarter. That made it 23-10.
Ball State answered with a 45-yard TD pass from Drew Plitt to Walter Fletcher.
Scott scored on a 2-yard run with 13:47 remaining and a 2-point conversion pass from David Ellis to Peyton Hendershot gave Indiana a 31-17 lead.
The Cardinals made it 31-24 on Yo’Heinz Tyler’s 36-yard touchdown catch with 6:28 left before Justus sealed the victory with his third career-long field goal of the game, a 50-yarder with 2:15 to go. Justus made a 48-yarder in the first quarter and a 49-yarder just before halftime.
Scott carried 19 times for 48 yards.
“There are a lot of things we have to clean up,” Ball State coach Mike Neu said. “Self-inflicted wounds that simply you just can’t have to be consistent week in and week out, making the available plays and eliminating the penalties that extended their drive and put them in field goal range.”
The Hoosiers got what they needed — a win — but know they must make dramatic improvements before facing No. 5 Ohio State in two weeks.
Plitt played well and the Cardinals were better than expected after winning only 10 games in Neu’s first three seasons. And while they didn’t take advantage of all their opportunities, it was a promising start for Neu’s team.
Penix was 8 of 11 with 144 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the first quarter. The finally tally: 24 of 40, 326 yards, a second interception and seven carries for 67 yards.
Penix became the fourth Indiana freshman to top 300 yards in a single game and finished with the second-highest yards passing in a starting debut behind only Antwaan Randle El (385) in 1998.
The Hoosiers intercepted Plitt with 1:14 to go, extending their streak of consecutive games with a turnover to 19 and their streak of consecutive games with an interception to 11. Indiana started Saturday with the nation’s second-longest streak of games with a turnover.
Indiana opens its home schedule next Saturday against Eastern Illinois while Ball State hosts Warsaw graduate Andrew Mevis and Fordham next Saturday.