West Lafayette, IN – Things appeared far too easy for the West Lafayette Red Devils on Friday night. The Red Devils were led by Sophomore quarterback Mikey Kidwell, who seemed to launch the ball a mile every other play. He has quite the cannon and will only get better over the next few seasons. He was able to see through everything the Benton Central Bison threw at him. Multiple blitzes and zone coverage schemes weren’t enough to slow him down. By far Kidwell’s favorite receiver was the 6’4″ senior Kyle Turner. It was a simple pitch and catch for these two as Turner was at least six to seven inches taller than his defender at any given time. Even with a defender draped over him in the endzone he was able to simply jump and grab it no problem. Turner also has very deceiving speed that he was able to use against the Bison defense and lead him to three touchdowns.
Both teams were explosive and this led to 6 scoring drives of less than 1 minute in game play. At the end of the first quarter it was 42-7 in favor of the Red Devils. It took over 40 minutes to complete the first period. The Red Devil commentators seemed to think that was close to a school record for scoring in the first quarter. When the Red Devils decided to run they were able to at will. Being much bigger and faster, Ryan Kim and Christian Burns were able to run up the gaps and down the sidelines for huge gains. The Bison just didn’t have anyone that could keep up with the Red Devils and it was apparent who the better team was.
For the Bison, there were a few positives in the game. Freshman quarterback Koltin Tucker was able to hit Mason Cooley on a slant route for a 66 yard touchdown where he was able to outrun everyone. Unfortunately, his touchdown passes were negated by the interceptions he threw. Being a freshman though, he showed signs that he will be a very strong quarterback for the Bison. Multiple times the Red Devils were pressuring him out of the pocket. Once he was flushed he was moving his eyes from receiver to receiver making very quick progressions. Tucker was also able to pick a couple of first downs with his legs as well. Tucker will have a solid high school career and he if he can grow a few inches may be able to pick up a few mid level scholarship offers too.
The Red Devils will host Tipton next Friday night looking to go 3-1 on the season with state titles hope alive. Benton Central will play host to Lafayette Central Catholic who is always playing for a state title. The Bison will need to get some of their key players healthy as they had a number of kids helped off the field with injuries. Once those injuries heal I expect the Bison to finish off the year strong.
Nick Konkel is the Purdue Athletics Correspondent for Indiana Sports Report. You can follow him on Twitter @nkonkel and Indiana Sports Report @IndySportsReport.