CAYUGA, Ind. —There might never be a bigger contrast in emotion than what separated the two sides of the football field at North Vermillion High School on Friday.
On one side, pure elation. Joy. Bliss. And on the opposite end of the field, heartbreak, agony, distress, and for some, the realization that they will never again wear their school colors in full pads in a competitive environment.
Those feelings were ultimately expected following Friday’s Class A sectional semifinal between the No. 2 North Vermillion Falcons and the Attica Red Ramblers. But, few probably expected the previously undefeated Falcons to have their season cut short before having a chance to defend their back-to-back sectional titles.
At minimum, a trip back to the sectional championship game was penciled into the books. But the Red Ramblers brought with them to Cayuga a bag of erasers and ultimately wrote an alternate ending to the Falcons’ story. The one that is now permanently etched into the IHSAA record books reads a final score of Attica 13, North Vermillion 7.
“This week we just practiced (hard),” Attica senior quarterback and defensive back Brady Sheridan said. “If we gave it our all, we knew we had it in us to be able to beat North Vermillion. Once we came on the field, everybody gave it their all, and it just all came together.”
The win sends Attica (8-3) to the sectional championship — where it will face Fountain Central — for only the third time since 2008. The Red Ramblers haven’t won a sectional title since 2000 when they lost their only game of the season in the state title game.
That’s where the Falcons (10-1) had hopes of being this year. The loss ends an otherwise successful undefeated regular season in which they won their second consecutive Wabash River Conference title.