Episcopal senior running back TJ Wisham put on a show Friday night as the host Knights defeated North Vermillion 28-6.
Wisham rushed for three touchdowns, including a spectacular 66-yard scoring run in the third quarter where he ran over three defenders. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound senior running back scored on runs of 14, 66 and 40 yards and has five rushing TDs for 2-0 EHS.
Wisham rushed for 98 yards last week and ran for 186 yards on 20 carries Friday.
“TJ is a big strong back who can run downhill,” EHS coach Travis Bourgeois said. “The field was wet, but TJ excels in these kind of conditions.”
North Vermillion (1-1) drove 39 yards in seven plays on its opening possession. Senior quarterback Dade Dieterich had a key 20-yard run on third-and-11. On the next play, Dieterich tossed a 6-yard scoring strike to Tyler Galley. The ensuing PAT failed and NVHS led 6-0 with 5:27 remaining in the first quarter.
Episcopal’s defense stiffened and held the Patriots to just 31 yards total offense in the first half. NVHS tried a fake punt play in a fourth-and-1 situation, but Episcopal’s Kydris Washington charged hard and dropped Caleb Castro for a 13-yard loss with 1:34 remaining in the first half. That set up Episcopal’s second score.
The Knights drove 28 yards in five plays. Wisham had three carries in the drive. He scored on a 14-yard run where he ran right and was nearly tackled, then spun to the left. Russ St. Romain hit the PAT to put EHS up 14-6 with 37 seconds remaining in the half.
EHS had taken a 7-6 lead following its eight-play, 50-yard drive midway in the second quarter. Washington scored on a weaving 15-yard run.
Episcopal senior Sam Rotenberg made a spectacular juggling catch while on his back to help set up the third score. That third down conversion extended the drive and Wisham scored three plays later on his 66-yard run as EHS led 21-6 with 3:29 remaining in the third quarter.
“Sam Rotenberg has been making plays like that for us all his career,” Bourgeois said. Rotenberg had three catches for 30 yards. “He has strong hands and is a possession receiver. He never gives up on a play. He actually practices catches like that.”
Episcopal’s David Tatman intercepted Dieterich to set up the final score. EHS drove 65 yards in six plays. Wisham’s 40-yard TD and Trevor Bisson’s PAT put the Knights up 28-6 with 11:46 remaining.
NVHS drove inside the EHS 20-yard line in the final minute, but failed to score.
“We just weren’t very consistent on offense or defense,” NVHS coach Richard Prejean said. “No. 23 (Wisham) had something to do with it. Episcopal has a solid football team.”
Bourgeois said his team is improving.
“I like that we won the turnover battle,” he said. “We’re heading in the right direction.”