The “Battle of Broadway” took place Friday night at Merrillville High School’s Demaree Stadium. Both school’s student sections were fired up and filled the stands early. The 59ers students went with a Hawaiian theme, while the Pirates stood out in neon.
“We are excited to be playing our neighbors, we are proud of neighbors, and we are excited about our program. The coaches have the kids prepared and they are ready to go. Because it is local we should have a good fan turn out. The students are always excited and ready to cheer,” said Andrean Principal Benjamin Potts.
The weather looked to be ideal for this neighborhood rivalry, but would quickly change as the first quarter wound down to the 2:18 mark with the game tied at 7-7 (approximately 7:30 pm). After clearing the stadium, the skies opened and it began to pour with intense lightning. When lightning occurs, the game is suspended for at least 30 minutes from the last observation. Around 8:45 pm, the rain ceased and a decision to resume play was announced at 9:20 pm.
The Pirates scored quickly after the restart and the game went back and forth. The 59ers took a decent lead in the 4th quarter, but the Pirates made it interesting by recovering a fumbled kick-off return. Unfortunately Merrillville could not capitalize on the turn over and settled for a field goal.
“This is a good rivalry and the kids always play hard,” said Principal Mike Krutz. “Coach (Wells) knows what this rivalry game is like as a former player, so it is easy to get the team fired up for the game.”
Final score was Andrean 45, Merrillville 34. The Pirates travel to Crown Point next week, while the 59ers travel to Grand Rapids Central Catholic (MI).