Two years ago, Zach Oakley split time at quarterback when Penn played for the state championship but the Kingsmen got crushed in the title game 54-0. Friday night, Penn gets another shot at Carmel--and this time a spot in the state title game is on the line.
"We don't really play much on revenge but it would definitely feel real good to get the "W" and get back down to Lucas Oil," Oakley says.
Even though that game two years ago was a loss, it was a big day for Zach's future.
"It really helped from an experience standpoint," Oakley explains. "That's by far the biggest crowd I've played in front of. Since then, there's not been a crowd factor that's been interference."
Two years later. Oakley is the #1 reason Penn is the #1 ranked team in the state. The Kingsmen are a perfect 12-0.
"He's an outstanding leader," Kingsmen coach Cory Yeoman says. "He's one of those guys, he's competing as hard as you can. When your best players work the hardest, other guys see that and they know the standard has been set by those type of guys and everyone else follows suit."
Oakley will take his quarterback talents next year to Central Michigan. He's certainly not worried about that right now. That's why making his college choice in the off season was so important to him.
"It was a huge benefit," Oakley says. "Having that out of the way let me put all my energy towards this team and this year."
Being a Kingsmen is something Zach isn't just ready to give up.
"Togetherness and family stick out the most," Oakley says of what it means to be a Kingsmen. "I bet 10 years from now I could call on anyone of these guys and they'd come out and help me. It speaks to me as a family."
So what would it mean to get the win Friday night and get one last shot at that state championship?
"It would mean the world to me," Oakley adds. "Looking back this will probably be the funniest times I have in life."
Penn and Carmel kickoff at 7:30 Friday night at Carmel. The winners advances to the 6A State Championship game.