40th Annual IHSAA Football State Championships
Lafayette Central Catholic Completes Four-Peat
Lafayette Central Catholic won their fourth consecutive Class A state championship defeating Indianapolis Scecina 14-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium. LCC became the first school to win four consecutive Class A state championships and in the four year run have lost only one game. The Knights completed their march to the championship in a manner they are not accustomed to- a tight game.
Scecina was in their second straight finals showdown against LCC so they were not intimidated. The game was scoreless at halftime as both squad’s defensive units played especially well. The scoreless tie was broken in the third quarter when WR Joe Smith took a pass from QB Ty Preston 54 yards for a touchdown. Scecina hung in for a while but could not maintain any scoring drives. The game broke open for LCC at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Timmy Mills returned a Scecina punt 44 yards for a touchdown. That score put the Knights up 14-0 and from there their defense would take it home as they sealed the game with a John Paul Santos interception with just 4:18 to play.
LCC coach Kevin O’Shea has put together an unbelievably successful program. They completed their fourth straight state championship and the sixth overall for the school. They have also had four straight Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winners. This year the honor went to senior Jimmy Mills.
Now with the new six class football format beginning in Indiana high school football next year both LCC and Scecina will be moving up to Class 2A. Both teams have performed very well over the past several seasons and the tradition points formula will have them bumped up. Although they will be moving up it will be expectant of both teams to continue to compete at the highest level.
Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers Wins Fourth Straight Title
Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers won their fourth consecutive Class 2A championship Saturday as they beat Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter 40-28. The Knights completed the same feat as Lafayette Central Catholic in the earlier game by winning their fourth title in four years. Although Bishop Luers won their fourth title in a row, this one was not without some issues overcome.
Bishop Luers had their coach dismissed from the school in September. The school and the Knights turned to coach Steve Keefer. Keefer had been helping out the program and coaching the freshman team. But this is not a case where the school threw a guy into the fire that had not been there before. Keefer was the Bishop Luers coach in the mid-1980′s taking the Knights to one state championship and another state runner-up finish. Bringing him in seemed to be the influence the team needed to get back on track.
Keefer had a lot of help getting the Knights back to Indy from senior RB/LB Jaylon Smith. Smith is the leading candidate for Mr. Football and he did nothing to disappoint tonight. He rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns. His biggest contribution to the game was on the defensive side of the ball though as his constant pressure on Ritter quarterback Jake Purichia would not allow the high octane Raider passing attack to get going.
The game ended up being a high scoring affair but it did not start that way. The game was scoreless through the first quarter. Luers however took control in the second quarter scoring 27 consecutive points. They used their rushing attack to get there.
Ritter did not back down and made a valiant charge in the second half. Purichia led the Raiders back to within six points at 33-27 early in the fourth quarter but Luers responded with a long scoring drive of their own to seal the win and continue their title reign.