INDIANAPOLIS – Familiar legacies stood tall Friday in day one of the IHSAA football state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Lafayette Central Catholic, Indianapolis Chatard and Fort Wayne Snider all won state titles, each with historical footnotes.
Class 1-A: Lafayette Central Catholic 34, Linton-Stockton 7
After playing the last two years in Class 2-A, LCC moved back to 1-A and claimed its seventh Class 1-A state championship after pulling away from Linton-Stockton. The Knights took a 17-0 lead and never looked back although the Miners kept it close into the second half.
Brandon Yeagy scored touchdowns of 1, 3 and 4 yards and Sam Milazzo added field goals of 23 and 25 yards. Luke Fusiek hauled in a 63-yard touchdown catch for the Knights. Jackson Anthrop also had 149 yards rushing and 27 receiving yards for LCC, which finished 15-0 this season.
Jacob Clothier caught a seven-yard touchdown pass for the Miners, which finished 13-2 playing in its first state finals.
Class 3-A: Indianapolis Bishop Chatard 31, West Lafayette 7
Chatard did what Chatard has always done: win state titles. The most successful football program in Indiana high school football history won its record 13th state title, one more than Indianapolis Cathedral, and has made 14 appearances in the state finals all-time. Chatard also was playing in familiar territory in moving back to 3-A after playing the last two years in Class 4-A. Of the 13 titles Chatard has won, 11 are in 3-A, the other two in 2-A.
After Matt Marley caught a six-yard touchdown pass to put the Red Devils up 7-0, Chatard responded with the game’s final 31 points. The Trojans had touchdown runs from Jarrod Stiver (65), Jon Chavis (42) and Gabe Coleman (30) along with a 21-yard touchdown catch from Graham Jaeger.
The Trojans (12-3) forced West Lafayette (13-2) into five turnovers and held the Red Devils over 180 yards under their season average. Travis Rolle led WL with 146 yards rushing.
Class 5-A: Fort Wayne Snider 64, New Palestine 61
Snider (13-1) built a 28-point lead on New Palestine (13-1), only to allow the Dragons to storm back to take the lead twice in the fourth quarter. The Panthers then responded with a 68-yard touchdown drive in the final minute to pull out a 64-61 win in the highest-scoring final in Indiana history.
With his team trailing 61-56, Snider quarterback Isaac Stiebeling completed 4-5 passes for 65 yards to set up his three-yard touchdown run with just eight seconds left. The two-point conversion gave the Panthers a 64-61 lead; New Palestine was then intercepted at midfield as time ran out.
The game featured 14 state finals records, including a whopping 757 total yards by New Palestine, which broke the previous record set last season by the same club in a 77-42 win against New Prairie. The teams combined for a finals record of 1,302 total yards.
Snider, playing in its its sixth championship game, picks up its first-ever title. Isaac Stiebeling threw for 346 yards and three scores and also rushed for three touchdowns for the Panthers. Money Woods added 92 rushing yards and a score, David Turner hauled in six catches for 125 yards and Mac Hippenhammer had six catches for 109 yards, both finding the end zone once.
Alex Neligh had a monster day for New Pal, rushing for 166 and throwing for 501 and accounting for eight touchdowns, a state record for combined yards and total touchdowns. Duke Blanchard caught 10 balls for 328 yards and three touchdowns, the 328 yards a state finals record.
Saturday, three more games will be played in Class 2-A between Whiting (13-1) and Monrovia (13-1); Class 4-A between Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (13-1) and East Central (12-2); and Class 6-A between Penn (12-1) and Center Grove (13-0).