Top-rated Indianapolis Cathedral could not overcome five turnovers Friday night and lost to third-ranked Columbus East 42-13 in the Class 5-A high school football southern semi-state at Arsenal Tech. The 13-1 Olympians now advance to the championship game for the third time in five years. They will face first-time finalist Kokomo.
The Irish fumbled at their own 12-yard-line on their opening possession. East scored four plays later on quarterback Josh Major’s one-yard run to take a 7-0 lead. Cathedral answered with a seven play, 80-yard drive that concluded when sophomore quarterback Roman Purcell completed a 50-yard scoring pass to senior wide receiver Daijon Collins. Olympian running back Jamon Hogan scored on a six-yard run in the final minute of the first quarter to make the score 14-7.
Cathedral then embarked on a nearly six-minute drive that covered 79 yards. Purcell scored on a nine-yard run. Tyler Sylvia’s streak of 51 consecutive successful point after attempts was snapped when his kick was blocked leaving Irish trailing 14-13.
The Irish turned the ball over twice in the final three minutes of the first half at its own end of the field on a muffed punt return and a low punt snap. Columbus East converted both miscues into touchdowns to lead 28-13 at the half. The Olympians scored following another Cathedral fumbled punt return in the third quarter, then added a final touchdown early in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
Sophomore running back Daylen Hall led the Irish offense with 110 yards on eight carries. Purcell gained 56 yards on 10 rushing attempts. Senior running back Markese Stepp was held to 47 yards on 14 carries. Stepp finishes his Cathedral career with 2,351 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns. Collins touchdown reception extended his school record for most career receptions to 141. He finishes third on the school’s all-time list for most receiving touchdowns with 21 and fourth for most receiving yards with 1,696.
Cathedral exits the tournament with a 7-6 record, which makes 2017 the school’s 14th consecutive winning season. The 2018 season opens August 17 when Cathedral hosts Noblesville.