Avon eliminated Cathedral from the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s 43rd annual football state tournament Friday night, 37-34, in double overtime. The Class 6-A regional loss is the first post-season defeat for the Fighting Irish since November 20th, 2009 when they fell 31-10 at Evansville Reitz in a Class 4-A semi-state game.
Cathedral scored first on Evan Christopher’s four-yard touchdown run late in the opening quarter to take a 7-0 lead. Avon then scored 10 points early in the second quarter to lead 10-7 at the half.
The Irish took the second-half kickoff and marched 78 yards on 14 plays, culminating in Max Bortenschlager’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Daijon Collins. Cathedral recovered the ensuing kickoff at the Avon 32-yard-line. On the next play, Bortenschlager connected with Luke Sanders over the middle to increase the lead to 21-10.
Avon answered on its next possession when Brandon Peters threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Griffin. On the next Irish possession, Orioles linebacker Zach Betustak intercepted a Bortenschlager pass and returned it eight yards for another TD to put Avon back in front 24-21 mid-way through the third period.
Neither team threatened again until Cathedral’s final possession of regulation when the Irish moved to the Orioles’ five yard line with less than a minute to play. Vincent Alerding’s 34-yard field goal with 16 seconds remaining sent the game into overtime.
Each team scored on its first offensive play of overtime. Peters found Griffin in the right corner or the end zone with a scoring pass to begin the extra session. Bortenschlager then threw a nearly identical pass to Collins to send the game into double overtime tied 31-31.
Cathedral had to settle for a 21-yard Alerding field goal to begin the second overtime. Three plays later, Peters connected with Griffin for another scoring pass to give Avon the victory. Cathedral finishes the season with an 8-4 record. Avon now takes its 10-2 record to undefeated and top-ranked Center Grove for next week’s Class 6-A semi-state.
Bortenschlager completed 15 of 29 passes for 207 yards. In doing so, he became the first quarterback in Cathedral history to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a career, finishing with 4,108 yards passing in 28 games over three seasons. Christopher rushed for 130 yards on 26 carries against Avon. He ends his 41-game Irish football career with 1,977 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns.
The loss ends Cathedral’s state-record tournament winning streak at 32 games. Fort Wayne Bishop Luers and Warren Central share the second best mark at 26 games. New Palestine and North Vermillion have the longest active winning streak with nine consecutive wins. In the past ten years, Cathedral has won a remarkable 52 of 55 football tournament games including seven state championships.
Due to a previously-scheduled swim event at the YMCA, tonight’s Cathedral Swim Practice will be from 3:45 PM – 5:15 PM. Coach Doron will still drive the bus to the YMCA and back to Cathedral after practice.
Cathedral won its tenth consecutive high school football sectional title Friday night, the school’s first in Class 6-A, with a 35-14 victory over Lawrence North at Lawrence Central. In doing so, the Fighting Irish extended their state-record tournament win streak to 32 games.
The Irish scored first when Max Bortenschlager connected with Luke Sanders for a 24-yard touchdown pass five minutes into the game. Bortenschlager then scored on a quarterback sneak midway through the second quarter to make the score 14-0. Lawrence North closed the gap to 14-7 on Elijah Smith’s three-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds remaining in the first half.
Daijons Collins returned the kickoff that followed 25 yards to the Irish 39-yard line. A 15-yard personal foul penalty against Lawrence North moved the ball to the Wildcats’ 46-yard line. Five plays and 33 seconds later, Bortenschlager threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Collins to give Cathedral a 21-7 half-time lead. Evan Christopher and Markese Stepp added second half rushing touchdowns.
Bortenschlager completed 22 of 29 passes for 229 yards. It’s the sixth 200-yard plus passing game of his high school career. Sanders caught nine passes for 134 yards, while Collins had ten receptions for 68 yards. The Irish defense forced two turnovers, the second of which led Stepp’s touchdown on the next play putting the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.
Cathedral improves to 8-3 overall, while Lawrence North bows out of the tournament at 3-8. The sectional title is the 20th in school history. The Fighting Irish travel to Avon next Friday night in the regional round of the tournament. Cathedral has won nine consecutive regional titles.
Avon advanced with a 27-22 win over defending Class 6-A champion Ben Davis. The 9-2 Orioles are led by Michigan recruit Brandon Peters who has thrown for more than 2,500 yards and 32 touchdowns this season. The Irish are 5-1 all-time against the Orioles in tournament play, but the two teams have not played since the 2000 tourney.
Indianapolis Cathedral defeated host Lawrence Central 43-22 Friday night to advance to the championship game of Class 6-A sectional six. In doing so, the Fighting Irish extended their state-record of consecutive football tournament wins to 31 dating back to 2010.
Cathedral’s Markese Stepp scored first-half touchdowns on runs of 80 yards and 67 yards, but Lawrence Central led 16-14 at the intermission. Dominique Tyler returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and Nash Griffin kicked three field goals for the Bears.
Stepp ran 69 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second half to begin a barrage of 29 unanswered Cathedral points. He added a fourth touchdown on a three-yard run later in the third quarter. Max Bortenshlager ran for two fourth-quarter Irish touchdowns. Stepp finished the game with a career-best 277 rushing yards.
The Cathedral defense limited the Bears to just 137 yards of total offense. LC’s Gerrid Doaks came into the contest averaging 180 yards rushing per game. The University of Cincinnati recruit finished with just 87 yards on 18 carries. The Irish have allowed only one individual 100-yard rushing performance this season.
Cathedral improved its record to 7-3 overall, while Lawrence Central ended the season with a 3-7 mark. The Fighting Irish play Lawrence North for the sectional title next Friday at Lawrence Central. The 3-7 Wildcats advanced with a 42-7 win over North Central.
The Irish are 1-3 all-time against Lawrence North, but the two schools have not met since 1984. Cathedral has won sectional championships each of the last nine seasons, but this is the school’s first opportunity to win a Class 6-A sectional title.
Top-Ranked Center Grove concluded the high school football regular season Friday night with a 7-0 home win over Indianapolis Cathedral. In doing so, the Trojans remained the only undefeated team in Class 6-A, setting the stage for a possible rematch with the Fighting Irish in the semi-state round of the upcoming IHSAA football state tournament.
Center Grove’s Jackson Hohlt ran 50 yards for the game’s only score early in the second quarter. Cathedral had a number of chances in the first half, missing a 50-yard field goal attempt and twice turning the ball over on downs, once at the Trojan 25-yardline and once at their 23-yardline.
Irish cornerback Connor Mullin intercepted a pass at the Center Grove 45-yardline with four minutes left in the fourth quarter to give Cathedral one final chance. Four plays later, the Irish gave the ball back to the Trojans after failing to convert on 4th down and two yards to go.
Both teams had some success running the ball, but neither team threw the ball effectively. Center Grove outgained Cathedral on the ground 192 yards to 183 yards. Markese Stepp led all players with 92 yards rushing on 17 carries. Irish teammate Tony Johnson rushed 13 times for 72 yards.
The Cathedral defense sacked Center Grove quarterback Joey Siderwicz just once, but limited him to two completions on 10 pass attempts for 18 yards. Cathedral’s Max Bortenschlager completed 12 of his 22 passes, but for only 47 yards. The Irish failed to gain a first down via the pass all night.
Cathedral falls to 6-3 overall. The Fighting Irish begin play in their first-ever Class 6-A state tournament next Friday at Lawrence Central. Cathedral defeated the Bears 32-14 in the opening game of the season. In week one, the Irish held LC to just 64 yards of total offense and only two first downs.
Entering the 2015 tournament, Cathedral has won a state-record 30 consecutive post-season games. The Irish have the longest active streak of consecutive sectional championships, advancing to the regional round of the tourney each of the past nine seasons.