Lawrenceburg’s bid for the school’s third state football title ended abruptly with a 56 to 14 loss to Fort Wayne Concordia on Saturday, November 26th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The opening score came after the Tigers went three and out. Punter Jordan Houze pinned Concordia at its eight with a 54 yard punt.
It was a matter of inches as Tiger Jayden Isham went high to pick off a pass but Concordia’s Kamari Anderson-Drew pulled it down and raced 62 yards for the opening score with 6:37 left in the opening quarter.
It would be the first of a record six touchdown passes by quarterback Peter Morrison including a 32 yarder to Anderson-Drew with 4:23 and an 18 yarder to Peterson Kerlegrand with :36 for a 21 to 0 lead after the first quarter.
Morrison set the Class 3A passing yardage record in the first half, finishing the game with 376 yards. Morrison finished the season with 3,980 yards passing, third-best in state history, and 52 touchdowns.
A record 70-yard touchdown to Andrew Borden at the 9:48 mark in the second quarter extended the lead to 28-0, and a 38-yarder to Mark Mallers at 3:59, giving the Cadets a 35-0 lead at halftime.
Concordia took advantage of a pair of interceptions while Lawrenceburg’s best chance to score stalled as time ran out on third and goal headed into the half.
Morrison hit Mallers on a 10-yard TD pass with 10:57 left in the game. Kerlegrand added 199 yards rushing and scored twice, helping the Cadets rack up a 3A-record 614 yards of total offense and tie the record for the most points in a 3A game.
Lawrenceburg broke up the shutout as Hunter Privett rushed three yards to cap a seven play 63 yard drive with 8:12 left. Fort Wayne answered with a 55 yard TD run less than a minute later.
The Tigers closed out the scoring as quarterback Reid Strobl (7-22-1TD-2INT- 135 yards) hit Ben Murphy for two yards then Murphy (4 catches, 46 yards) lateraled to Jonah Rolfes, who went the remaining 37 yards for the touchdown. Parker Hahn added his second PAT.
The Tigers (13-2) got 154 rushing yards from Austin Bowling, who finished the season with 3,157 yards rushing and 52 touchdowns. The rushing total is the sixth-best single-season effort in state history.
Junior Mason Parris led the Tigers defense with eight solo tackles, four assists, two tackles for loss and a pass break up. He had one of two hard hits on Morrison but that didn’t affect the outcome of the play as both ended in touchdowns.
It was the first Lawrenceburg state finals appearance since 1985. Their last football title was in Class 2A in 1978.
State 3A Records set included: Most points: 56 (Ties FW Bishop Dwenger vs. New Palestine, 1990); Most points in a half: 35 by (Ties Indpls Bishop Chatard (first half) vs. Northwood, 2003); Most touchdowns: 8 by (Ties FW Bishop Dwenger vs. New Palestine, 1990); Most PAT kicks: 8 (Ties FW Bishop Dwenger vs. New Palestine, 1990); Most yards passing: 388; Most passing touchdowns: 6;
Total offensive yards: 614; Total offensive yards by both teams: 890 by FW Concordia (614) vs. Lawrenceburg (276); Most first downs: 23; Most first downs by passing: 15.
At the conclusion of the state championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named Jacob Ruberg of Lawrenceburg High School as the winner of the Blake Ress Mental Attitude Award in Class 3A football.
Ruberg is a two-sport athlete also participating in wrestling. He is a 2016 team captain, four-year letter-winner, was named EIAC All-Conference and All Dearborn County his freshman, sophomore and junior year. In wrestling, he is a two-time state qualifier, regional champion, two-time sectional champion, and the 2013 EIAC MVP. Outside of athletics, he participates in peer tutoring and cadet teaching. He is involved in his community through Big Brothers Big Sisters, SADD, and the Hoxworth Blood Drive while also volunteering for Lawrenceburg Youth Wrestling, Keep America Clean, and Lawrenceburg PeeWee Football.
He is the son of Angie and Thomas Ruberg of Lawrenceburg. He plans to attend University of Indianapolis where he will wrestle and study nursing, specializing in Neonatology (medical care of newborn infants).