Phone: 317-846-6601 Fax: 317-575-4244 Website: www.ihsaa.org
Blake Ress, Commissioner
November 29, 2008
BELLMONT COMPLETES JOURNEY WITH FIRST STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Bellmont completed a magical season capping it off with the 3A state championship following a 28-14 victory over Evansville Memorial at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Three weeks after capturing the first sectional championship in school history, the Braves (14-1) rode the wave of momentum pocketing the school’s first football title.
Junior running back Nick Hall scored all four touchdowns for Bellmont including two in the first half. He scored from 27 yards out in the first quarter to give the Braves a 7-0 lead and then added a five yard score just :13 seconds before the half for a 14-0 advantage.
Memorial (12-3) wasted no time after the break racing downfield in three plays on its first possession ending with an 18 yard touchdown pass from Grant Gribbins to Bryce Lueken to make it 14-7.
But Bellmont answered on the very next possession with its own three play drive when quarterback Joel Bone found Hall wide open deep over the middle for a 61 yard score to make it 21-7.
After a Memorial punt, Hall finished the next Bellmont drive with a one yard run on fourth and goal for a 28-7 advantage with 2:56 to go in the third.
Evansville Memorial (12-3), which was also appearing in its first state championship game a week after knocking off two-time defending state champion and top-ranked Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, pulled within 28-14 with 7:25 to go when Gribbins found Jon Wandling for a 35 yard scoring pass.
Memorial recovered the on-side kick but gave it back to Bellmont four plays later on downs at midfield. Following a Bellmont punt, Memorial was poised to pull within a one score with a first and goal at the Bellmont seven yard line. But Bellmont’s Conner Emenhiser forced Wandling into a fumble after a four yard catch and Caleb Meyer recovered at the two yard line with 3:31 left to snuff out any chance of a rally.
Gribbens set a 3A game record with 241 passing yards and Wandling caught a game record nine passes.
Bellmont was coached by Toney Bergman and John Hurley was in his first year as Memorial’s coach.
EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL’S ANDREW THEISING NAMED MENTAL ATTITUDE AWARD WINNER
Following the game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named Evansville Memorial’s Andrew Theising as the winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award.
Theising, a captain for the 2008 Tiger squad, started at left tackle and saw time during the season at linebacker. He has also been a four-year member of the Memorial basketball team.
Theising has served as class president for four years and has spent four years as a member of the Student Council as well. He is a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club, and participates in the freshman mentoring program and the Snowflake program, a group that promotes the benefits of being drug and alcohol-free.
Academically, Theising maintains a 3.6 GPA on a 4.0 scale. He is undecided on his college choice but plans to study marketing and/or law.
Theising is the son of Steve and Angie Theising of Evansville.
The award is presented annually to a senior participant in the state finals who was nominated by his principal and coach and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability. It is named in honor of the IHSAA’s third commissioner who served the association from 1962-76 and who helped initiate the state tournament in 1973.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance presented a $1,000 scholarship to Evansville Memorial High School in the name of Theising.
Class 3A Game Quotes
Bellmont Coach Toney Bergman
“Our kids, our coaches, we haven’t had time to celebrate. First coming off of sectionals, then regional and semi state. We didn’t celebrate, we just had to win one more game and we kept our nose to the grindstone. Now we can sit back and really think about what we’ve done. It’s an outstanding group of kids that have worked hard and this is truly an instance where hard work pays off.”
“We were concerned with Memorial’s ability to run and pass and what they’ve done in their conference and through the tournament. Our defense is outstanding…Defensively we have three seniors, the rest are juniors and sophomores. I’m really proud of our defense, I thought they did a nice job all year long.”
“”It’s a young group, a lot of juniors that started coming in the weight room at an early age. They’ve been able to stick with it, and that’s why they were out there playing today. We’ve had a lot of opportunities to spend time together outside of football. I love these kids, and I wish them the best.”
Evansville Memorial Coach John Hurley
“We didn’t get off to a very good start, we made a lot of mistakes. You’ve got to be a man about it. We came to win and we didn’t. You have to stand tall and be proud. I thought our kids fought hard and they were just a little bit stronger. It was a great football game, I’m so proud of our kids.”
Eskew Mental Attitude Award winner Andrew Theising
(On winning mental attitude vs. winning state title)
“I would trade it in a heartbeat. I want to thank my teammates for a great year. It’s not the outcome we wanted. We fought through a lot of adversity. I have a bright future. It’s just hard to swallow.”
VSN MEANS ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY
friends at Visual Sports Network, the IHSAA’s official photographer for all state
championship events and one of the leading action photographers in the