IHSAA Football Class 2A Recap

Nov. 25, 2011

Fort Wayne Bishop Luers Three-Peats in Class 2A
Fort Wayne Bishop Luers embraced some Indiana football history as it mixed an efficient passing attack with blockbuster runs and captured a 41-17 victory over Evansville Mater Dei in the Class 2A state championship game.

For the Knights (13-1), the outcome represented a third consecutive state title and 10th overall in 14 finals appearance. The 10 championships tie an Indiana record with Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, which is a 2011 finalist in Class 3A, and the 14 appearances are a record. For Luers Coach Matt Lindsay, it is the ninth state championship, tying him with Sheridan's Larry “Bud” Wright for the most in Indiana.

Luers quarterback James Knapke completed 17-of-25 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns, spreading his passes among six receivers. Jaylon Smith rushed for 130 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the top-ranked Knights totaled 273 yards and four scores on the ground.

The dynamic Luers offense accumulated 463 yards and averaged of 7.7 yards per play. The Knights averaged 39.2 points against their five playoff opponents.

For Mater Dei (13-2), quarterback Dane Maurer passed for 126 yards and a touchdown on 12-of-24 and ran for 79 yards. Cody Hess rushed for 106 yards.

Fourth-ranked Mater Dei, coached by Mike Goebel, advanced to its first state title game in 10 years and fourth overall. The Wildcats won in 2000.

Bishop Luers’ Andrew Morken named Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winner
Fort Wayne Bishop Luers’ Andrew Morken was selected by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee as this year’s winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award in Class 2A Football.

The award, named in honor of the IHSAA’s third commissioner from 1962-76, is presented annually to a senior in each classification who best demonstrates excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.

Morken maintains an 11.6 GPA on a 12.0 scale ranking in the top five percent of his senior class. He plans to begin studying Psychiatry at either Wabash College or Indiana University next fall.

In addition to football, the senior has played baseball each of the previous three years, been involved in the World Culture Club and is a peer tutor at the school. He’s also received the great honor of being chosen as a Pontifical alter server for Bishop Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese.

He is the son of Daniel and Becky Morken of Fort Wayne.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented a scholarship check for $1,000.00 to Bishop Luers High School in the name of Morken.  Since 1989, more than $745,000 in college scholarships have been presented by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance to deserving high school students in Indiana.

Fort Wayne Bishop Luers Coach Matt Lindsay
(On tying Sheridan coach Bud Wright with ninth state championship)
“This is pretty sweet. We wanted to play our best and we did. This is a great group of guys. A great venue. A great win and it means a lot to our community.”

“We expected this. I knew we could have a great game but I knew (Mater Dei) could do that to us, too.”

“This was a pretty dominant performance by our kids against a very good football team. We came down here and played the best we could play. It makes you feel good as a coach. I couldn’t be any happier.”

(On QB James Knapke)
“He’s a quality quarterback and he finished in style. We’ll miss his talents and leadership as we will all our seniors.”

(On how this team rates against other Bishop Luers championships)
“It doesn’t matter how it ranks but this is among the very best teams that Luers has ever had.”

“The offensive line set the tempo from the get-go. And our execution was really good. The way we came out and took control of the line scrimmage, I applaud our kids for their effort.”

Evansville Mater Dei Coach Mike Goebel
(In regards to the game and Bishop Luers)
“Outstanding team; well-coached. They made big play after big play.  We simply weren’t up to the task. I think our kids tried. I’m sorry that we didn’t play better tonight but I think Luers had a lot to do with that. All in all still a great year and happy for our players to get here but certainly not happy with the outcome.”

(What made this team so special, what made this senior group so special?)
“Been a joy to coach.  I’ve been blessed, the coaches have been blessed. They’ve worked diligently. They have just been fun to be on the field with each and every day; not just in games but in practice too.  They are a special group and they will go down in our history books as one of our best.”

(On the fan representation today)
“Our fans have been with us no matter where we’ve gone. I’m sorry that we didn’t give them a better showing today, but they stilled cheered until the very end. They have helped this group each and every step of the way.  Couldn’t be prouder.  It’s been a privilege and an honor for these young men to play for these fans.”