November 28, 2009
West Lafayette Slows Down Evansville Memorial for 3A Championship
Second-ranked West Lafayette scored three first half touchdowns and went on to a 24-10 victory over No. 8 Evansville Memorial in the Class 3A state championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The win capped a perfect campaign for West Lafayette (15-0) and ninth year coach Marshall Overley. It was the school’s second football state championship (1993 2A).
Aaron Woodard scored twice in the first half for West Lafayette. His 22 yard carry around the left side capped a 9 play, 80 yard drive on the game’s opening possession. Later, his 4 yard run with :17 seconds left in the first half gave the Red Devils a 21-3 lead. Woodard finished the game with 17 carries for 70 yards.
West Lafayette quarterback Daniel Wodicka led the Devils in rushing carrying 19 times for 115 yards. He also completed 13 of 24 passes for 158 yards and a 37-yard touchdown to Andrew Pekny early in the second quarter that gave West Lafayette a 14-0 lead.
Evansville Memorial quarterback Grant Gribbins, the state’s leading passer, was held in check. He completed 20 of 30 passes for 123 yards but was intercepted twice after averaging more than 230 yards passing this season. He finished his career with 8,715 yards, good for eighth in state history.
Memorial got a 39-yard field goal from Harrison Hatfield with 2:17 left in the first half just before West Lafayette’s scoring drive. Ryan Hatler later scored on a one yard carry with 9:48 left in the game which cut the lead to 21-10.
West Lafayette’s Sam McCartney nailed a 24 yard field goal with 1:25 left in the game for the final margin.
It was the second consecutive season Evansville Memorial and second year coach John Hurley finished as the state runner-up.
West Lafayette’s Daniel Wodicka Named Eskew Mental Attitude Award Recipient
Daniel Wodicka of West Lafayette High School was named winner of the 2009 Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award for Class 3A Football by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee.
The award is presented annually to a senior in each classification who best demonstrates excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability. The award is named in honor of the third commissioner of the IHSAA who guided the Association from 1962 to 1976.
Wodicka is a member of National Honor Society, Advanced Orchestra, and the Best Buddies program. During his high school career, Wodicka has been awarded the Journal & Courier Tournament Sportsmanship Award as well as the U.S. Army Iron Man of the Year Award for the state of Indiana.
Wodicka is a four year starter on offense and defense where he has set career school records in touchdowns (50), points scored (318), most receptions, touchdowns in a season, and most passing touchdowns in a game (4). He is an Indiana Football Coaches Association 3A Junior All-State member as well as a three time All-Hoosier Conference member. Wodicka is also a varsity basketball and baseball player.
He ranks first in his class at West Lafayette and carries a 4.0 GPA. He is consistently on the honor roll and plans to attend either Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve, or Washington University in St. Louis to study Biomedical Engineering.
He is the son of George Wodicka and Mary Jo Przyborski.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented a scholarship check for $1,000.00 to West Lafayette High School in the name of Daniel Wodicka. Since 1989, more than $575,000 in college scholarships has been presented by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance to deserving high school students in Indiana.
Class 3A State Championship Game Quotes
West Lafayette Coach Marshall Overley
“It’s great. This is for all the people that were there. We had on the sideline James Wodicka, Kyle Butler, and Matt Lancaster. These were three all-stars that joined us today.”
“This doesn’t just happen. I’m really humbled to be part of this program to tell you the truth.”
“What I like about this, is when things got tough time and time again. We had sicknesses and our kids didn’t give up. They learned the hard way. They needed to do what they needed to do. You could see that in this game. They were just relentless.”
“(On Defense) Coach Roseman really had them. It was the seniors that really made the difference. When they were sophomores they were constantly working. Today they were constantly working. We had a lot of twists and stunts. We had Zach Waters, Christiaan Breur, Dayton Snyder, and Nick Bevier going in there. Our linebackers are three of the best linebackers that there are right now with Huber, Lipscomb and Sanchez.
“Defensively we had all that speed in the backfield and we believed that if we could force them to get the ball in the air we’d go get it.”
“I love these guys. I’m going to miss them (the seniors). We told our kids before the game that they deserve to be here and that you are able to play in this game. We’re not going to go down here just to show up. They had that in their mind all the time.”
Evansville Memorial Coach John Hurley
“We didn’t make the plays we needed to make, but we’re going to be men about it, learn from it, and move on.”
“We dropped a few balls early, had some pass protection issues, and by the time we got going it was too late.”
“We hate to send seniors out on this note, but we’ve had a great opportunity two years in a row. I’m so proud of our kids. They did a great job all year, it’s just too bad to come up here and not show our best.”
(About senior quarterback Grant Gribbins) “Gribbins is the toughest kid in the state. He’s been playing with a separated shoulder for four weeks.”
“West Lafayette did a great job, they made the plays they needed to make and we couldn’t catch them.”