November 27, 2009
Lafayette Central Catholic Rolls to Class A State Championship
In a battle of two undefeated teams, Lafayette Central Catholic’s high-powered offense dominated in a 52-0 win over Fountain Central for the Class A state championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
It was the third state championship for Lafayette Central Catholic (15-0) (1976 (A), 1999 (A)), which led the state in scoring at 52.4 points per game. It was the Knights’ ninth shutout of the season.
Senior quarterback Chris Mills completed 12 of 18 passes for 230 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another helping the Knights to finish with 454 yards of offense.
Danny Anthrop caught two of those touchdowns and he also ran for two more. He finished with six receptions and 117 yards, including a 59 yard touchdown in the early second quarter and rushed five times for 78 yards including a 56 yard score late in the third quarter.
Besides Anthrop’s 59 yard score and Mills’ one yard run, Cody Christopher caught a 7-yard pass and Marc Withers hauled in a 33-yarder to give Lafayette Central Catholic a commanding 28-0 lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw Anthrop score on a 12 yard run and a 32 yard pass before the 56 yard scamper. Niall Noonan booted a 25 yard field goal with 6:07 remaining in the game. All but the final scoring drive took five plays or less and the longest took 2:03 to complete.
The Mustangs (14-1) averaged 42 points per game during the season but were held in check by the Knights’ tenacious defense picking up only 118 yards of offense. Lafayette Central Catholic had only been allowing three points per game this season.
Fountain Central coach Rick Malone and Lafayette Central Catholic coach Kevin O’Shea were both in their second year as head coach for their respective team. Fountain Central was playing in its first state championship game since winning the 1983 Class A championship.
Greg Burns of Lafayette Central Catholic Named Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winner
Greg Burns of Lafayette Central Catholic High School was named winner of the 2009 Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award for Class A 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.
Burns is a member of the National Honor Society, Academic Super Bowl, and Young Life Youth Group. He has been named to the honor roll each semester, and was named outstanding student in several of his classes. He has volunteered at the El Salvador School Supplies Drive and Jubilee Christmas Event, among several other service projects.
Burns has helped the Knights to four Hoosier Heartland Conference championships. The four-year letterman earned recognition as the Most Valuable Defensive Back for the Knights after the 2008 campaign. He is also on the track and field team at Lafayette Central Catholic.
Burns ranks second in his class at Lafayette Central Catholic and carries a 4.04 GPA on a 4.0 scale. He plans to attend Purdue University and major in Engineering.
He is the son of Tom and Mary Ann Burns of Lafayette.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented a scholarship check for $1,000.00 to Lafayette Central Catholic High School in the name of Burns. Since 1989, more than $575,000 in college scholarships have been presented by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance to deserving high school students in Indiana.
Class A State Championship Game Quotes
Lafayette Central Catholic Coach Kevin O’Shea
“The first quarter I thought the defense carried us. They gave us a short field and we were able to score off of it. It took us a little while to figure what was going on on offense. Once we did, our athleticism took over.”
“It has been difficult to have that number one (ranking in the state) on your back all year. Every one has had high expectations for this team. We have been able all year to do what we have done because of our team unity. All year we’ve been wearing down teams and coming up with big plays.”
“I’m so proud of these kids. Our seniors have been our leaders the entire year. They’ve been getting us in the weight room and it has been very satisfying to watch a group as close and together as this group has been. They’ve been a “Band of Brothers” all year.”
“On defense I thought coming off a knee injury Jake (Milakis) had an outstanding game. Danny (Anthrop) for a sophomore to come in and in this big a game setting was fantastic.”
(On w inning state title) “I feel very fortunate to be where I’m at (state finals) with my family. It was great.”
(On Greg Burns) “It doesn’t surprise me a bit. He’s a great football player and well as a 4.0 student. He’s a Colts Academic All-Star but more than that he’s a fantastic young man.”
Lafayette Central Catholic quarterback Chris Mills
“Our defense came up with some big plays like I expected them to. Our offense then came out and put some points on the board. We had a great game plan and a real good week of practice. I knew our guys would be real fast and they couldn’t keep up with us.”
“It was great (winning state championship). I’ve been trying to do this for four years. It was bad the first three years because I couldn’t pull it off but this year we finally got it done.”
Fountain Central Coach Rick Malone
“Our kids played hard. (Lafayette Central Catholic’s) size and strength up front really took away our inside commitment. Our option, our veer and they put pressure on the quarterback. They are so quick. We’ve not seen anything like this. They’re a great ball club.”
“We knew how good they were. They are a very quick team and when you see it on film you don’t really get a feel for how fast they really are. Defensively, they were just so quick.”
(Regarding turnovers) “That’s something we knew that we couldn’t turn the ball over, especially early in the ball game. We gave them a short field in the first half four times and we just can’t do that. It just killed us.”
“We had a great season but we were beaten by a great ball club. We played hard to come from 3-7 (in 2008) to 14-1 and play in the state championship. It’s great for the program and our seniors deserve all the credit. We’ve got a great bunch of kids, great staff and great community support and I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”