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CARDINAL RITTER TAKES CLASS A STATE CROWN
Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter got all the points it needed early on in a 28-0 shutout of Seeger in the Class A championship game at the RCA Dome.
The Raiders’ Devin Moore rushed for 210 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown to help capture the school’s second state championship and first since 1977 when the school defeated Tippecanoe Valley in the Class A title game.
It was the first shutout in
a Class A state title contest since 1992 when the
Raiders were on the wrong end of a 6-0 defeat to
Cardinal Ritter coach Jim Boswell’s group finished the season 12-2 and held its opponent scoreless for the first time this year. Besides the 1977 and 1992 games, the Raiders also finished as runners-up in 1987 (2A) and 1991 (A).
The opening possession of the game proved costly for the Patriots, who were backed up deep in their own end of the field. On a 2nd and 14 from their own 5 yard line, Cardinal Ritter’s Dustin Cronnon intercepted Seeger quarterback Matt Pruitt at the 12 and returned it for the first score of the game. The extra point kick was blocked.
Cardinal Ritter’s second score came with 1:16 to go in the first quarter as Moore scooted 65 yards around the right end and went untouched to the endzone. Ritter converted the two-point conversion to take a 14-0 lead.
The Raiders got two more touchdowns in the third quarter as quarterback Alex Byrnes scored on a sneak from one yard out at the mark. Keith Radcliff later hauled in a 60 yard pass from Byrnes with left in the quarter.
The Raider defense held Seeger to 231 yards (177 below their average) and kept the Patriots, fourth in the state at 43.0 points per game, out of the endzone. The Patriots converted only one of their five attempts on fourth down and were 0-for-3 in the first half.
Seeger’s best chance at the endzone came in the fourth quarter following a 52 yard pass on fourth down from Pruitt to Kyle Killin that set the Patriots up first and goal at the 2 yard line. Cardinal Ritter stuffed a couple of Seeger running plays and were helped out on a 10 yard holding penalty before Pruitt was sacked for an eight yard loss on fourth down.
Seeger’s Thomas Marshall Named Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winner
Thomas Marshall of Class A state runner-up Seeger was named winner of the 2003 Class A Football Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award.
At the conclusion of each state championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee presents the award to an outstanding senior participant in the football state tournament. The recipient of the award, who was nominated by his principal and coach, must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability. The award is named in honor of the third commissioner of the IHSAA who served from 1962 to 1976 and oversaw the beginning of the state football tournament.
ranks 6th in his senior class of 107 and is a member of the National Honor
Society. He plans to major in Business
He is the President of the school’s Spanish Club, as well as Secretary of his class. Thomas also is a member of the National Art Honor Society, Students Against Destruction Decisions, Student Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Art Club and Knowledge Masters.
His volunteer work includes participation in Special Olympics and service as a Teaching Assistant.
Athletically, this year’s team MVP, Thomas was a member of the Junior All-State squad in 2002 and was All-State Honorable Mention in 2001. He captured All-Wabash River Conference honors the past two seasons, as well as being named the Patriots’ Defensive Lineman of the Year each campaign. He is the first four-year starter in the school’s football history. He also was a member of the basketball and track teams.
Thomas is the
son of Nancy and Tim Marshall of
Insurance, the IHSAA corporate partner, presented a $1,000.00 scholarship to
It was the second state
championship in any sport in school history for Cardinal Ritter. The other also
came in football when the Raiders defeated
Championship Game Records
Shutouts: Fifth time in Class A; last time in 1992, Sheridan 6, Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter 0.
Most Interceptions: 2 by Alex Byrnes, Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter; tied old record held by several players.
New IHSAA Book, Play On,
Recaps 100 Years Of High School Sports in
holiday gift ideas? The exciting new book, Play On, celebrating 100 years of
high school sports in
Team Posters And Individual Action Photographs Available
Visit 20-20 Photographic, the IHSAA’s photographer and the
For t-shirts and other merchandise commemorating this year’s tournament or for any of our events, visit our friends at Morris, Inc.
State Finals Programs Available
Couldn’t be there for the
football state finals? You can still purchase a copy of the official state
finals program while supplies last! Programs are $3.00 if you purchase in
person at the IHSAA Office (
Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter Coach Jim Boswell
“We knew coming in that Seeger was a great offensive team. We expected a low scoring football game and it turned out to be something like a basketball score. Today I have nothing but great things to say about our defense. After No. 1 (Alex Byrnes) made that touchdown saving tackle, they still had four chances to put it in the endzone. I still think that was a huge key point in this ballgame. Seeger tends to score in flurries. We saw that on film from earlier in the season. At no time did we ever think we had this thing completely wrapped up.”
“Offensively, a lot of it was Devin Moore. But our offensive line deserves a huge amount of credit. Devin made some great runs and cutbacks. There aren’t many guys that can do it like him. The big pass play from Alex Byrnes to Keith Radcliff was a huge play and helped us spread them out to assist our running game.”
“Defensively our top priority was to stop their wing-T offense by using our outside linebackers to force the play to our corners. Our inside linebackers responsibility was to take away their dive. We were very concerned about their team speed but our kids played well in the trenches.”
Cardinal Ritter Player Devin Moore
“I give all the credit to my offensive line. They created some huge holes. Once I got through, I had to break out the speed. Going into the game, I didn’t think we’d be able to shut out their offense. They have some great players. We had a great gameplan and our guys really stepped it up and that’s a credit to our coaches.”
Seeger Coach Brian Moore
“We had a bad break to start the game with that interception. We dug ourselves a hole, but we had some opportunities to make a few plays that we didn’t make. Penalties and mistakes hurt us. Ritter is a great team and Devin Moore is one heckuva back.”
“That big run that Devin got was pretty important. We thought we could contain him. We made a mistake and he got loose. After that we made them drive the ball. Unfortunately for us we didn’t do very well offensively.”
“I’m a little disappointed. That wasn’t Seeger football. We are a better football team than we showed today. We belonged in this game but we didn’t play well.”
“At halftime we were still in the game. But they had a nice drive to start the second half and they put us in a hole that put us away. We had a couple of drives and we started to get some rhythm, but something would happen to us with a penalty or a mistake.”