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RONCALLI REPEATS AS 4A CHAMP WITH SHUTOUT VICTORY
The Roncalli defense held previously unbeaten East Noble in check throughout the game and the defending 4A state champs won their second straight title with a 17-0 win at the IHSAA State Finals at the RCA Dome.
After losing its first three games of the year, Roncalli righted its ship and finished the season with 12 straight victories for 14th year head coach Bruce Scifres. The state championship is the seventh in the school’s history tying them with Ben Davis and Indianapolis Bishop Chatard for the most in state history. The Rebels won 3A crowns in 1985, 1988, 1993, 1994 and 1999 before winning the 4A title last year. Scifres has been the coach for the school’s last five championship teams.
Roncalli runningback Tim Sergi ran for 207 yards on 28 carries and two scores in the Rebels 12th consecutive post-season victory. East Noble’s defeat was their first of the year and knocked the last remaining team from the ranks of the unbeaten this season.
Sergi put the Rebels on the board first on the opening drive of the game. The junior scored on a 34 yard run on a third and three play for an early 7-0 lead. Kevin Trulock added a 28 yard field goal at the mark of the second quarter to make it a 10-0 Roncalli advantage and that’s the way the first half ended.
East Noble had its best chance to score just before halftime as the Knights drove 61 yards to the Roncalli 15 yard line, but John Bowen’s 31 yard field goal was wide left.
The Knights again moved the ball on the opening drive of the second half, but Roncalli’s Bill Perry picked off Jeff Wedding’s pass at the Roncalli 18 to snuff out the East Noble threat. The Rebels capitalized on the mistake three plays later when Sergi carried it to the endzone from 66 yards out to increase the advantage to 17-0.
East Noble, the 2000 Class 4A champs, the school’s only other appearance in the finals, were coached by Chris DePew.
East Noble’s Jeff Wedding Named Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winner
Jeff Wedding of
Class 4A state runner-up
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.
Jeff ranks 71st in his class of 262 and is a member of the National Honor Society. His college choice is yet to be determined.
His volunteer activities include work with the Noble House, Light the Night and participation in summer sports camps.
He is active in the Athletic Leadership Council and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
With a number of conference and area awards to his credit, Jeff has earned varsity letters in basketball and track and is a recipient of the East Noble Blanket Award.
Jeff is the son of Linda and Brent Wedding of Kendallville.
Insurance, the IHSAA corporate partner, presented a $1,000.00 scholarship to
Roncalli Ties For
With the state championship, Roncalli moves into a tie with Ben Davis and Indianapolis Bishop Chatard for most football championships in state history.
Team Total Years
Ben Davis 7 1987 (5A), 1988 (5A), 1990 (5A), 1991 (5A), 1999 (5A), 2001 (5A), 2002 (5A)
Indianapolis Bishop Chatard 7 1983 (2A), 1984 (2A), 1997 (3A), 1998 (3A), 2001 (3A), 2002 (3A), 2003 (3A)
Roncalli 7 1985 (3A), 1988 (3A), 1993 (3A), 1994 (3A), 1999 (3A), 2002 (4A), 2003 (4A)
Fort Wayne Bishop Luers 6 1985 (2A), 1989 (2A), 1992 (2A), 1999 (2A), 2001 (2A), 2002 (2A)
Bruce Scifres Wins Fifth Title As Roncalli Coach
Winning his fifth state championship, Roncalli skipper Bruce Roncalli moved into some elite company tying for third most championships by a football coach.
Titles Coach School, Year
8 Dick Dullaghan
6 Larry Wright
5 Chris Geesman Penn 1983 (4A), 1995 (5A), 1996 (5A), 1997 (5A), 2000 (5A)
5 Matt Lindsay Fort Wayne Bishop Luers 1989 (2A), 1992 (2A), 1999 (2A), 2001 (2A), 2002 (2A)
5 Bruce Scifres Roncalli 1993 (3A), 1994 (3A), 1999 (3A), 2002 (4A), 2003 (4A)
Championship Game Records
Shutouts: (4A) last 4A shutout was 1994 East Central 35, DeKalb 0.
Fewest Pass Attempts: (Set 4A) 3 by Roncalli.
Fewest Pass Completions: (Set 4A) 1 by Roncalli.
Fewest Passing Yards Allowed: (Set 4A) 10 by East Noble.
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 (
Roncalli Coach Bruce Scifres
“It’s a different team than last year. Comparing this team from where they were earlier in the season to where they are now, it’s unbelievable. It’s amazing how well we developed. After the third loss this season, it was pretty scary. It was scarier this year than last year’s team. We had a lot of veterans last year and this year’s team we had to juggle guys around in different positions and they really found their niche.”
“(Defensive coordinator) Chris Belch does a great job on focusing on what our opponent does best through video. We knew their system was very similar to ours and they’re a really good football team.”
“Sergi is our bread and butter. He’s a very talented player but the line play today was outstanding. If you want to be successful in this state tournament, it’s been proven that you need to run the football.”
“This game was a tribute to our kids. We stepped up and executed. It’s always exciting to be here and every one of our teams is special. I couldn’t be prouder of these guys.”
Roncalli Runningback Tim Sergi
“We had a lot of underclassmen starting for us today. Our fans have been outstanding for us all year long. They were really strong for us today.”
“The defense played great for us in the playoffs. The offensive line was solid and opened up a lot of holes. I have a nack for finding the holes created by our line. I loved being out here. It was an awesome experience and we’re looking forward to coming back next year.”
East Noble Coach Chris DePew
“Roncalli earned the win. They did what they had to do to win – they stopped our offense. We haven’t been anywhere near being shutout this year.”
“Our inability to run the ball early took us out of our game plan. When we tried to pass, we either had people open but they put pressure on us or when we had time, they had us covered well.”
“When we got behind, it was hard to throw the ball. We never got into the flow offensively. In a big game like this, we have to take advantage of our chances. We missed the field goal right before the half and we couldn’t capitalize when we had the chances.”
“Roncalli knows how to play with the lead and their defense knows how to protect it.”