Nov. 29, 2014

Cook, Tri-West Hendricks topple No. 1 Andrean in Class 3A
The Tri-West Hendricks Bruins did it with quick strikes. The Bruins did it with methodical drives. Mostly, they accomplished it with Wesley Cook carrying the load.

The Bruins bolted from a halftime tie with the top-ranked Andrean Fighting 59ers and scored 21 consecutive points en route to a 49-27 victory in the Class 3A state championship game. The Bruins won their fourth state crown – 10 years after their last.

The player behind Tri-West's three straight touchdowns after halftime was Cook, who started the surge by returning the third quarter's opening kickoff 89 yards for a score. That set a new Class 3A record.

Cook followed with two more touchdowns. The first was a 2-yard rush to cap a 12-play, 78-yard march. The next was a 59-yard run on a one-play drive. That gave the Bruins a 21-point lead with 9:36 left in the game.

Cook finished with 218 rushing yards and four touchdowns, including the kickoff return.

Tri-West quarterback Jake Hendershot completed 22-of-33 passes for 279 yards and one touchdown. Peyton Hendershot caught seven passes for 99 yards. Casey Coll had seven receptions for 90 yards and a score.

Coach Chris Coll's Bruins, ranked fifth by the Associated Press, finished 14-1 after losing only their season-opener (18-17) at West Lafayette.

Tri-West's victory in the finale kept the Fighting 59ers from gaining their second consecutive unbeaten state championship. Andrean had won 29 straight games, including 11 in a row in tournament play. Coach Phil Mason's Andrean team completed its season 14-1.

The Fighting 59ers were led in rushing  by Trevor Berg, who had 95 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Jake Paliga passed for 237 yards and three scores on 21-of-36. Jamie Johnson recorded eight receptions for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Tri West’s Nick Sprecher named Eskew Mental Attitude Award winner
At the conclusion of the championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named Nick Sprecher of Tri-West High School as the winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award in Class 3A football.

Nick not only excels on the field, he excels in the classroom where he’s achieved a 4.23 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society.  In addition to football, Nick also plays basketball, is an active member in the community, and participates in eight other school organizations.

He is the son of Steve and Stacy Sprecher of Pittsboro, Ind. and plans to major in Business at Butler University.

Each year the IHSAA Executive Committee selects a senior player who was nominated by his principal and coach and was determined to have best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability. The award, named in honor of the IHSAA’s third commissioner from 1962-76.

The Indianapolis Colts presented a $1,000 scholarship to Tri-West High School in the name of Nick Sprecher. The Colts have been the presenting sponsor of the entire football state tournament since 2009 and are sponsoring the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award.

Class 3A State Championship Game Records

Most Combined Points
76 by Tri-West (49) and Andrean (27)

Most Kickoff Return Yards
149 by Andrean

Longest Kickoff Return
3A:  89 by Wesley Cook, Tri-West vs. Andrean

Most Rushing Touchdowns (tied)
5 by Tri-West

Total Offensive Yards:
465 by Tri-West vs. Andrean

Most First Downs (tied)
22 by Andrean vs. Tri-West 

Most PAT Kicks (tied)
7 by Thomas Tinteria

Most Passing Yards
279 by Jake Hendershot, Tri-West vs. Andrean

Most Passing Touchdowns
3 by Andrean

Most Passing Touchdowns
3 by Jake Paliga, Andrean

Most Touchdown Receptions
2 by Jamie Johnson, Andrean