November 28, 2015
Second Half Lifts Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger to 4A State Championship
It took awhile for Fort Wayne Dwenger to get going. But once the Saints did, they were impossible to stop.
Trailing 3-0 at halftime, the No. 3 Saints rallied for four scores over the final two quarters – three coming on Amaun Clark runs – to down No 9 East Central. It’s Fort Wayne Dwenger’s fourth state title and first since 1991.
The Saints did it without, but inspired by, longtime Dwenger coach Chris Svarczkopf, who is battling cancer. Ernie Bojrab stepped in as interim coach this season and led the Saints to a 14-1 record.
Clark finished with 138 yards rushing, gaining 94 of those after halftime. His 24-yard score gave the Saints their first lead of the game with 7:29 left in the third quarter.
Clark added a 4-yarder early in the fourth quarter, capping a 91-yard drive keyed by quarterback Blake Podschlne’s 49-yard pass to Zach Norton.
An interception by Austin Burns was returned to the East Central 23, setting up Clark’s 11-yard score less than three minutes later. Another interception led to Podschlne’s 1-yard touchdown run with 3:41 remaining.
While the Dwenger offense started clicking the second half, its defense took over, holding East Central (12-3) to 64 yards over the final two quarters. The Trojans finished the game with 172 yards – 215 below their average. Dwenger’s defense also forced four turnovers.
Dwenger drove 55 yards on its first possession but couldn’t convert on fourth down at the Trojan 25. That was the only significant drive of the first half until East Central drove 85 yards – keyed by a third-down unsportsmanlike penalty on the Saints and a 43-yard Doug Rosemeyer run – to set up Nick Stidham’s 20-yard field goal with 6:07 left in the half.
East Central was making its first appearance in the state finals since making back-to-back 4A appearances in 1993 and 1994 and winning the title in 1994.
Class 4A State Championship Records
Most Team Interceptions (4) Tied 4A record – Bishop Dwenger
East Central’s Connor Lynch named Eskew Mental Attitude Award winner
At the conclusion of the state championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named Connor Lynch of East Central High School as the winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award in Class 4A Football.
Lynch is a two-sport athlete also participating in basketball. He helped lead the Trojans to a 20-6 record over the last two seasons, and three straight EIAC 4A Conference Championships. He is a member of the Business Professionals of America, as well as holding the treasurer position of the National Honor Society.
Connor is the son of John and Linda Lynch of Lawrenceburg, IN. He is undecided on his college choice, but plans to study mechanical engineering.
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 is named in honor of the IHSAA’s third commissioner from 1962-76.
The Indianapolis Colts presented a $1,000 scholarship to East Central High School in the name of Connor Lynch. 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.