November 25, 2016
Ritter Raiders claim 5th State Championship Trophy
Cardinal Ritter’s first appearance at Lucas Oil Stadium this season was a far cry from the Raiders’ return 14 games later.
In their season opener, the Raiders gave up a touchdown with 34 seconds left to fall to Monrovia 18-17. But back in downtown Indianapolis the day after Thanksgiving, Ritter (11-4) jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and went on to down Eastbrook 28-6 in the Class 2A final. It was the Raiders’ fifth football state title and first since 2013, and gave Ritter a 12-game win streak to end the season. It was the third title for the Raiders under 11th year coach Ty Hunt.
Wide receiver Brad Bacon, on his first carry of the season, went around the left side for a 72-yard scoring run just 19 seconds into the game. His 55-yard catch and run in the second quarter set up Raider quarterback Diomoni Small’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Price that gave Ritter a 21-0 lead at the half.
In between those two scores, Small hooked up with Trevor Browder on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 2:49 left in the first quarter. Small finished with 203 yards passing and another 45 rushing, helping the Raiders amass 411 yards of total offense.
Eastbrook closed within 21-6 on a 60-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Liddick to Andrew Barajas with 8:16 left in the game. But the Raider defense came up with an interception and a fourth-down stop the rest of the way – the second setting up a 24-yard touchdown run from Avery Hall with 1:07 remaining. Hall finished with 86 yards on the ground to end the season with 2,009.
Eastbrook, which took home a runner-up appearance in 2A in 2004, finished 13-2 under head coach Jeff Adamson. The Panthers tied a Class 2A record with seven punts.
State Records Tied (2A Team)
Most Punts: 7 by Eastbrook (tied mark held by Greenfield-Central, 1975).
State Records Tied (2A Individual)
Most Punts: 7 by Jackson Liddick, Eastbrook (tied mark held by Al Hammons, Greenfield-Central, 1975).
Eastbrook’s John Ragan named Mental Attitude Award winner
At the conclusion of the state championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named John Ragan of Eastbrook High School as the winner of the Blake Ress Mental Attitude Award in Class 2A Football.
Ragan is a three sport athlete also participating in basketball and track. He is a 2016 team captain, a 2016 All-Conference Offensive Tackle, a 10-time Defensive Player of the Week, a member of the Indiana Football Coaches Association Junior All-State Offensive Line in 2015, and a four-year letterwinner. Off the field, Ragan is involved in several school organizations such as Future Farmers of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Math Honor Society. He is also involved in his community with Campus Life, Upland Community Church Youth Group, Eastbrook South Elementary Mentoring Program, and several volunteer work opportunities.
John is the son of T.J. and Jenny Ragan of Upland, IN. He plans to attend Taylor University and double major in Business and Math Education.
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 Indianapolis Colts presented a $1,000 scholarship to Eastbrook High School in the name of John Ragan. The Colts have been the presenting sponsor of the entire football state tournament since 2009, including the mental attitude awards.
Beginning in 2015, the Class A, 2A and 3A awards were re-named in honor of Ress, the IHSAA’s seventh commissioner who led the organization from 2000 to 2011.