November 25, 2017
East Central's Late Game Heroics Seal State Title
Junior quarterback Alex Maxwell blasted off the line from six yards out with 2:02 left to provide East Central with the winning touchdown in a 14-7 triumph over previously-unbeaten Lowell in the Class 4A championship game.
Two plays earlier, Maxwell gained 37 yards on third down to set the Trojans up at the Red Devils 8-yard-line.
The victory is East Central's second state championship, with the first coming in 1994. The Trojans finish 12-3, under the direction of head coach Justin Roden. The Trojans last state finals appearance came in 2015.
Lowell (14-1) opened the scoring on a 1-yard run by senior standout Jordan Jusevich with 2:54 left in the first quarter. East Central tied it midway through quarter two after Maxwell found senior receiver Justin Brown for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
The Red Devils had a chance to break the tie midway through the fourth quarter, driving to the East Central 13. The Trojan defense, however, forced back-to-back losses forcing Lowell into a fourth down. Lowell's pass fell incomplete at that point, turning the ball over.
Maxwell then directed an 11-play, 81-yard drive that chewed up 5:17 of the clock. After the score, Lowell's final opportunity ended when senior Nathan Lloyd intercepted a first down pass at the East Central 12 yard line with just over a minute left.
Maxwell led all rushers with 88 yards on 13 carries, while Jusevitch paced Lowell with 80 yards on 16 carries.
Lowell, coached by Keith Kilmer, was making its fourth appearance in the state title game, winning once (2005).
Class 4A State Championship Game Records
Interceptions (tie, 2)
Nathan Lloyd, East Central
East Central's Jayden Williamson Named Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winner
At the conclusion of the state championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named Jayden Williamson of East Central High School as the winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award in Class 4A Football.
The Trojans team captain is a three-time selection to both the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference Team and All-Dearborn County Team. The defensive standout has totaled 153 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss, and three interceptions heading into the state finals. In three varsity seasons, Williamson has lead East Central to three sectional championships, three regional and two semi-state titles. Williamson has rushed for 354 yards and three touchdowns in his career as a part-time running back and also plays baseball for the Trojans. In the classroom, Jayden is ranked in the top 20 percent of his class and is a member of the National Honor Society, Drug Free Club, Academic Team, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is active in the community, volunteering for the North Dearborn Food Pantry, Heart House (a homeless shelter), and as an assistant coach with the Sunman Dearborn Youth Athletic Association football program.
Jayden is the son of Tiffany and Justin Griffin of Lawrenceburg. Upon graduation, he will attend the University of Indianapolis and pursue a degree in accounting with a minor in criminal justice.
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 Jayden Williamson. 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.