Nov. 28, 2014

Stout running attack boosts Rensselaer Central over Evansville Mater Dei in Class 2A
Rensselaer Central captured the first state championship in any sport in its school history. The Bombers' unstoppable running attack made sure of that accompishment.

Rensselaer amassed a record 383 rushing yards in defeating the Evansville Mater Dei Wildcats, 45-21, in the Class 2A state title game. The previous Class 2A championship mark for team rushing was 380 yards, set by Jimtown against Clarksville in 1997.

The Bombers rolled to 24 first downs, compared to seven for the Wildcats. Rensselaer held a time-of-possession advantage of 32 ½ minutes to 15 ½.

The Bombers didn't finish far off of their Class 2A-leading average of 52.21 points per game. Rylan Arihood ran for 149 yards and a touchdown on 29 attempts for Rensselaer. Trevor Hill totaled 99 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 13 carries.

For Mater Dei, Drayke Richardt rushed for 104 yards on 11 attempts. Quarterback Kurtis Wilderman passed for 145 yards and a score. Julian Weidner caught five passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. Luke Neitzke returned a kickoff for a 77-yard TD and also scored after recovering a fumble.

The game pitted undefeated teams against each other. Coach Chris Meeks' Bombers, ranked second by the Associated Press, finished 15-0. Mater Dei, coached by Mike Goebel and top-ranked by AP, completed its season 14-1.

Rensselaer’s Rylan Arihood named Eskew Mental Attitude Award winner
At the conclusion of the championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named Rylan Arihood of Rensselaer Central High School as the winner of the Class 2A Mental Attitude Award.

Rylan participates in wrestling and baseball and ranks among the top in his senior class of 129 students.  He is a member of the Nation Honor Society and a tireless volunteer for school and community projects, according to his school principal. He is the son of Chris and Trissa Arihood of Rensselaer, Ind. and plans to major in Business Administration at either Purdue University or Indiana State 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 Rensselaer Central High School in the name of Rylan Arihood. 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 for the first year.

Class 2A Championship Game Records Set


Most rushing attempts - 67 by Rensselaer
Old Record:  54 by River Forest vs. Indianapolis Scecina, 1990

Most rushing yards - 383 by Rensselaer
Old Record:  380 by Jimtown vs. Clarksville, 1997

Most first downs rushing - 22 by Rensselaer
Old Record:  19 by FW Bishop Luers vs. Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter, 2012

No individual records