Phone: 317-846-6601 Fax: 317-575-4244 Website: www.ihsaa.org
Blake Ress, Commissioner
November 28, 2008
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN HOLDS OFF CASS FOR FIRST STATE TITLE
Heritage Christian’s defense came up big late in the game to hold off Cass, 17-14, in the Class 2A state championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Heritage Christian (14-1) held off a late scoring attempt when the Kings got the ball back on their own 26 yard line with 3:26 remaining. The Eagles’ defense sacked Cass junior quarterback Damon Foreman three times in the last drive to force a turnover on downs and preserve the win.
It was the first football state championship for the Eagles after a state runner-up finish a year ago. Cass (13-2) was making its first appearance in a state championship game.
Quarterback Jackson Kirtley connected on 18 of his 27 passes for 218 yards and two third quarter touchdowns for Heritage Christian. Trailing 7-3 at the break, he connected with Austin Olvey on an eight yard strike to give the Eagles a 10-7 lead on their first possession of the second half and followed up on the next drive with a 10 yard pass to Morgan Cook for a 17-7 lead.
Cass pulled within 17-14 with 4:39 to go in the game when Foreman found Kyle Moore for a 21 yard touchdown ending a seven play, 80 yard drive that took only 1:30.
Heritage Christian took a 3-0 first quarter lead on Alex Butterworth’s 36 yard field goal. Cass got on the board with 8:22 to go before halftime when Colton Zeck scored from three yards away.
Seventh year coach Ron Qualls was in charge of Heritage Christian while Cass was led by 23rd-year coach Scott Mannering.
BRADY TOLLE OF CASS NAMED PHIL N. ESKEW MENTAL ATTITUDE AWARD WINNER
Following the game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named Brady Tolle of Cass as the winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award in Class 2A football.
Tolle played on both sides of the line for the Kings, at guard and defensive end. Brady was named to the Mid-Indiana All Conference Team as a defensive end and led the team in sacks and tackles for loss. He is also a four year letter winner for the Kings’ wrestling team, and was a sectional champion and semi-state qualifier in the 215 lb. weight class in 2008.
Tolle is a member of National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He also works with the Special Olympics program and volunteers at the Walton Food Pantry. He was a recipient of the Mary Todd Citizenship Award and was nominated for the Young Leaders of America Award.
Academically, Tolle ranks ninth in his class with a 3.6 GPA on a 4.0 scale. He is undecided on his college choice but plans to pursue a career in the medical field.
The award is presented annually to a senior participant in the state finals who was nominated by his principal and coach and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability. It is named in honor of the IHSAA’s third commissioner who served the association from 1962-76 and who helped initiate the state tournament in 1973.
He is the
son of Mark and Tammy Tolle of
Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate
partner, presented a $1,000 scholarship to
Class 2A Game Quotes
Heritage Christian Head Coach Ron Qualls
“Given the size Lewis Cass puts on the field -- their line outweighs us 65 pounds a man -- our speed had to do it for us tonight. Last year’s game was a speed game against (Fort Wayne Bishop) Luers, but Cass has size and is so physical. We knew we’d have to play with discipline, and that’s one thing our guys have, is self-discipline. Couple that with some speed, we played pretty well.”
“We talk a lot about perseverance and endurance and running that race and keeping the hope. You’ll notice today in the second half it was 17-7, 17-14, and if they hit a deep pass, they beat us. Some teams would tighten up, but our kids had no part of that. It’s exciting to see our guys’ hearts grow during a game.”
“To think we’re indoors, on turf, playing a state championship game is unbelievable. At our place, we had a little practice patch when we started seven years ago that wasn’t wide enough to even practice on. To be standing here as champions is truly indescribable.”
Cass Head Coach Scott Mannering
“When we needed to stop them, they executed the two scores in the second half-and those were killers. We matched one of their scores, but we couldn’t get much rhythm going. We thought they whipped us in the first three to four minutes in the second half. Frankly, we haven’t run into a team that has played that strong against us.”
“I’m proud of the way we played, we got beat by an outstanding football team. They took it to us. Their defense was outstanding. They covered our pass routes and they made up ground on our misdirection plays that weren’t that good against them. Everybody talks about their spread offense, but defensively they are a very good football team.”
“In the first half, I thought we played defensively real well. I don’t know if we could have played any better. I’m disappointed that we didn’t play better offensively. Right now I think the better team won tonight. But our kids didn’t leave anything on the field.”
“We got better every week and as a coach, that’s one of the most satisfying things. We played our best football in the tournament.”
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