November 23, 2012

Lafayette Central Catholic Wins Fourth Consecutive Class A Title
Lafayette Central Catholic marched to the Class A final game on the strength of mostly high-scoring outputs but used a dramatically different approach to wrap up the state championship.

The Knights ratcheted up their defense while producing one offensive touchdown and another on a punt return to capture a 14-0 victory over the Indianapolis Scecina Crusaders.  Central Catholic averaged 35.4 points through its first five games in the postseason.

The Knights, ranked second in the state coaches poll, held the Crusaders to 165 total yards, an average of 3.7 per play. Central Catholic used a 54-yard pass completion from Ty Preston to Joe Smith for its first score in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Timmy Mills extended the lead with a 44-yard punt return.

The game was a rematch of teams that met in the 2011 final game, won by Central Catholic 38-7. The Knights are making a habit of capturing state titles. The 2012 crown was the fourth straight for the Knights, tying a state record, and their sixth overall. It was also the school’s 24th consecutive tournament victory which ranks second in state history.

Also, Central Catholic’s Kevin O’Shea became the first coach in Indiana history to win four consecutive state titles.

Brad Schrader powered the Central Catholic offense with 136 rushing yards. Preston completed 5-of-9 passes for 121 yards and the touchdown.

Scecina, ranked sixth in the state coaches poll, was led by Thomas Allgood and David Tarver, each with 43 rushing yards. Ott Hurrle, in his 21st year as Scecina’s coach, has led the Crusaders to four state final appearances. The Crusaders won Class 2A titles in 1990 and ’91.

Jimmy Mills of Lafayette Central Catholic named Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winner
Jimmy Mills of Lafayette Central Catholic was selected by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee as this year’s winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award in Class A Football.

The award, named in honor of the IHSAA’s third commissioner from 1962-76, is presented annually to a senior in each classification who best demonstrates excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.

Mills ranks first in his senior class of 52 students and plans to study Bio Chemical Engineering at Purdue University.

Mills serves as president of the Student Council, president of the World Language Club and also is involved in Interact, a student version of the Rotary Club.

In addition to playing noseguard for the Knights, Mills also competes in track and field.

He is the son of David and Marilyn Mills of Lafayette.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented a scholarship check for $1,000.00 to Lafayette Central Catholic High School in the name of Mills.  Since 1989, more than $745,000 in college scholarships have been presented by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance to deserving high school students in Indiana.

Lafayette Central Catholic Coach Kevin O’Shea
“We struggled early in the game with penalties and turnovers. Once we got that corrected in the second half, we were able to move the ball. Even though we didn’t score, we were able to change field position.”

“We were able to make a couple of plays in the second half and keep them stymied. Our defense has been the name of the game since I got to Central Catholic. To pitch a shutout today and do what we’ve done on defense the last four years is great. This win was for our seniors. This has been their goal. We’ve won 59 of 60 games and this is special for our school and community. This team has found different ways to win all year.”

(Winning four consecutive titles) “I don’t think it will sink in for 20 or 25 years or when I’m retired. But it has been very enjoyable to coach each of these teams.”

(On touchdown pass) “It was a play where we were trying to get a pass deep to Timmy Mills. At halftime we talked about how our crossing route was coming open. Ty (Preston) hung in there just long enough to get the ball off and Joe Smith did the rest.”

(On punt return for a touchdown) “We had to get Timmy (Mills) going somehow, someway. We had a middle return on and Timmy drew them in and then bounced to the outside. They punted to him and not too many teams have done that this year.”

(On O’Shea family of coaches) “It has been great! Dad (Frank) just got inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame which was well-deserved. (Brother) Tim has been my defensive coordinator for a lot of years. I’m not here without either one of them. Plus the rest of my coaching staff have made me look real good.”

Indianapolis Scecina Coach Ott Hurrle
(General comment about his team) “Well, you can’t fault their effort.  The seniors have been tremendous this year and kept things together all summer.  In the season when we got into a little bit of trouble, they called a team meeting and got things turned around and led us here.  They did everything we asked.  Unless you’re in coaching you may not understand how hard it is to get back here.  I’m proud of ‘em.  Ultimately we’ll all take solace in what we accomplished, but right now, I don’t think anybody feels that way.

(On Central Catholic’s defense) “It’s their speed.  They have so much of it.  They slant so well and their linebackers are so good.  We just had a tough time.  They made us pay for our mistakes.”

(Comparing this trip to title game with last year)  “We’re a better team than we were last year, and I know the guys were a lot more settled in.  They’ve been here before, and that makes a difference.  The game came down to a couple big plays and Central Catholic is just an awfully, awfully good football team.”