November 27, 2020
Center Grove Rolls to 6A State Title, Perfect Season
A year after falling a step short of the Class 6A championship, Center Grove completed its climb to the top with a convincing, 38-14 win over Westfield.
Coach Eric Moore’s Trojans, who fell to Carmel in the 2019 title game, dominated the Shamrocks in every phase -- especially in the first half as Center Grove roared to a 38-7 lead at halftime.
Center Grove (14-0) moved the ball at will on the ground and through the air on offense, while shutting down the potent Westfield attack that came into the final on a 12-game winning streak and averaging 36 points per game.
Junior quarterback Tayven Jackson completed nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns – both to receiver Trent Vieth, who recorded scoring catches of 73 and 10 yards. Senior running back Carson Steele closed his stellar career with 138 yards rushing on 31 carries and scoring twice.
The victory gives the Trojans, who were ranked No. 1 all season, their third state title in program history in six appearances.
Coach Jake Gilbert’s Shamrocks were making their first appearance in the Class 6A title game and fourth in program history overall. Junior quarterback Maximus Webster accounted for both Westfield touchdowns, hitting Mason Piening for a 38-yard TD pass and running in from four yards for the only score in the second half.
The Shamrocks finished at 12-2.
Class 6A State Championship Records
Most Rushing Attempts - 31 by Carson Steele, Center Grove
Longest Pass Completion, Longest Touchdown Pass - 73 yards by Tayven Jackson to Trent Veith, Center Grove
Most Rushing Attempts - 54 by Center Grove
Fewest Rushing Attempts - 27 by Westfield
Most First Downs Rushing (Tied) - 15 by Center Grove
Most Punt Return Yards - 31 by Center Grove
Most Interceptions (Tied) - 2 each by Center Grove and Westfield
Westfield’s Benji Welch earns the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award
During the awards ceremony, Benji Welch of Westfield High School was announced by the IHSAA Executive Committee as the recipient of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award in Class 6A Football.
The award is annually presented to a senior who is nominated by his principal and coach, and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability during his four years of high school.
He is the son of Kirk and Corrie Welch of Westfield. He plans to attend Taylor University and study Ministry.
The award is named in honor of Commissioner Phil N. Eskew, who served as the IHSAA’s third commissioner from 1962-76. Under his leadership, the IHSAA football state tournament was initiated in 1973.
The Indianapolis Colts, a corporate partner of the IHSAA, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Westfield High School’s general scholarship fund in the name of Benji Welch.