November 28, 2020
Covenant Christian holds off South Adams for first state title in any sport
Gage Coffey’s 34-yard touchdown run and subsequent extra-point kick by Jackson Brough provided the difference for Covenant Christian in a frantic, 41-40 triumph over South Adams in the Class A title game.
Coffey’s score with 3:02 left in the contest hardly ended the drama in a record-setting contest between the only two schools making their first appearances in the state finals, the only matchup of two schools over the weekend that had no state titles in any sport and the only meeting of the weekend featuring two unbeaten teams.
The teams combined for 1,019 yards of offense, including a record 480 yards passing for South Adams quarterback James Arnold.
With CC leading, 41-34, Arnold drove his team 78 yards in six plays, including a daring toss to Trey Schoch that gained 72 yards to the CC 2-yard line. After tailback Christian Sommersett banged it in on the next play, South Adams boldly tried for a two-point conversion, but Sommersett was stopped short.
The Warriors of coach Shawn Lyons then recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
The ending seemed unlikely after CC (15-0) took a 27-6 lead at halftime and appeared in control behind the running of tailback Micah Wilson, who gained 236 yards and scored once in the contest.
The Starfires, however, fought back in the second half and took advantage of a pair of costly CC interceptions to get back in the contest and set up the thrilling finish.
Coach Grant Moser’s Starfires finished 13-1.
Class A State Championship Records
Most Passing Yards - 480 by James Arnold, South Adams
Longest Pass Completion - 79 yards by James Arnold to Aidan Wanner, South Adams
Longest Touchdown Pass - 79 yards by James Arnold to Aidan Wanner, South Adams
Most Points in a Quarter (tied) - 27 by South Adams (4th quarter)
Most Yards Passing - 480 by South Adams
Total Offensive Yards - 547 by South Adams
Total Offensive Yards by Both Teams - 1,019 yards (547 by South Adams, 472 by Covenant Christian)
South Adams’ James Arnold earns the Blake Ress Mental Attitude Award
During the awards ceremony, James Arnold of South Adams High School was announced by the IHSAA Executive Committee as the recipient of the Blake Ress Mental Attitude Award in Class A 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 Jason and Emily Arnold of Berne. He is undecided on where he will attend but plans to study mathematics and play college football.
The award is named in honor of Commissioner Emeritus Blake Ress, who served as the IHSAA’s seventh commissioner from 2000-11.
The Indianapolis Colts, a corporate partner of the IHSAA, presented a $1,000 scholarship to South Adams’ general scholarship fund in the name of James Arnold.