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Bishop Luers wins fourth-straight state title

Bishop Luers senior Jaylon Smith rushed for 150 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Knights' 40-28 win over Ritter in the Class 2A state title game. (Photo by Ellie Bogue of The News-Sentinel)
Bishop Luers senior Jaylon Smith rushed for 150 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Knights' 40-28 win over Ritter in the Class 2A state title game. (Photo by Ellie Bogue of The News-Sentinel)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Knights hold on against furious Ritter comeback

Friday, November 23, 2012 10:00 pm
INDIANAPOLIS – Bishop Luers sweated out some suspense, but found a way to claim its “four-peat” Class 2A state football championship.The fifth-ranked Knights beat previously unbeaten Indianapolis Ritter 40-28 on Friday night at Lucas Oil Stadium to win a fourth-straight state title.

Luers (11-4) tied Warren Central and Lafayette Central Catholic as the only schools in history with four consecutive state titles. Lafayette Central Catholic won its fourth straight with a 14-0 win over Indianapolis Scecina in Friday's Class A title game.

The Knights needed a 60-yard touchdown drive, capped by Jaylon Smith's 16-yard score, to hold off a furious Ritter rally and build a 40-28 lead with 2:36 left.

Smith, a Notre Dame recruit and a candidate for Indiana Mr. Football, rushed 21 times for 150 yards and three touchdowns. TyVel Jemison rushed for 88 yards and a score. Luers rushed for 322 yards.

With a one-time 27-0 lead trimmed to 27-21, Luers used eight pure willpower runs to seemingly regain momentum late in the fourth quarter, with Jemison scoring from one yard out to make it 33-21 with 7:15 left.

But Ritter answered with a one-minute drive and quarterback Jake Purichia hitting Jake Hagan on a 15-yard touchdown pass to close the Luers lead to 33-28 with 6:07 left.

Ritter cut the lead to 27-14 on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Purichia to Hagan with 5:20 left in the third quarter. The Raiders trimmed it to 27-21 on a 36-yard punt return by Hagan with 10:38 left in the fourth. That score was set up when Luers' Smith was called for “hurdling” a defender on what would have been a first-down play. Instead, Luers was backed up and forced to punt.

Luers built a 27-7 halftime lead, with all of the scoring by both teams coming in the second quarter. Smith got Luers on the board first with a four-yard run.

Luers quarterback Quinn Cook, who was 8-for-8 passing for 87 yards in the first half, hit Michael Rogers for a 42-yard score to make it 14-0. Jaquale Cooper's seven-yard run made it 21-0 and Smith rolled out on a 24-yard score to make it 27-0. Smith carred 12 times for 85 yards in the half.

Ritter's first score, which turned out to be an indicator of offense to come, came when Purichia hit Hagan on a 16-yard pass with 18 seconds left in the half.

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