Bishop Dwenger wins Class 4A state title, 16-10 in four overtimes

Regulation was just not enough time to score. Like a good game of ping pong, Bishop Dwenger and Evansville Central volleyed scoring attempts back and forth all afternoon Friday, going four full quarters scoreless. In the fourth overtime, Bishop Dwenger’s TJ Tippmann ran the ball in up the left side of the field and hit the pylon on a nine yard run. It ended up being all the Saints needed, capturing a Class 4A state title, 16-10 in the fourth overtime.

Tippmann ran for 77 yards on 20 carries and both Bishop Dwenger touchdowns.

No game in the history of the Indiana state finals, in any class, had gone into a third overtime, let alone a fourth.

The first overtime saw missed field goal attempts from both teams, the second overtime saw both teams hit one. In the third overtime, each team scored a touchdown, their first each of the game.

Throughout the game, it was a well played defensive battle from first year head coaches Troy Burgess of Evansville Central and Jason Garrett of Bishop Dwenger.

The Saints started the game with the ball in the hands of Devon Tippmann, but were forced to punt in a three-and-out situation on their opening drive. Brenden Lytle’s third down pass was on target, but Vinnie Tippmann bobbled it and came up empty.

Evansville Central chose to pass on five of its first six plays. The team dropped back to pass just 12 times last week with only three completions. Quarterback Brennon Harper went 3 for his first 3 throwing the ball, but Bishop Dwenger’s defense ultimately forced a punt after the Bears picked up one first down.

In the closing minutes of the first quarter, Lytle hit Patrick O’Keefe on a long pass, but it was called back for offensive pass interference. Cameron Banks ended the drive with 4:22 to play in the quarter with an interception of Lytle.

After one, neither team had made a dent in the scoreboard.

Bishop Dwenger football coach Jason Garrett patrols the field during warm ups at Lucas Oil Stadium before Friday, November 23’s Class 4A state title game.

Bishop Dwenger’s counter play to start the second quarter to Patrick Finley gained 15 yards down to the Evansville Central 34 and was a key play on the drive. On 4th and 12, Lytle found Griffin Eifert for a catch at the down marker, but the ball was marked just inches short as Eifert’s momentum was taking him back towards the line.

The teams exchanged a lot of running and a couple punts, but the Saints called for a pair of big penalties late in the second quarter gets the Bears down to the 15 yard line. After a face mask penalty moved the ball first, Sam Obergfell’s pass interference penalty got Evansville Central down to the 15. They were able to move the ball to the five yard line with 2:37 to play in the opening half, but stopped short of the goal after electing not to attempt their fourth field goal of the year.

Lytle completed four straight passes inside two minutes to push the momentum Dwenger’s way, moving down as close as the Evansville Central 28 yard line but were still forced to punt the ball away. At the half, the score was still tied, 0-0.

Brenden Lytle

At halftime, Dwenger’s passing game was out gaining its run game, 92 yard to 59 yards but the Saints had racked up 70 penalty yards to Evansville Central’s 28 despite only having one penalty more than the Bears.

On Evansville Central’s opening drive of the half, the Saints forced third down deep near the endzone, pressuring Harper back towards the goal line as he threw and completed a 42 yard pass to David Payne to get the Bears across midfield. Harper hit Depriest for 20 yards later in the drive as he won a jump ball, but the next time they looked to Depriest on a third and long situation, Gage Renbarger was able to knock the ball away.

On fourth down, with 5:29 to play in the third, Renbarger was able to knock down another chance at the endzone, this time keeping the ball from David Payne. The Saints took over after their offense had been off the field for over 40 minutes, but they were forced to punt after three and out.

On their next drive, TJ Tippmann took off with just over a minute to play in the quarter for a 22 yard gain to get the ball to the Saints’ own 48 yard line, finding a nice crease and making the most of yards after first contact. Bishop Dwenger’s short yardage runs were not worth enough however and the Saints punted on the final play of the quarter, leaving us at 0-0.

The Bishop Dwenger linemen warm up at Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday, November 23 before the Class 4A state title game.

On the opening drive of the fourth quarter, the Bears went deep to Depriest and Rensbarger held him down defensively as Eifert leaped up and picked the pass off. Eifert followed his blocks back to the Evansville Central 30 yard line.

The following drive say TJ Tippmann pushing forward on a goal line look on the left central side for a big yard on 4th and 1 with under eight minutes to play. The Saints continued to chip away with short passes and runs. With 5:27 to play, the Saints got a completion to get them inside the 10 yard line, but an off ball pass interference call put them at 3rd and 17 instead of being in a 1st and goal situation.

Lytle then found Eifert for 12 yards got the Saints down to the 16 yard line facing a fourth down. Michael Garrett came on to try to break the tie with a field goal, but his 33 yard attempt was wide right.

Griffin Eifert

With 3:36 to go, Jacob Boberg popped out of a long scrum for a long gain and Renbarger stripped the ball out but the Boberg was ruled down first, even though the replay in the arena looked to show otherwise, drawing a big reaction from the Saints fans in attendance in Indianapolis.

The Bears went big on their own third down, looking for Depriest, but the defense of Finley made the ball uncatchable and the Saints took over with 2:28 to play after a Evansville Central punt. A completion to Eifert and an incompletion to O’Keefe forced another three and out punt, which rolled down inside the Evansville Central 35 yard line, giving them yet another chance with 1:33 to play.

A second effort run with 32 seconds left from Brennan Schutte pushed the ball to the Bishop Dwenger 35. Harper found Schutte for six yards with 24 seconds to go forcing the Bears to use their final timeout. Schutte picked up another first down through the air and got out of bound with 19 seconds to play.

With just one second on the clock, John Degenhart came on to attempt the 39 yard field goal. Garrett and Bishop Dwenger used all three timeouts in an attempt to ice the kicker. With Depriest on the hold, the kick as time expired was blocked by TJ Tippmann to force overtime.

In overtime, the Saints started with the ball after the Bears won the coin toss. TJ Tippmann ran the ball for three yards on first down, but Lytle’s next two passes went incomplete, forcing a fourth down situation. Michael Garrett came on and missed a 23 yard field goal to the left. Garrett was 6-of-7 on the season before the state title game, where he went 0 for his first 2 attempts.

TJ Tippman

The Bears took over from the 10 yard line with Schutte running for a yard on first down and Austin Frasier gained five yards on second down. On third down, Schutte gained one more yard. Degenhart came on for fourth down’s 21 yard field goal attempt that was again blocked, forcing a second overtime.

Degenhart would be forced back in during a second overtime. This time his attempt from 21 yards out was good, giving them a 3-0 lead and forcing Bishop Dwenger to answer. On first down, TJ Tippmann gained three yards out of the power-I set. On second down, Tippmann was stopped after two yards by Banks forcing the Saints to call timeout before a third down opportunity. On third down, Lytle was forced out of the pocket and his pass to Vinnie Tippmann was incomplete. Michael Garrett chipped one in from 23 yards out and tied the game at 3-3.

In triple overtime, Bishop Dwenger went to TJ Tippmann time and time again as he punched the ball in from one yard on third down for the first touchdown of the game. The Bears tried to fight back on their possession. On third down, Depriest was wide open in the back of the endzone as the Bears scored their first touchdown of the game as well in the third overtime.

Evansville Central started with the ball in the fourth overtime and on third down, the Saints flushed Harper out of the pocket and Bishop Dwenger’s Charlie Howe ripped the pass away from Payne near the five yard line for an interception and the biggest defensive play of the game.

When the Saints got the ball back, it was all power-I offense, moving the ball forward on the hands of TJ Tippmann behind Hayden Ellinger’s blocking. On second down, Tippmann broke out to the left side and scored on a nine yard run to end the game.

Lytle ended the game 10-of-22 passing for 118 yards targeting Eifert the most. Eifert cost five passes for 60 yards. On defense, Jared Lee led the way with 12 tackles including nine solo tackles. TJ Tippmann had nine tackles.

Evansville Central outearned Bishop Dwenger 251 yards to 249 but the Saints had 131 yards on the ground to just 98 of the Bears.

Bishop Dwenger’s TJ McGarry was named the Mental Attitude Award Winner for Class 4A.

For more from the Class 4A state title game, stay tuned to and Blitz on Twitter.

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