A 38-yard field goal by Josiah Smith with eight seconds left capped a comeback in the final minutes for Western Boone as the Stars edged Bishop Luers 36-35 in the Class 2A State Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The score was set up by a late pass interference call on Luers’ Nick Thompson up the Western Boone sideline as the Stars franticly tried to get down field. It was the tenth Bishop Luers penalty of the game to just one from Western Boone.
“Penalties. Penalties killed us,” Bishop Luers coach Kyle Lindsay said. “We had a chance to run the clock out, all we have to do is get first down and we get a hold. We get a catch interference [on a punt], gave them 15 there. Pass interference, gave them another 10 and that was ultimately enough difference in the field position at the very end.”
Chasing a third-consecutive state championship, Western Boone (10-5) did not give up late. Following the Bishop Luers touchdown to go up 35-26, the Stars were able to drive downfield in a short amount of time. When Robby Taylor plunged into the end zone from a yard out with 1:55 left, Western Boone had a shot.
Jayden Hill easily recovered the onside kick try for Bishop Luers. The Knights were able to get the clock down to 45 seconds left before punting away up two. Yet Western Boone executed an exceptional late-game offense, hitting short throws on the sidelines to work its way down the field.
A pass interference call with 11 seconds to go moved the ball to the 21 yard line for the Stars. That is when Boone nailed the game-winning field goal.
“What a kick,” Lindsay said. “As a former kicker, I can tip my cap. That’s a big time play. Didn’t seem like the right ending to what has really been a magical run but that’s how she goes sometimes. Couldn’t be prouder of the group of kids for the fight that they’ve got. This will sting all of us for a long time but I think we will look back some day and be really proud of what they’ve accomplished.”
Bishop Luers was able to return the kickoff past midfield, but time expired.
A pair of fourth-down calls for Bishop Luers loomed big – one in each half.
With the Knights trailing 13-7 midway through the second quarter, Carson Clark hit Brody Glenn down the field for 24 yards on 4th and seven at the Western Boone 38 yard line.
Then, Ramon Anderson spun out of a hit and scored from 17 yards out. With the extra point, the Knights took their first lead of the game.
In the fourth quarter, Bishop Luers was up 28-26 and was inside the WeBo five. An illegal procedure call and a delay of game forced the Knights back. Facing a 4th and 7, coach Lindsay elected to go for it, and Clark found Krashaun Menson on a roll-out in the back of the end zone for a score to go up nine.
“That has been kind of the mentality of this squad really all year, in particular this postseason run,” Lindsay said. “We’ve had a lot of fourth down situations where we’ve gone for it, we’ve been aggressive and we’ve been putting a lot of trust in Carson to make the right read and to execute a play and he’s been lights out all year.”
Two big Western Boone turnovers loomed large in the first half.
After Bishop Luers scored to take its first lead of the game at 14-7 midway through the second, Western Boone fumbled the kickoff return after a big hit by Brayden Mcinturf.
The Knights would go on to score off the turnover when Ramon Anderson spun out of a tackle up the middle and rushed to the right for a 16-yard score.
Trailing by eight, WeBo had a chance to cut into Bishop Luers’ lead before halftime. But on a 2nd-and-1 from inside the Knights’ 10, Stars quarterback Elliott Young fumbled on a play-action and Evan Linker of Bishop Luers recovered with less than 10 seconds left in the half.
Robby Taylor rushed for over 100 yards in the first half for WeBo and finished with 210 yards on a state finals record 43 rush attempts.
Anderson ran for 63 yards and two scores for the Knights while Clark completed 17 of 21 passes for 303 yards. Although his pass to Menson in the fourth quarter was a big play, it was Brody Glenn leading the way in receiving with six catches for 171 yards. Johnny Sewell, Evan Linker and Da’von Doughty each had 10 tackles to lead Luers while Linker and Tru Wallace recovered fumbles.