South Adams falls short 41-40 in 1A state title game

South Adams’ Jordan Hinshaw, Nick Miller and Jacob Plattner work to get at Covenant Christian running back Micah Wilson during November 28’s Class A state title game.

INDIANAPOLIS – Christian Summersett was stopped one-yard short of the end zone on a late two-point try, sealing the fate of South Adams in a 41-40 loss to Covenant Christian in the Class 1A State Championship on Saturday.

The attempt came after Summersett scored from two yards out with 90 seconds left in regulation to bring the Starfires to within one. The touchdown was set up by a 72-yard strike from James Arnold to Trey Schoch.

But on the try, a flip to the outside to Summersett was contained by Covenant Christian, with the senior being brought down short of the goal line.

“It wasn’t even a debate,” South Adams coach Grant Moser said. “We talked about it even before the game what we would do if we were in that position, and we decided we would go for it.

“Summersett a captain said give the ball to me and I’ll get in. He was churning his legs but just fell short.”

Covenant Christian then took over after a failed onside kick try, with Micah Wilson picking up a first down to ice the game.

After trailing by 21 at the end of the first half, South Adams dominated the third quarter, outgaining Covenant Christian in yardage 169-39 and scoring on four of their first five drives after the break. The lone empty possession was on an interception in the end zone.

The Starfires turned a 27-6 deficit into a 34-27 lead when Summersett scampered in from three yards out with just less than nine minutes left in regulation.

South Adams was then able to force a punt on the next possession, but James Arnold was hit and fumbled on the next drive. Covenant Christian then tied the game on a 31-yard strike on a post route from Austin Frazier to Adrian Terry with 4:46 left, then took the lead just 1:44 later after a Starfires punt when Gage Coffey rushed for a 34-yard score.

Arnold finished with 480 yards passing, a 1A state title game record and just 21 yards short of the all-time state championship mark.

In the end, the Starfires fell short.

“It is so emotional for me to be on this field one last time with these seniors,” South Adams coach Grant Moser said. “They have meant so much to me these last four years.”

Things could not have started any better for South Adams on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

When James Arnold hit Aidan Wanner for a 79-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, it sent the Starfires fans into a frenzy, an amazing start to the program’s first-ever trip to the state finals.

The Warriors (14-0) scored on five of their six drives in the first half. Micah Wilson rushed for 129 yards and a score before the break and was a consistent thorn in the side of the South Adams defense.

Covenant Christian took the lead on its initial possession when Austin Frazier hit B.J. Lomax for an 18-yard score. A Wilson 27-yard touchdown run and a Frazier to Trey Flatt 52-yard touchdown increased the Warriors’ lead in the first half, which coupled with a pair of Jackson Brough field goals gave them a 27-6 halftime lead.

South Adams’ Nick Miller evades Covenant Christian defenders during November 28’s Class A state title game.

South Adams could not find much room to run the ball in the first half. The Starfires were held to minus-4 yards rushing, while Arnold was hounded time and again in the pocket by a frenetic Covenant Christian pass rush.

But things changed after the break. South Adams ended the game with 547 yards of total offense. Aidan Wanner, Drew Stutzman and Trey Schoch all went over 100 yards receiving, with Schoch leading the way with 148 yards on five catches.

Covenant Christian was led by Wilson, who went for 236 yards on 33 carries. South Adams had trouble all day corralling the elusive Wilson, who escaped pressure time and time again to score.

Arnold was honored with the Mental Attitude Award in postgame.

South Adams quarterback James Arnold drops back to pass during November 28’s Class A state title game against Covenant Christian.

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