“That’s so 2020.”
We are all tired of hearing it, right?
That quote, or some iteration of it, has been said at least once by every American over 18 years old, no matter color, creed or political affiliation.
But boy, does it ever fit what we saw over the weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Two local teams, each holding a lead late in the fourth quarter. Both poised to win state titles – Bishop Luers its 12th and South Adams its first.
The result? A pair of losses, each by a single point.
Prior to this year, area teams finished on the losing end of a one-point game in the state championship just three times – Woodlan in 1981 and 2017 (poor Warriors), and Bishop Dwenger in 2013.
Yet in the span of barely 24 hours, we watched both the Knights and the Starfires fall in dramatic fashion late.
It began with Bishop Luers on Friday. When Carson Clark hit Krashaun Menson for a 7-yard touchdown with a little over 3 minutes and 30 seconds left to put the Knights up nine over Western Boone, Blitz admittedly put a fork in the Stars.
But Western Boone showcased the poise that only comes from multiple appearances in the state finals within a short period of time.
Elliott Young and Robby Taylor carried the lone on the drive, with the quarterback completing a pair of passes – including a 50-yarder to Luke Marsh – and Taylor rushing five times for 29 yards.
When Taylor rumbled into the end zone from a yard out, it put Western Boone within two. But with less than two minutes left, the odds were still decidedly in Bishop Luers’ favor.
As the teams lined up for the onside-kick try, Blitz felt that all the Knights had to do was gain, at most, two first downs. The Stars had timeouts, but moving the chains twice would be enough to exhaust the timeouts and drain the clock.
Following the Bishop Luers recovery, Clark gained five yards on a run, but Robby Anderson was dropped for a loss of three, setting up a third-and-eight. After a penalty that negated a 7-yard gain, Luers played it safe, ran on third and then punted.
The fair catch interference was an immediate issue, giving Western Boone the ball close to midfield. The much-argued pass interference call a few plays later that set up the game-winning field goal was not an egregious penalty and shouldn’t have been called, but the way that the Stars were able to hit the outside routes with the Knights sagging off to avoid being beat deep, WeBo likely would have gotten close enough anyway.
So it was that the Knights fell on a 38-yard field goal in the final seconds, surrendering 10 points in the final 3:38 to lose.
But have no fear, Blitz said to himself. Saturday, our area would have something to celebrate.
And we did, sort of. The fact that South Adams was representing Berne and Adams County in the program’s first state title experience was definitely exciting. Yellow and black-clad fans, including some Amish, made the trip to Indianapolis and represented.
What a game it was, with the Starfires trailing by 21 at half, fighting back to take a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter, only to watch it evaporate thanks to Austin Frazier’s arm and the freakish speed and open-field moves of Micah Wilson.
When South Adams got to within a point with 90 seconds left, it elected to go for the 2-point conversion and the lead. The conversion try fell short, resulting in a 41-40 loss.
Two games. Two loss. By a combined two points.
That said, we should take what we can get. We ended the season at Lucas Oil Stadium, something that felt like a remote possibility (at best) in Week 1.
In addition, we had more than one northeast Indiana program representing the 260 at state for the first time since 2015.
For that, we can definitely be thankful.
But the weekend’s results also left a sour taste in Blitz’s mouth. We hoped for at least one local team to come home with the big trophy. Instead, both headed back north with thoughts of “what could have been” and “how did that happen.”
Yep, that is so 2020.
These opinions represent those of Blitz and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Blitz on Twitter at Blitz_OTH