Irish Fall Behind Early, Storm Back to Win at Penn
Class 6A third-ranked Indianapolis Cathedral fell behind by two touchdowns in high school football Friday night, but stormed back, scoring 35 unanswered points to defeat seventh-rated Penn 35-21 in Mishawaka. Irish quarterback Danny O’Neil threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score, while receiver Jaron Tibbs caught a career-high three TD passes.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Kingsmen took a 6-0 lead early in the second period on Nolan McCullough’s 12-yard touchdown pass to DJ White. Midway through the quarter, McCullough ran two yards for a score to increase the margin to 13-0.
On the next possession, Cathedral drove 67 yards in six plays, concluding on an O’Neil 15-yard touchdown pass to Tibbs. With less than a minute to play in the first half, Will McCormick intercepted a McCullough pass at the Irish 41-yard line. Five plays later, O’Neil scrambled and found Zach Meeks over the middle for a 43-yard scoring pass with four seconds remaining before the intermission to give Cathedral a 14-13 halftime lead.
On the first play of the second half, O’Neil threw a 70-yard scoring pass down the home sideline to Tibbs. Two plays later, Stu Smith intercepted McCullough and returned the ball to the Penn 27-yard line. Tibbs carried an O’Neil push pass five yards around the right end into the end zone to conclude a five-play drive for another score.
Early in the fourth period, O’Neil weaved his way through defenders and outraced them down the visitor sideline for a 39-yard touchdown run. McCullough ran 14 yards for a TD against the Irish reserves in the last two minutes for the final margin.
O’Neil completed 21 of 28 passes for 307 yards. He has now thrown for four touchdowns in each of the first three games this season. Tibbs caught six passes for 134 yards. It’s the ninth time in his career that he has had more than 100 yards receiving in a game.
The Fighting Irish, 2-1, travel to rival Bishop Chatard next Friday. The Class 3A top-rated Trojans are also 2-1 following a 17-14 loss Friday night at Roncalli on a last-second field goal. Cathedral has won 15 of the last 17 meetings between the two schools including a win, 38-14, last season.