Hawks End Irish Sectional Football Win Streak
Second-ranked Decatur Central jumped out to a 14-0 lead and held on to defeat sixth-rated Cathedral 21-14 Friday night in the championship game of Class 5-A Sectional 13. The loss is the first for the Irish in sectional tournament play since 2005, ending streaks of 35 consecutive sectional wins and 12 straight sectional titles.
Decatur Central took an early lead on Parker Harrington’s 56-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Tracy. The Hawks scored again in the second quarter when Will Gibson concluded an 11-play drive with a four-yard touchdown plunge. The Irish, who had minus four yards of total offense in the first quarter, closed the deficit to 14-7 at the half when Bo Sanders grabbed a tipped Orin Edwards’ pass and scored on a 22-yard gain.
Tracy’s six-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave the Hawks a 21-7 lead. Edwards connected with Sanders on 62-yard scoring play midway through the fourth quarter to pull the Irish within a score. However, the Hawks recovered the ensuing onside kick and marched 52 yards on 13 plays to consume all but the final 55 seconds of the game. Cathedral’s Shiloh Means deflected a Decatur field goal attempt to have one final chance, only to run out of time its final drive.
Decatur Central rushed for 252 yards in the game; the most by a Cathedral opponent this season. The Hawks limited the Irish to just 14 yards on the ground. Both teams struggled with turnovers. Cathedral lost three fumbles, while Decatur Central turned the ball over four times on three interceptions and a fumble.
Edwards completed 15 of 29 passes for 186 yards. The junior quarterback finishes the season with 2,516 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. Sanders caught three passes for 90 yards. The senior receiver set single-season school records for most receptions with 84 and most touchdown catches with 16. He is the second player in school history to catch passes for more than one-thousand yards in a season, finishing with 1,072 yards receiving.
Chon’Dre Cissell was the leading Cathedral rusher with 39 yards on nine carries. The senior concludes the year with 995 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. Cissell ends his 36-game, three-year varsity career with 2,640 rushing yards, which is the seventh most in school history.
Cathedral’s final record is six wins and six losses. The Fighting Irish will return to Class 4-A for the next two seasons under the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s tournament success factor. Cathedral earned two points last season by advancing to the semi-state round of the tourney. IHSAA rules require three points over a two-year classification period for a school to remain in a class above the one it is assigned based on enrollment, which for Cathedral in football is Class 4-A.