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Cathedral Repeats the Feat, Wins Class 4A Title
November 30, 2011VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Indiana
By Damani Dickerson
For VYPE Magazine
Can you say “Repeat?”
After a slow start No.2 Cathedral (12-3) proved to be the best Class 4A football team in the state for the second year in a row, defeating No.9 South Bend Washington (11-4) decisively 42-7 Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“To get here once is difficult and it’s even more difficult to get back again,” Irish head coach Rick Streiff said following the game. "These kids kept their hunger. It was a great season for us."
Initially, Cathedral wasn’t in sync offensively but their defense picked up the slack. Two Cathedral first-half turnovers kept things close early on, but the Irish outlasted and eventually overpowered the Panthers.
“They had four or five guys going two ways and I think it caught up with them, especially in the second half. They got tired,” Streiff said. “Hats off to them, they played as hard as they could for as long as they could. Not having any two-way guys meant the world to us.”
The Irish road the shoulders of junior running back Gino Gillum who had 31 carries for 182 yards and tied the Class 4A championship game touchdown record with four.
“I started cramping up in the second half but I just hung in there,” Gillum said when asked about the heavy work load. “We knew we were going to be running the ball a lot, ground and pound like we usually do.”
On the first play of the second quarter Cathedral senior quarterback Corey Babb, who had seven completions on 10 attempts for 81 yards, put the Irish in front 7-0 on a two-yard keeper up the middle.
Gillum scored the next three touchdowns for Cathedral. The first was a 10-yard run with 2:19 left in the second quarter after an interception and a 25-yard return by senior defensive back Drake Myers.
The second came on a one-yard run a couple minutes into the second half set up by a fumbled kick off forced by junior linebacker Ryan Rodgers and recovered by senior linebacker Jacob Peebles.
The third was a six-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter that capped off a 12-play, 89-yard drive to put Cathedral ahead 28-0.
Less than a minute later Myers intercepted his second Daigien Morgan pass of the game and took it back 20 yards for the score.
With 7:16 left to play in regulation Gillum scored his fourth and the game’s final touchdown from seven yards out.
“He gets through the whole, you think he’s down and you turn around and he’s gone another ten yards,” Babb said. “To be able to have him to rely on to get the ball and know he’s going to make a play is a good feeling. Its good knowing he’s in the backfield.”
The Irish defense made things very difficult for the Panthers all game and never let them get in rhythm offensively.
Cathedral’s defense set a new Class 4A championship record for fewest rushing yards allowed. South Bend rushed for -51 yards on 25 attempts. The old record was set by Hobart in 1990 when the Brickies held Seymour to -9 yards.
The Panthers amassed 198 yards in total offense with 249 yards passing.
Morgan connected with South Bend Washington star receiver Gehrig Dieter for their only score of the night on a 54-yard bomb early in the fourth quarter.
Dieter finished with a record-setting 168 yards receiving on five receptions. The former Class 4A championship game record was set at 147 yards by Nick Rudolph of Goshen against Franklin Central in 1988.
“We didn’t execute when we needed to, that’s the bottom line. They’re a good team and you have to finish your drives and we didn’t finish our drives,” fourth year Panther coach Antwon Jones said. “When you have turnovers it kills you. Hats off to them, they took advantage of it.”
South Bend Washington rebounded from a winless season last year and fought through a rough stretch this season. Jones was pleased with his team’s recovery and praised their effort.
“I’m just proud of the kids,” he said. “They had an up-and-down season and we battled back. That’s all you can ask for.”
Cathedral’s Jacob Bailey was named the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award winner in Class 4A football. Bailey, a senior, served as co-captain of the football team and has been named All-State twice in his career.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
South Bend Washington 0 0 0 7 - 7
Cathedral 0 14 7 21 - 42
C -- Corey Babb 2 run (Drake Myers kick)
C -- Gino Gillum 10 run (Myers kick)
C -- Gillum 1 run (Myers kick)
C -- Gillum 6 run (Myers kick)
C -- Myers 20 interception return (Myers kick)
W -- Gehrig Dieter 54 pass from Daigien Morgan (Enrique Nunez kick)
C -- Gillum 7 run (Myers kick)