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Central Catholic aims for record-setting win

November 16, 2012
Lafayette Central Catholic High School

Over the past eight seasons, Class A football excellence has been judged against either Sheridan or Central Catholic.

The Blackhawks went to four straight state championship games from 2005-08, winning titles in the first three seasons. Central Catholic began its dynasty the following year, winning three straight state titles and establishing a postseason winning streak that currently sits at 22 games.

The Class A record is 23 straight tournament wins, set by the aforementioned Sheridan teams. To tie that record, the Knights must defeat Sheridan tonight in a semistate rematch. Central Catholic won 17-0 last season.

“This team’s not going to lie down for anyone,” CC offensive lineman Matt Thieme said of Sheridan. “They’re going to come hard every play. And they’re not just going to come hard, they’re going to know what they’re doing wehen they come hard.”

Just like last season, Central Catholic was the preseason No. 1 team in the Associated Press. Just like last season, Sheridan slipped in the rankings after season-opening losses to Western Boone and Hamilton Heights but surged in the state tournament.

The two programs have combined for 14 state championships — the most of any of this year’s semistate matchups.

Central Catholic’s players, who were disappointed by their slow start in a 49-14 regional victory over Winamac, say they want to come out stronger on Friday.

“After seeing how we played and kind of being a little disgusted with ourselves and how we played that game, we’re coming back this week re-focused, very strong,” CC fullback Brad Schradersaid. “We’re ready to play again.”

Two key players recently returned to health for Sheridan. Halfback Adam Hoover missed the final two games of the regular season with a back injury. Fullback Tyler Callahan missed no games but played through an undiagnosed illness for about a month. Both are three-year starters.

Sheridan coach Larry “Bud” Wright said the Blackhawks have also benefited from the development of their sophomore class.

“We weren’t ready to play at the start of the year yet,” Wright said. “Basically, we’re a senior-sophomore team, and our sophomores were not ready to play yet. Right now, our sophomores are beginning to play our best ball of the year. They got better as the year progressed.”

The 6-foot, 205-pound Hoover and 5-10, 232 Callahan combine with 6-4, 240 tight end Cody Watts and 6-7, 330-pound tackle Marty Strong to provide a punishing running attack.

A Central Catholic defense that has not allowed more than 14 points in the postseason meets a Sheridan team that has scored 35 or more in all four tournament games.

“They just keep slugging you and slugging you, and it may not be the first series or the second series, but eventually they just try to wear you down,” CC coach Kevin O’Shea said. “We’re going to have to get people to the football and make some tackles.”

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Hoosier Conference • Tagged
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