MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - There was only one team left standing in the high school football playoffs in Michiana entering semi-state Friday night: the Marian Knights.
With a win, Marian would have punched its ticket to the state championship for the first time since the 1970s.
Marian headed into semi-state 12-1 on the year, going up against another one-loss team, a powerhouse from Indianapolis, Bishop Chatard.
Strong defense led to a scoreless first quarter.
In the second, Dayen Taylor got the handoff and went up the middle, finding the end zone. Chatard went up 7-0.
Later in the quarter, this time it was Derion Gilbert who got the rock. He broke out to the Trojan sideline to fight his way into the end zone to give Chatard a 17-0 lead.
In the third quarter, the Knights were driving. Michael Murphy found an open path for a 30-plus-yard run to set the Knights up in the red zone.
But later in the drive, Mitch Floran tried to run the option, but nobody was there. The loose ball got picked up by Patrick Mastrian, and the Trojans took over.
Kyle Cheek threw it up to Andrew Sowinski, who made the diving catch in the end zone for the touchdown, and Bishop Chatard ran away with this one, 45-0.
After the game, Marian head coach Michael Davidson said his team should be proud of itself.
“Hats off to Chatard, first and foremost,” Davidson said. “They've got a heck of a team over there, and they came out and showed it tonight. I love this senior group. I can't say enough good things about this senior group. All 16 of them. They came out to battle all night long. Never gave up. They gave a lot to this program. The most credit that I can give to them is that I'm always there for them.”
Davidson said this senior class is leaving some big shoes to fill and that they showed the younger guys how to rally around each other.
Marian's quest for its first state title since 1976 continues for another year.