Junior Alex Cowan, who led Columbus East to Hoosier Hills Conference, sectional and regional football titles this fall, has been selected as the quarterback on The Associated Press Class 4A All-State first team this season.
Cowan amassed more than 1,000 yards both rushing and passing for the Olympians, who went 14-1 and were ranked No. 1 in Class 4A for most of the season. He completed 65 of 130 passes for 1,093 yards and 15 touchdowns and carried the ball 210 times for 1,185 yards and 19 scores.
East senior Rob McKee is an offensive lineman on the Class 4A first team. Columbus North senior Thomas Shoaf is an offensive lineman on the Class 5A first team.
East sophomore running back Markell Jones and senior defensive back Brian Wichman are Class 4A honorable-mention selections. South Decatur punter Matthew Gatewood was a Class A first-team selection.
South Decatur quarterback Chris Johannigman and wide receiver Byron Balser as well as Edinburgh offensive lineman Dakota Sneed and linebacker Trent Tatlock made honorable mention in Class A.
Lawrence Central quarterback Drake Christen, who helped the Bears win the Class 5A state title, was Class 5A first-team quarterback. He passed for 1,898 yards and 19 touchdowns and ran for 1,389 yards and 11 more scores. He passed for 228 yards and ran for 92 in the state final, a 39-14 win against Fort Wayne Snider.
Christen’s teammates, offensive lineman Tim Gardner and linebacker Brandon Lee, also were named to the 5A team. Defensive back Nick Reese and offensive lineman Ruben Holcomb are Snider’s representatives.
First-team picks for Class 4A champion Cathedral include running back Gino Gillum, lineman Collin Sandor and defensive back Stuart Stanley. Gillum ran for 129 yards and four touchdowns in Cathedral’s 56-29 win against Mishawaka in the state final. He finished with 1,435 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Cathedral defeated Columbus East in the semi-state.
Mishawaka placed defensive back Samuel Schrader and punter Cody Childress on the 4A team.
In Class 3A, tough-as-nails Indianapolis Chatard running back Pete Hartley is among the headliners. The senior ran for 2,211 yards and 28 touchdowns to help his team win the state title. He ran for 172 yards in the 30-13 victory over Hamilton Heights in the state final.
Other Chatard picks are defensive back Joe Fagan and offensive lineman Joe Doyle.
In Class 2A, Jaylen Smith of Fort Wayne Luers leads the way. The Notre Dame-bound linebacker and running back ran for 154 yards and three touchdowns to help Luers beat Indianapolis Ritter 40-28 in the title game. He ran for 1,269 yards and 18 touchdowns and had 72 tackles and seven sacks this season. Luers defensive tackle Danny Beckman also made the team.
There are three quarterbacks on the Class 2A team: state runner-up Ritter’s Jake Purichia, Heritage Christian’s Matt Hunt and Speedway’s Austin Anglea. Purichia, a junior, threw for nearly 3,000 yards with 45 touchdown passes and just five interceptions.
Purichia and Hunt engaged in one of the epic battles of the season in the opener. Purichia put Ritter up with a touchdown run late in the game, then Hunt led Heritage Christian to a touchdown on the final play of regulation. Heritage Christian went for a two-point conversion and the win, but Ritter intercepted and held on for a 42-41 win at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Anglea passed for 2,330 yards in 11 games this season.
Heritage Christian receiver Anthony Warrum and Ritter receiver Alex Parrett made the team. Warrum caught 90 passes for 1,813 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. Parrett caught 26 touchdown passes for Ritter.
Class A champion Lafayette Central Catholic placed receiver Timmy Mills and linebacker Ross Corcoran on the Class A all-state team. Runner up Indianapolis Scecina placed running back David Tarver and offensive lineman Christian Johnson on the squad.
Class A quarterback Austin Karazsia of Linton-Stockton passed for 3,328 yards and 43 touchdowns this season as his team fell one game short of the state finals, losing to Scecina 17-14 in overtime in semi-state play.