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4 O’s, 1 Bull Dog honored


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Four players who led the Columbus East Olympians to the Class 4A state football championship and a perfect 15-0 record have been rewarded with a spot on The Associated Press Indiana Class 4A all-state team.

One Columbus North player, senior offensive lineman Tyson Clark, made the 6A all-state squad. East also had four players earn honorable mention, while Trinity Lutheran had two earn honorable-mention selections.

Quarterback Alex Cowan, running back Markell Jones, offensive lineman Evan Kuhn and linebacker Sam Dwenger made the first team for the Olympians.

Cowan, a 5-foot-8, 160-pound senior, completed 59 of 95 passes for 1,280 yards and 22 touchdowns, with only four interceptions this season. He also ran 136 times for 1,170 yards and 17 scores.

“Alex was a great leader for us,” East coach Bob Gaddis said. “He didn’t have the best statistics in the state, but he did everything we asked him to do and was a very unselfish quarterback.”

Jones, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound junior, carried 252 times for 2,653 yards and 42 touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 87 yards and a score.

“Markell had a great season for us,” Gaddis said. “He’s a tremendous talent. Not only is a great player, but he had a great offensive line. He had a great tournament and helped us score points when we needed to.”

Kuhn, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior, helped pave the way for East’s offense to accumulate 4,959 rushing and 1,433 passing yards and an average of 50.5 points a game offensively.

“He was a very unselfish player, as most offensive linemen are,” Gaddis said. “He is very solid. We had a lot of confidence in him with making calls and making the right adjustments during games. He had a great career.”

Dwenger, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound sophomore, led the Olympians with 108 tackles. He also had a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble while leading a defense that allowed only 12.1 points per game.

“Any time you can make this kind of an honor as a sophomore, that says a lot,” Gaddis said. “He had a lot of responsibility on our defense, and he responded very well.”

East senior wide receiver JT Voelker, senior defensive linemen Dalton Bateman and Brock Patterson and senior linebacker Christian Wichman earned honorable-mention selections in Class 4A.

“I think they would be the first to tell you that a lot of accolades come to individuals after your team has a good season,” Gaddis said. “Not only were they very good, but they were a reflection of our whole football team.”

Clark, a 6-foot-1, 285-pound senior offensive lineman, helped the Bull Dogs average 23.3 points a game offensively. He helped pave the way for 2,506 rushing yards, the second-most in school history, despite the team playing only 10 games.

“He was our physical presence on the offensive line,” North coach Tim Bless said.

Trinity Lutheran freshman quarterback Blake Levy and senior wide receiver Jonathan Rollins made honorable mention in Class A. The Cougars went 4-6 this fall.

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