INDIANAPOLIS — Bishop Chatard is no stranger to being the last team standing when the season is concluded, and after a two-year stint in Class 4A without a state title the Trojans' return to Class 3A culminated with its record 13th Indiana state football title.
Fifth-ranked Chatard (12-3) on Friday scored 24 unanswered second-half points to upset No. 3 West Lafayette Red Devils 31-7.
"It's a tribute to all the guys before me," Chatard coach Vince Lorenzano said. "I just carry the mantle. They could put any idiot in here in my opinion. It's a great school with great people, and that's what carries it."
Chatard running back John Chavis broke a 7-7 tie on a 42-yard touchdown off-tackle run with 10:23 to play in the third quarter to give the Trojans a 14-7 lead.
"When we got the ball (back), we wanted to punch it in the end zone as soon as possible and change the momentum," Chavis said. "That touchdown uplifted our entire team. We were just feeding off each other's energy."
After Chavis' run, Jarrod Stivers exploded through a gaping hole provided by the offensive line for a 65-yard run to give the Trojans a 21-7 lead with seconds to play in the third quarter.
Caleb Korbets kicked a 31-yard field goal and Gabe Coleman scored on a 30-yard scamper to round out the Trojan scoring.
West Lafayette found its success on the ground through the legs of Travis Rolle. The senior running back rushed for 146 yards on 32 carries, but was unable to break into the end zone. He accounted for more than half of the Red Devils' total offensive output.
Quarterback Mikey Kidwell threw for 140 yards and connected with Matt Marley on a 6-yard touchdown on the game's opening drive for the lone West Lafayette score.
"We couldn't pick up some of their blitzes and that rattled us a little bit," West Lafayette coach Shane Fry said. "We didn't make some of the completions we normally make, but that was due to their pressure."
For the remainder of the game, the Chatard defense forced two punts, three turnovers on downs and five turnovers.
"In the second half we came out and played really good football in all three phases, Lorenzano said. "That was really the key — all three phases produced something. That's tough to deal with when you're fighting uphill and all three phases are playing that well, it really makes it tough (on opponents)."