ST. LEON, Ind. – There won’t be back-to-back state finals appearances for East Central.
The Trojans fell in a 24-21 heartbreaker to unbeaten Roncalli Friday night. A Patrick Sandler 31-yard field goal with two seconds left on the game clock helped the Rebels avenge a loss to East Central in this very same Semi-State matchup a year ago.
The Roncalli defense was stingy, shutting out the Trojans in the second half after allowing 21 points before intermission. That effort gave Sandler the opportunity to break the third and final tie of the affair.
It was a game off attrition. The Rebels outgained East Central by 98 yards, 375-277. Roncalli was able to move the ball through the air and East Central churned out yardage on the ground.
Quarterback Derek O’Conner threw for 221 yards and four Roncalli receivers had at least 30 yards receiving. Kenny Gillum led the Rebels with 80 yards and a pair of scores rushing.
East Central quarterback Alex Maxwell had a game high 166 yards rushing on 20 carries with two touchdowns. Logan Storie and Garren Messmore combined for the other 97 yards on the ground for the Trojans.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
East Central 7-14-0-0-21
R: Gillum 11 run (Sandler kick)
E: Maxwell 7 run (Stidham kick)
R: O’Conner 2 run (Sandler kick)
E: Messmore 33 run (Stidham kick)
E: Maxwell 60 run (Stidham kick)
R: Gillum 16 run (Sandler kick)
R: Sandler 31 field goal
Records: Roncalli (14-0); East Central (11-3)