FORT WAYNE – With a 38-0 win over East Chicago Central in a Class 4A semistate Friday at Zollner Stadium, Bishop Dwenger has restored the luster to its football program and is headed back to the state finals.
The No. 11 Saints (11-3) will play No. 1 Columbus East (14-0) in the Class 4A state championship game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Dwenger will face a Columbus East team that beat No. 2 New Palestine 49-14 in the southern semistate behind 300 yards rushing and four touchdowns from Markel Jones. Columbus East limited New Palestine to 117 total yards and four first downs.
I don’t know much about them, but they are a great team, senior quarterback Mike Fiacable said. Anybody who makes it this far in the playoffs has to be great. We are just going to play our game and execute to the best of our abilities and hopefully we can come out on top. This is a dream come true. I have never wanted anything more. It’s not over yet, and we have one more step toward our ultimate goal.
The Saints’ program has been to the state finals eight times, four each in 3A and 4A.
That’s a great honor to have because there are so many great Dwenger teams that have come through, and we are blessed and honored to be in the running with them, Fiacable said.
Dwenger finished as the 4A state runner-up in 2002, 2008 and 2010. The last two times Dwenger has finished second to Indianapolis Cathedral, which is back at the state finals but in 5A. The Saints have won 3A state titles in 1983, 1990 and 1991, but are 0-3 in previous appearances at the 4A state finals.
They have worked so hard, Dwenger coach Chris Svarczkopf said. The seniors really have earned this.
The Saints suffered their first losing season (6-7) in 2012 but still managed to win a sectional title before falling 35-21 to Concord, which moved up to 5A this year.
We have worked so hard for this ever since we lost last year in regionals against Concord, senior Ryan Watercutter said. I am so glad we are representing Bishop Dwenger and Fort Wayne in the state championship.