Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Bishop Dwenger's Alec Watercutter, right, breaks up a pass intended for Wayne's John Allen during the second quarter of Dwenger's win in a Class 4A sectional title game.
Saturday, November 04, 2017 1:00 am
Dwenger 41 Wayne 20
Saints pull away in 2nd, win sectional
AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette
The year 2016 is missing from the football sectional championship banners in the Bishop Dwenger gymnasium.
This year's team ensured that a “17” will be added to that banner with a 41-20 win over Wayne in a Class 4A title game at Bishop D'Arcy Stadium on Friday.
It's the program's 24th sectional title.
Senior Chip Clark led the way with 93 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 21 carries. Patrick O'Keefe completed 5 of 9 passes for 91 yards and a TD, a 38-yarder to Griffin Eifert with 1:55 left in the second quarter.
“Coach's speech at halftime (really got us going),” Clark said. “We were only up 21-14, we needed to get more points, that's what we did. We weren't hype enough. We weren't giving enough effort, stuff like that. Then the seniors came in and told us what we needed to do.
“As a senior, this feels great. This is one of four. Going to state is the optimum goal. This is just a logistical goal right here. We need a '17' on a sectional, regional, semistate and state banner at Dwenger.”
With 8.7 seconds left in the half, Wayne's Craig Young caught a 2-yard pass from Sean Poindexter to cut it to 21-14. Young's three catches for 53 yards comprised the final three plays of the scoring drive.
Two second-half Wayne turnovers ended in Bishop Dwenger touchdowns. An interception by Bradley Black was converted into an 2-yard run by Clark to make it 28-14 with 6:03 left in the third. A recovered fumble on the following drive resulted in another 2-yard run by Clark early in the fourth.
“I think turnovers always make a difference, and I think they made a difference tonight,” Saints coach Chris Svarczkopf said. “I think the thing that we're happiest about is holding on to the ball. We were able to capitalize on their turnovers. They were very well-prepared, they showed us some things that we weren't ready for and they came out and scored right away. It was still a close game at halftime, but the turnovers made a difference.”
The Generals (5-7) scored on their opening drive, capped by a 2-yard run by Dalyn Hart for a 7-0 lead with 8:15 left in the opening quarter.
Bishop Dwenger's first drive was cut short by an interception, the Saints' only turnover.
The Saints (9-3) got the ball back six plays later when AJ Brady recovered a fumble that set up a two-play, 22-yard drive on which Clark ran it in 2 yards to tie it at 7.
“The week before, South Side came out and punched us in the mouth,” O'Keefe said, “and we came out and beat them pretty good. Wayne did that this week and we knew what to do. We adjusted and figured it out.”
Dreyvon Walton capped scoring for the Generals with a 6-yard drive with 3:27 left in the fourth quarter, but the Saints weren't done as Brandon Lytle connected with Blayne Huston for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds left.
Bishop Dwenger travels to 12-0 Angola for the regional championship.