A year after settling for a runner-up finish, Columbus East advanced back to the final game and this time churned out a 42-28 victory over Kokomo for the Class 5A state championship at Lucas Oil Stadium.
It was the third football state championship and second in five seasons for Columbus East (14-1) which also celebrated crowns in 1979 (3A) and 2013 (4A). It was the second state title for 17th year coach Bob Gaddis.
A dominant Columbus East rushing attack accumulated 351 yards and saw three Olympians eclipse the 100-yard mark in the game, the first time that’s ever occurred in a state championship game by one team. Jaedin Miller had 132 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns, Jamon Hogan carried 17 times for 112 yards and Josh Major finished with 15 attempts for 107 yards and two scores. Major also connected with Klayton Brummett on a 44 yard scoring pass with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter.
Kokomo’s Jack Perkins tallied 148 yards on 21 carries and a the Wildkats first touchdown of the game, a five yard run with 3:38 left in the first quarter that tied the score at 7-7. Quarterback Kyle Wade finished 8-for-11 for 111 yards and two touchdowns, one a 16 yard completion to Luke Cameron with 0:21 left before halftime and the other a 19 yard pass to Perkins from 19 yards out with :02 left in the game.
Brett Colby guided the Wildkats (9-5) to the school’s first state championship game in his 11th year on the Kokomo sideline and 28th year overall.