For the second time in three consecutive appearances, Evansville Memorial took home the state championship, this time by moving up a class and scoring a 21-3 win over East Noble in the Class 4A title game.
Memorial defeated Brebeuf Jesuit to win the 3A title in 2017, before falling to West Lafayette in the 3A game a year ago. The Tigers were making their fifth title game appearance in school history – all since 2008 when coach John Hurley took over the program. The victory was his 100th career triumph.
Memorial (13-1) trailed, 3-0, at halftime after EN’s Joe Painter booted a 27-yard field goal in the second quarter. The Tigers took the second-half kickoff and embarked on an 18-play, 80-yard drive that took nearly eight minutes off the third quarter clock and ended when halfback Colton Pence completed a 6-yard toss to Will Brackett for a 7-3 lead.
After an interception, the Tigers took command with a much shorter drive — this one a two-play, one-yard “march,” capped by a 1-yard blast by Brock Combs. Combs put an exclamation point on the victory with a spinning, tackle-breaking 65-yard run for the final score with three minutes left.
Coach Luke Amstutz’s Knights (14-1) became the fourth (of five) unbeaten teams entering the finals to leave with a loss.
Class 4A State Championship Records
Most Interceptions (Tied): 4 by Evansville Memorial
Longest Punt (Tied): 65 yards by Cole Schupbach, East Noble
Most Interceptions (Tied): 2 each by Logan Lively and Alan Michael Stepto, Evansville Memorial
East Noble’s Bailey Parker named Eskew Mental Attitude Award recipient
At the conclusion of the state championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named Bailey Parker of East Noble High School as the winner of the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award in Class 4A Football.
His career achievements include 4,757 yards passing, 56 passing touchdowns, 125.2 yards per game passing average, 2,153 yards rushing, 28 rushing tackles, 193 total tackles, 11 interceptions on defense, and 8 fumble recoveries. Parker was also Northeast 8 All-Conference 2019 Quarterback, 2018 Safety, 2018 Quarterback, and 2017 Special Teams Player. Other football recognitions he has received include 2019 KPC Player of the Year, IFCA Academic All-State, and 2019 Parkview’s All-Northeast Indiana Football Team.
Bailey is in the top 5% of his senior class of 270 students academically. Parker has been on High Honor Roll for all four years at East Noble High School as well. He has been a four-year participant of Student Council, volunteered for Unified Sports activities, was on the planning committee for Semi-Formal, and organized the Riley Wagon fundraiser for Riley Children’s Hospital. He spends time volunteering in his community through the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission homeless shelter, cleaned Highway 3 in Kendallville, served as a part of a group that hangs American flags down main street of Kendallville, and helped lead fundraising campaigns to help provide Christmas gifts for local community families.
Bailey is the son of Jim and Cheryl Parker of LaOtto, IN. He is undecided on his college choice at this time but is planning to major in Pre-Med or Exercise Science.