Southridge Claims First Football State Title
Southridge’s bold gamble led to the school’s first state championship.
Senior Tucker Schank caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from senior Jayce Harter with 1:22 left and the pair connected on a two-point conversion pass to give the Raiders a thrilling, 15-14 victory over Woodlan in the Class 2A championship game.
The title is the first championship for Southridge (13-2), which had previously lost in the championship game in 2006, 2002 and in the Class 1A game in 1982.
With the Warriors leading, 14-7, and driving deep in Southridge territory in the fourth quarter, senior Jacob Masterson intercepted a pass at the Southridge 29 with 2:40 left. Harter then directed a 67-yard drive, culminating in the touchdown pass to Schank. Southridge head coach Scott Buening eschewed the tying kick attempt and called for the two-point play, which proved successful.
Woodlan had two more possessions, but failed to score.
Harter finished with 202 yards passing, while Schank had five receptions for 131 yards.
Woodlan (12-3) held a 362-274 advantage in total yards and had five takeaways (three interceptions, two fumble recoveries). Senior Jack Rhoades ran for a game high 71 yards and scored on a 27-yard run for the Warriors. Senior quarterback Justin Durkes passed for 206 yards and a score.
Woodlan, guided by seventh-year coach Sherwood Haydock, was making its second state-championship game appearance. The Warriors lost in the Class 1A title game in 1981.
Class 2A State Championship Game Records
Highest Punting Average
2A: 61.0 by Woodlan vs. Southridge, 2017.
Highest Punting Average
2A: 61.0 by Logan Hahn, Woodlan vs. Southridge, 2017.
Southridge’s Jayce Harter Named Mental Attitude Award Winner
At the conclusion of the state championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named Jayce Harter of Southridge High School as the winner of the Blake Ress Mental Attitude Award in Class 2A Football.
The Raiders team captain was named the Pocket Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year while throwing for 13 touchdowns and 1,570 yards and running for 12 touchdowns and 1,167 yards, coming into the 2A State Championship. Harter led Southridge to its first appearance in the Football State Finals since 2006. Harter is a three-sport athlete, also competing in basketball and baseball. Jayce ranks fifth in his class and participates in extracurricular activities such as National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Natural Helpers, and serves as president of the Spirit Club. He is an active member in the Huntingburg United Methodist Church youth group and Social Responsibility Community program, and volunteers with the 4-H Fair and Southridge youth sports camps.
Jayce is the son of Chad and Jill Harter of Huntingburg, IN. He has yet to determine a college choice after graduating from Southridge.
Each year the IHSAA Executive Committee selects a senior player who was nominated by his principal and coach and was determined to have best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership, and athletic ability. The Indianapolis Colts presented a $1,000 scholarship to Southridge High School in the name of Jayce Harter. The Colts have been the presenting sponsor of the entire football state tournament since 2009, including the mental attitude awards.