INDIANAPOLIS – The Region will have to wait another year for an opportunity to win a state championship.
A potent passing attack by Evansville Reitz did in the Lowell Red Devils by a score of 23-9 in the class 4A state championship game on Saturday.
In almost a repeat of the game two years ago, when Reitz defeated Lowell 33-14, Evansville scored on its opening possession. This time it was the Panthers going 65 yards on four plays in just one minute and thirty-seven seconds.
Scoring again in the first quarter, this time on a bit of trickery the Panthers used a halfback pass to score on a 46 yard completion from halfback Jeff Hudson to wide receiver Cuda Dimmett for his second score.
Lowell was denied the end zone early in the second quarter when the Devils went 76 yards in 12 plays only to cough up the ball on the Panther’s one yard line.
The Red Devils finally got on the board with 6:48 left in the second quarter on a 23 yard field goal by Boge Pejoski.
Lowell again could not withstand the passing of Evansville and yielded another touchdown just before the end of the first half and the Panthers took a 20-3 lead into the locker room.
The second half began with the powerful running attack that Red Devils fans are used to seeing, as senior Brandon Grubbe put together a string of rushes during an 11 play, 81 yard drive capping it off with a two yard dive into the end zone.
Though the Red Devil defense kept the Panthers out of the end zone in the second half, they could not break the plane themselves.
Brandon Grubbe, the all time leading Lowell rushing leader, ended the day with 160 yards on 30 carries and quarterback Ray Skamay accounted for 60 more rushing yards.
Even with the tremendous running attack that had gotten Lowell to the State Finals, Coach Kirk Kennedy knew that giving up those two scores early was too much to overcome.
“We dug ourselves a pretty big hole,” Kenndy said. “They kept playing, but we gave them a couple of touchdowns. Our kids fought to the bitter end and it just wasn’t enough.”
Losing the state championship is a big enough loss, but to think about next season without this senior class is a may be an even bigger one.
“We’re losing a great senior class. They provided great leadership down the stretch. The fact that we’ve improved so much is a great attribute to the leadership of the kids in our program,” Kennedy added.
Coach Kennedy always has had a way of getting the best out of his players and next year should be no different.
Lowell Ev. Reitz
First Downs 15 13
Rushing Yards 259 104
Passing Yards 45 250
Total Yards 304 354
Punts-Ave 3-29.7 4-38.2
Passes Com-Att -Int 3-8-1 10-19-0
Penalties 1-15 4-16
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0