Evansville, Indiana – The Class 4A South Semi-State featured the Mt. Vernon (Fortville) Marauders and the Evansville Reitz Memorial Tigers. The stakes? Quite simply, a berth in the 2021 Class 4A State Championship Game. to be played on Saturday, November 27th, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The First Quarter was action-packed, featuring 3 touchdowns. The Tigers struck first with the ground game, specifically Sr. TB Ray Brodie, who rushed for 89 yards and a TD in the opening quarter of play. Brodie capped the first Tigers’ possession by rushing for a 4-yard TD.
The Marauders quickly struck back, moving 70 yards in 4 plays, capped by a 39-yard TD pass from Gehrig Slunaker to Ashden Gentry. The Tigers moved right back down the field to take a 14-7 lead, as Jr. QB Caleb Ellspermann found Sr. WR Dominic Norman for a 7-yard TD. The first quarter ended with the Tigers leading, 14-7.
The Second Quarter opened with Marauders’ Sr. TB Keagan LaBelle scoring on a 1-yard TD run to tie the game at 14. The Tigers again struck back with a spectacular 18-yard TD reception by Jr. WR Leo Collins, giving Memorial a 21-14 lead. The Marauders marched right back down the field, and capped their third possession of the game with a 2-yard TD run by Sr. FB Travon Hegler, tying the game at 21. The first 6 possessions of the game (3 for each offense) each ended with touchdowns.
The Tigers were threatening to retake the lead when Sr. DB Avery Williams picked off Ellspermann and returned the interception 93 yards for a Mt. Vernon (Fortville) TD, giving the Marauders a 28-21 lead. On the ensuing possession, Ellspermann capped the Tigers’ drive with a 1-yard TD plunge, knotting the game at 28. A breathtaking first half, with the teams combining for 550 yards of offense, ended with the game tied at 28.
The second half, however, was a different story, as each team’s defense settled in after making some halftime adjustments. The first score of the second half was a 17-yard TD run by LaBelle, giving the Marauders a 35-28 lead in the 3rd Quarter. That would be the score going into the 4th Quarter.
LaBelle, on what would prove to be the final score of the night, scored on a spectacular run to put the Marauders up 42-28. The Marauders’ ground game (specifically LaBelle), along with its 2nd Half defense, was able to hold off any Memorial attempt at a comeback, and Mt. Vernon (Fortville) captured its first Semi-State Championship in program history, and now advances to the 2021 Class 4A State Championship Game to take on Northridge next week at Lucas Oil Stadium.