Class 2A State Football Title Game Preview – Mater Dei vs Rensselaer Central
It's the end of the road for the high school football season, and the Mater Dei Wildcats have the chance to close it out with a Class 2A state championship.
The Wildcats earned their trip to Indy on Friday with a dominating performance over a tough Monrovia Bulldogs team last Saturday afternoon. Despite coming into the game with nearly 5.400 rushing yards, and 68 rushing touchdowns, the Wildcats were able to keep the Bulldogs out of the end zone with the exception of a few touchdowns late in the game once Mater Dei had it in hand.
Capitalizing on Monrovia's weakness against the pass, sophomore quarterback Kurt Wilderman completed 11 passes on 13 attempts for 227 yards, while the combination of Julian Weidner, Drayke Richardt, and Wilderman himself added 177 yards on the ground, finding the end zone four times.
The Wildcats defense also came up big with an interception by Luke Neitzke in the end zone on Monrovia's opening drive, along with two fumble recoveries later in the game, one of which was taken 63-yards for a score by Blake Jourdan.
Mater Dei returns to the state title game for the first time since 2011 where they fell to Ft. Wayne Luers. Of the four trips the Wildcats have made to Indianapolis since the 2000 season, Friday morning's game will be the first against a team not name Ft. Wayne Luers.
On paper, the undefeated Bombers of Rensselaer Central match up pretty well with Mater Dei in terms of stats. Both have relied more on the run than the pass with the Wildcats putting up 3,513 yards on 477 attempts and finding pay dirt 55 times, while the Bombers have racked up 4,981 yards on 637 attempts and 81 touchdowns. However, they both don't mind passing when the situation dictates. Mater Dei has put up 1,139 yards on 83 completions with eight touchdowns while the Bombers have thrown for 1,424 yards on 68 completions and 17 scores.
So far, the teams the Wildcats have faced in the postseason have been run-first teams who only throw when absolutely necessary. It will be interesting to see how they handle a team that much like themselves, aren't afraid to mix things up and air it out at any given time.
Much like the Monrovia game in the Semistate round, if the Wildcats can get the upper hand early by putting points on the board, allowing their defense to t-off on the Bombers offense, there's a very good chance the Wildcats get a fire truck escort on their return home.
Catch every snap on ESPN Evansville 105.3 and online at ESPNevansville.com with pre-game at 10:30am, and kick off at 11:00.