Defense leads Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger to 4A title

East Central's Luke Patton is sacked by Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger's Frank Yanko during the first half of the IHSAA Class 4A state championship football game Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Yanko and Bishop Dwenger shut down Lucas Patton on their way to a 27-3 victory over East Central in the Class 4A title game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday.

Yanko had three of the Saints’ seven sacks of Patton, who was intercepted four times and was held to just 67 yards on 23 carries. Patton was averaging 129 yards rushing coming into the final.

Senior Austin Burns finished with eight tackles and an interception as Bishop Dwenger got its 14th straight win for interim coach Ernie Bojrab, who filled in for Chris Svarczkopf while he took the season off to focus on fighting cancer.

Svarczkopf’s story helped motivate his team to the program’s first 4A state title, but Svarczkopf said what his players were able to accomplish “will inspire many people as well.”

“That’s the story that’s yet to come,” he said.

East Central (12-3) had a 3-0 lead at halftime, but it was all Bishop Dwenger in the second half. Amaun Clark’s 24-yard touchdown run in the third quarter put the Fort Wayne school ahead to stay.

“The guys believe in me,” Clark said. “They told me in the second half that I was going to have to run the ball and run with a lot of heart. The belief they have in me is really, really big to me.”

The big finish for Bishop Dwenger (14-1) was quite a turnaround from the defensive first half.

“(In the first half) we had penalties, we had turnovers and we needed to settle down and play our game,” Bojrab said. “We thought what we had prepared was good, and we just had to make sure we executed it.”

Trojans coach Justin Roden said field position played a key role.

“We couldn’t get a break,” he said. “In a big game like this, you need to get a break here or there and we didn’t get it.”

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