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Cathedral tops Zionsville for Class 5A title for second straight year

The Irish won their 14th state football title in school history.

INDIANAPOLIS — Cathedral defended its Class 5A state football championship, claiming the 14th title in school history with a 34-14 win over Zionsville.

The Eagles opened the scoring midway through the first quarter on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Christian Abney to Trey Firestone for a 7-0 lead. 

The Irish responded with a 24-0 run to build a 24-7 lead after three quarters. Danny O'Neil threw touchdown passes to Jaron Tibbs and Michael Page in the run. Seth Mencer added a seven-yard touchdown run.

Zionsville pulled back to within 10 points on Firestone's second touchdown catch of the game, a 30-yarder from Abney with 8:51 left in the game. 

But Cathedral responded 2 1/2 minutes later when O'Neil again connected with Tibbs for a 31-14 lead. Ben Gomez kicked his second field goal of the game for the final margin.

The Irish rolled up 467 yards of offense, including 355 yards passing, in the win. O'Neil completed 25 of 35 passes. Tibbs led all receivers with ten catches for 225 yards. 

O'Neil also led all rushers with 75 yards on the ground.

Abney threw for 214 yards for the Tigers, including 134 yards to Firestone.

The game was a rematch of last year's championship, the first time that has happened in Class 5A. The Irish won that game 46-28.

Cathedral is now within one state championship of Bishop Chatard for the most in Indiana high school history. Cathedral has won 13 straight state title games.

Cathedral's Cooper Koers was awarded the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award winner.