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Lutheran rallies for first state football championship

Montasi Clay scored on a 12-yard touchdown run with 1:13 left to win the title for the Saints.

INDIANAPOLIS — Lutheran captured its first state football championship with a thrilling win in the Class A title game Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Saints trailed Adams Central 14-0 less than six minutes into the first quarter when Nick Neuenschwander returned a punt 59 yards for a Flying Jets touchdown. 

Lutheran got on the board with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Montasi Clay to Micah Mackay, but Adams Central responded to regain a 14-point advantage.

The Saints offense turned it on just before the half, with Jake Pasch scoring on a six-yard run to make it a 21-14 game at halftime, then Pasch caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Clay in the third quarter and Mackay raced to the end zone for a 71-yard touchdown reception to give Lutheran their first lead, 28-21, with 3:06 left in the third quarter.

The Flying Jets tied the score late on a 3-yard run by Blake Heyerly, setting up the game winning drive. Starting at their own 44-yard line, the Saints went 56 yards in five plays, capped by a 12-yard touchdown run by Clay to give Lutheran a 34-28 lead.

Adams Central moved near midfield, but Cur'Brian Shelby intercepted a Ryan Black pass to seal the championship.

"We've had some teams now that have accomplished everything but the state championship and, you know, the next progression in that was to finish on top here," said Lutheran head coach Dave Pasch. "It's good. It's a whole lot better than losing."

Clay threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns in the win and added 35 yards on the ground, including the game-winning touchdown. Mackay caught four passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints, who finished the season with a 15-0 record.

Heyerly, who ran for 52 yards and three touchdowns for the Flying Jets, was named the Class A Mental Attitude Award recipient after the game.