Indiana High School Athletic Association

9150 North Meridian Street, Box 40650, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240-0650

Phone: 317-846-6601    Fax: 317-575-4244    Website:

Blake Ress, Commissioner


MEDIA ADVISORY                                                           November 29, 2003




Indianapolis Bishop Chatard running back Dray Mason and his Trojan teammates were simply dominating at the RCA Dome winning their third consecutive IHSAA Class 3A state championship in a 49-0 victory over NorthWood.


Mason ran for 205 yards and five touchdowns while backfield partner Bart Early scored twice as the Trojans completed a 14-1 season for first year coach Vince Lorenzano. Chatard won 10 straight after suffering its only loss during the fourth week of the season to Cincinnati Elder. During its three-year run, the Trojans own a 40-5 mark, including a perfect 15-0 season a year ago. The title moved Bishop Chatard into a tie for most football state championships with seven sharing the mark with Ben Davis. The Trojans have also been perfect in state championship football games winning all seven times – 1983, 1984, 1997, 1998 and the last three years. With the exception of 2A titles in 1983 and 1984, the rest have come in Class 3A.


After a scoreless first quarter, the dam burst wide open in the second quarter as Bishop Chatard scored a state finals record 35 points for a 35-0 halftime lead.


Mason, the state’s leading scorer, scored three touchdowns and backfield mate Bart Early scored twice in the 12 minute span. Mason got the Trojans on the board running it in from nine yards out to finish a drive that began in the first quarter but ended at the 10:45 mark of the second quarter. On its next possession, Bishop Chatard moved the ball down the field on seven running plays for 77 yards with Bart Early reaching the endzone from three yards out to put the Trojans up 14-0. Mason scored his second and third rushing touchdowns just 67 seconds apart. He scored on runs of seven and 18 yards, the latter set up by a Gary Nickleson interception of NorthWood quarterback Phil BeMiller returned 36 yards to the NorthWood 18. The Trojans then intercepted BeMiller for a second time when Derek DiSalvo returned it 18 yards to the NorthWood 41 on the next possession. Three passing plays later Chatard quarterback Carter Ruffing found Early for a 13 yard score with just 33 second left before the break.


Things didn’t get any easier for NorthWood in the second half as Mason scored twice more in short order. He ran 80 yards on the first play from scrimmage and followed up that Class 3A championship game mark with another class record, a 77 yard punt return for a score.


NorthWood, under coach Rich Dodson, completed its season 11-4. The Panthers were making their fifth appearance in a state championship game, each time coming away as the runner-up.



Josh Sabo of NorthWood named 3A Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winner

Josh Sabo of Class 3A state runner-up NorthWood High School was named winner of the 2003 Class 3A Football Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award. 


At the conclusion of each state championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee presents the award to an outstanding senior participant in the football state tournament.  The recipient of the award, who was nominated by his principal and coach, must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability. The award is named in honor of the third commissioner of the IHSAA who served from 1962 to 1976 and oversaw the beginning of the state football tournament.


Josh ranks 40th in his senior class of 165 with a GPA of 3.678, while taking the most rigorous course load that is offered.  He will receive an Academic Honors Diploma, and has earned a spot on the Principal’s Honor Roll each of his four years at NorthWood.  In addition, he has garnered Scholar Athlete and Student Athlete of the Week awards.  He plans to attend either Bethel College or Taylor University.


He has been active in the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a member of the Praise Band, with volunteer activities which include involvement with the Family Christian Development Center.


In addition to his contributions on the gridiron, Josh has been a member of the basketball and track teams for the Panthers each year.  He will earn two letters on the hardwood and four on the track.


Josh in the son of Jean and Joe Sabo of Nappanee.


Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA corporate partner, presented a $1,000.00 scholarship to NorthWood High School in the name of Josh Sabo.



Game Notes


Indianapolis Bishop Chatard Ties For Most State Championships In State History

With the state championship, Bishop Chatard moves into a tie with Ben Davis and Roncalli for most football championships in state history.


Team                                       Total    Years

Ben Davis                                  7          1987 (5A), 1988 (5A), 1990 (5A), 1991 (5A), 1999 (5A), 2001 (5A), 2002 (5A)

Indianapolis Bishop Chatard   7          1983 (2A), 1984 (2A), 1997 (3A), 1998 (3A), 2001 (3A), 2002 (3A), 2003 (3A)

Roncalli                                     7          1985 (3A), 1988 (3A), 1993 (3A), 1994 (3A), 1999 (3A), 2002 (4A), 2003 (4A)

Fort Wayne Bishop Luers           6          1985 (2A), 1989 (2A), 1992 (2A), 1999 (2A), 2001 (2A), 2002 (2A)

Sheridan                                   6          1980 (A), 1984 (A), 1987 (A), 1988 (A), 1992 (A), 1998 (A)


Second Chatard Championship Shutout in Three Years

Bishop Chatard also bettered Andrean, 3-0, in the 2001 3A title contest, the lowest scoring championship game in state finals history.


Still Perfect in Championship Contests

Bishop Chatard has won the state championship in all seven games it has appeared in over the years – 1983 (2A), 1984 (2A), 1997 (3A), 1998 (3A), 2001-2003 (3A), including a 2-0 mark over NorthWood in those games. Chatard claimed a 23-6 win over NorthWood in the 1998 3A title game as well.


Three-Peat in Class 3A

The Trojans became the first school in Class 3A and just the third school in state finals football history to claim three consecutive state championships. They join Franklin Central in 2A (1980-82) and Penn in 5A (1995-97) as other teams to win three straight.


State Championship Records

Team Records

Most Points In A Quarter: (Set Overall and 3A) 35 in the second quarter.

Most Points In A Half: (Set 3A) 35 in first half.

Largest Margin of Victory: (Set 3A) 49 points.

Most Rushing Yards: (Tied 3A) 349 by Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.

Most Rushing Touchdowns: (Set 3A) 5 by Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.

Total Offensive Yards: (Set 3A) 432 by Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.

Most Punt Return Yards: (Set 3A) 80 by Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.

Most Interceptions: (Tied 3A) 4 by Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.


Individual Records

Most Rushing TDs (Tied 3A) 4 by Dray Mason, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.

Most Points Scored: (Set 3A) 30 by Dray Mason, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.

Most Touchdowns: (Set 3A) 5 by Dray Mason, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.

Most PATs: (Set 3A) 7 by Kevin Ball, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.

Longest TD Run: (Set 3A) 80 yards by Dray Mason, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.

Longest Punt Return (Set 3A) 77 yards by Dray Mason, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.

Longest Play From Scrimmage (Set 3A) 80 yard run by Dray Mason, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.


New IHSAA Book, Play On, Recaps 100 Years Of High School Sports in Indiana

Looking for holiday gift ideas? The exciting new book, Play On, celebrating 100 years of high school sports in Indiana, is perfect for that sports fan or the history buff you know. Filled with 150 pages of engaging photographs, captivating stories and a walk down memory lane, it’s now on sale through the Indiana High School Athletic Association. It’s not available in book stores, so contact the IHSAA at 317-846-6601 or click on the link above to learn more about this special tribute to 100 years of Indiana high school athletics.


Team Posters And Individual Action Photographs Available

Visit 20-20 Photographic, the IHSAA’s photographer and the Midwest’s Leader in Sports Action Photography, for images captured during this weekend’s state championship games! Action photos and team photos as well as the 20-20’s Ultimate Sports Poster will be available for purchase later in the week following the state finals.


IHSAA State Championship Merchandise

For t-shirts and other merchandise commemorating this year’s tournament or for any of our events, visit our friends at Morris, Inc.


State Finals Programs Available

Couldn’t be there for the football state finals? You can still purchase a copy of the official state finals program while supplies last! Programs are $3.00 if you purchase in person at the IHSAA Office (9150 N. Meridian Street in Indianapolis) or $5.00 by mail (postage included). To order, send a check for $5.00 made payable to the IHSAA, a note including your return address and brief description of your request and mail to: IHSAA Programs, PO Box 40650, Indianapolis, IN 46240-0650. Sorry, no credit cards.





Indianapolis Bishop Chatard Coach Vince Lorenzano

“Our three state championships in a row are definitely a tribute to a great group of kids we have. These kids are experienced warriors and the bottom line is they get it done. I’m just happy to be on the sidelines guiding such a talented group. The success of this program goes back to the early 1980s. I feel very fortunate and very lucky to be a part of all of this.”


(On 35 point second quarter) “We’ve scored in bunches all year. I was especially happy with our production because we stuck to the original game plan. The points really added up fast as a result of our continuous attacking on offense.”


(On the Chatard offense) “We use over 40 formations, tonight we found a couple of those they didn’t adjust to very well. We simply put more people at the point of attack and were successful doing that.”


(On Dray Mason) “He has really come up with big games like this all season. The hard thing to believe is that he carried this team today despite a mild hamstring injury. He’s done a tremendous job in the state tournament and really helped us get to this game. Above all, he’s a great football player, but more importantly, a great kid.”


Indianapolis Bishop Chatard Player Dray Mason

“The offensive line we have is fantastic. They allow me to do what I do. This team is full of a lot of hard workers who are great teammates. I thought we really came out, played hard and left it all on the field. We really wanted to dedicate this game to our seniors. This team has communicated well with one another the entire season and regardless of the situation we have learned to never give up.”


NorthWood Coach Rich Dodson

“When we got through that first quarter with no score, I really thought we had the ability to play with them. We had some turnovers and after that things just got out of hand.”


“Obviously, they have some really good, talented individuals. Our inability to move the football in the second quarter hurt us. They got their momentum going and the second quarter snowballed on us.”


“We had an opportunity to score first on a team like Chatard. It might have painted a little doubt in their mind. But I doubt if they would have panicked. It would have been nice to at least said we led this ballgame.”