Center Grove football team caps perfect season

By Mark Ambrogi

The Center Grove High School football team dominated its final game much like it had all season.

“I didn’t know we’d quite roll like we did,” Trojans coach Eric Moore said. “But that’s what we do, when we get going, we roll.”

The Class 6A No. 1 Trojans led 38-7 at halftime en route to a 38-14 victory over No. 2 Westfield in the 6A state championship Nov. 27 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Center Grove finished 14-0 en route to winning its third state title. The Trojans outscored opponents 589-107.

The Center Grove Trojans pose for a photo with the IHSAA Class 6A state title trophy. (Photos by Jacob Musselman)

“In the second half, it was my fault, I tried to be a little conservative,” Moore said. “I tried to do a couple things to keep them from having a short field and it backfired on me, so bad coaching by me. Anyway, we had fun. The kids love playing for Center Grove, from second grade on they run this offense and play this defense. I’m so blessed to be where I’m at, the administration, the community and the parents coming together. This week is a hard week for coaches and all they did is help us. Our parents are helping all the time. Our kids are very deserving of this championship.”

Senior running back Carson Steele rushed for 138 yards on 31 attempts, including TD runs of 2 and 1 yards.

“Our defense played lights out and put us in great field position,” said Steele, who finished with 1,677 yards and 33 touchdowns. “Our offensive line really helped us out getting five yards each and every time. It really broke down their defense.”

Center Grove Trojans junior running back Jackson Griffin runs the ball Nov. 27 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Trojans beat the Westfield Shamrocks 38-14.

Junior quarterback Tayven Jackson completed 9 of 16 passes for 180 yards, including touchdown passes of 73 and 10 yards to senior Trent Vieth (5 catches for 111 yards).

“I thought the offense did really good,” Jackson said. “We came out strong with the run game. We got some passes open. We struggled a bit in the second half, but we got the W, so that’s all that matters. Going undefeated and winning the state championship, nothing is better than that.

To do it with these seniors and send them out strong, that’s a good feeling. We’re going to try to get back here next year, that’s the goal.”

Center Grove Trojans senior running back Carson Steele runs the ball in for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Westfield Shamrocks during the IHSAA 6A state title game.

Center Grove lost to Carmel 20-17 in the 2019 Class 6A state final.

“It’s a very experienced group,” Moore said. “We have some guys coming back and we’ll be good next year. But this senior group is phenomenal. They made plays all year.”