Challenge and adversity, what every competitive sports team, at every level faces during a season. However the 2012 Bishop Luers Knights season had challenges and adversity that nobody saw coming into the season.
The season had incredibly high expectations as it does every year at Luers. This year though, a possibility of history was on the horizon, a four-peat. Only one other school in state history had accomplished this rare feat.
At about the halfway point during the season the unthinkable happened. The firing of head coach Matt Lindsay. All of a sudden 26 years of experience (229 wins and 9 state titles) and leadership was gone.
So, this was a time when Luers could have simply slid to mediocrity, let history fade away, and everyone would have been fine with it considering the circumstances. Wrong. This is Luers!
Interim Coach Steve Keefer stepped in along with the original assistants and coordinators remaining in place. The Bishop Luers Knights left the distractions behind and marched forward to do the unthinkable. Methodically, yet cautiously, the Knights captured the Sectional, Regional and Semi-States before returning to a familiar place in Indianapolis, the state finals.
On November 23rd, 2012 the Knights kicked off at Lucas Oil Stadium against an undefeated opponent, Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter. Luers jumped out to an astounding 27- 0 lead before Ritter scored a touchdown at the end of the first half. The halftime score was Luers 27, Ritter 7. Ritter continued to mount an incredible comeback in the second half and got the score as close as 27- 21 and 33-28. However this was as close as they got.
The Knights Jaylon Smith, who is committed to play football at Notre Dame next fall, ran in a 16-yard touchdown with less than 3 minutes remaining to put the score out of reach for Ritter. The final score read: Bishop Luers 40, Cardinal Ritter 28.
The second half of the state championship summarized the Knights season quite well. They overcame adversity time and time again through the second half and the season itself to achieve their goal. Congratulations to the Bishop Luers Knights on making history, a four-peat!