EC Caps Off Perfect, Dominant Season with Class 4A Repeat

The Trojans defeated NorthWood 42-14 behind four INTs from the Trojans defense and three scores from Josh Ringer.

East Central after their IHSAA Class 4A State Championship win. Photo by the IHSAA. 

INDIANAPOLIS - East Central's offense had a slow start, but once they got going it was lights out for NorthWood. 

The Trojans repeated as IHSAA Class 4A State Champions on Saturday with a 42-14 win over the Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. 

It was the fourth state championship win in program history. 

The game was scoreless after the first quarter, but the EC offense exploded for 21 points in the second quarter. Cole Burton made the first touchdown of the game on a four-yard QB keeper that capped off a lengthy 16 play drive. NorthWood would answer quickly on their next play from scrimmage with a 65-yard TD pass from Owen Roeder to four-star Georgia commit Nitro Tuggle. 

The Panthers tried to catch the Trojans sleeping on the ensuing kickoff with an onside kick attempt that was recovered by freshman Ryan Minges. The Trojans scored a few plays later on a 30-yard TD run by Ryan Brotherton. 

Then it was the Josh Ringer show from there. After stopping NorthWood on downs in their own territory, Josh Ringer scored his first TD of the game to give the Trojans a 21-7 lead going into halftime. 

Ringer finished the game with a season high 34 carries for 251 yards and three touchdowns, perhaps cementing himself as 2023 Indiana Mr. Football. 

The Miami (Oh.) commit also furthered his EC legacy by setting two more rushing records. His 251 yards brought his season total to 2,880, breaking Andrew Wolf's previous record of 2,756 yards. Ringer also finished the season averaging 10.3 yards per carry, which broke Eric Rosemeyer's record of 9.5 YPC. 

The State Championship Game wasn't all about offense, however. The EC defense bent at times, giving up over 340 yards of offense including 228 passing yards. But the Trojans came up with timely stops and created four turnovers, including a pick-six from senior safety Moses Wheat. Carson Pieczonka finished with two interceptions, while Brayden Rouse had one. Eli Ertel, Connor Kuhn, and Dylan Maxwell were among the other top performers, defensively. 

Senior linebacker Dylan Maxwell was named the Phil Eskew Mental Attitude Award Winner. 

In the end, the state championship win capped off the second perfect season in East Central program history. The 1994 team also went unbeaten on their way to a state title. 

2023 vs. 1994 Comparison 

  • 2023: 49.3 PPG, 6.4 Points Allowed Per Game, 42.8 Margin of Victory
  • 1994: 45.4 PPG, 7.6 Points Allowed Per Game, 37.2 Margin of Victory

Overall, East Central now has four state championship wins, coming in 2023, 2022, 2017 and 1994. 

Due to their recent success in Class 4A, East Central will play at the 5A level the next two seasons. 



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