News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

November 24, 2013

‘Best team in school history’: Memorable North football season ends at semistate

INDIANAPOLIS — Terre Haute North’s record-breaking high school football season came to a close Friday night against one of the most tradition-laden programs in the state’s history.

Indianapolis Cathedral is seeking a fourth straight state championship and 11th overall. The Fighting Irish offensive line created holes for Gabe Cross, who ran for 250 yards on 22 carries. The Patriots (10-3) finished with a school record for wins behind an offense that averaged 38 points per game, but they couldn't completely dig out of an early hole and fell 42-20.

Coach Chris Barrett was disappointed to see it come to an end, but it was a gratifying season for the 19-year veteran coach. Barrett’s son, Chris Barrett II, finished his senior season with more than 1,500 yards passing after a solid effort against the Irish.

“The worst thing about losing tonight is losing that group of kids,” coach Barrett said. “We’ve won some, we’ve lost some, that’s just part of the game. But life’s about relationships and that’s about as close a group as I’ve been to [on a personal level]. With my son being a senior and his friends being at my house, losing that group of guys is going to be the toughest thing for me to deal with.”

The North rushing game was its biggest strength all season, but the Irish focused on slowing Ricky Brookins, who had a school-record 1,961 yards on the ground going into the Class 5A semistate game at Indianapolis Tech.

Brookins got 13 carries for 50 yards and five catches for 45 yards, as the Patriots had to rely heavily on the passing game after falling behind 21-0 in the first six minutes.

“I think we slowed him down. I don’t think we stopped him,” Cathedral coach Rick Streiff said. “And we took some other things away.”

Barrett II was on target all night, but Cathedral was able to pick up its pass rush in the second half after building on an 11-point halftime lead.

“Probably his best game. Proud of his composure and ability to deliver the ball tonight,” Barrett said of his son. “He was really sharp, very proud of him. If you’re going to go out, go out swinging.”

Barrett finished with 123 yards passing for the night, connecting with senior Nate Carson nine times for 80 yards.

“It’s a heartbreaker,” Carson said afterward. “They’ve got a great program. They just played a better football game throughout the night. They’re a really good team. They came out to play [at the start] and we didn’t.”

The elder Barrett hopes the North program can build off this memorable season.

“We’ll bounce back and get going again with next year’s team, but that team is very special to me,” he said. “They’ve set so many individual and team records. Wins, rushing yards. It’s the best team in school history. Team 43 will go down as the best team in school history.”

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Sports
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Put your back into it: Indiana State's Jake Odum guards Loyola's Matt O'Leary in the second half of action during the the Sycamores' 75-62 win on Friday in the MVC Tournament in St. Louis.

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SPT 030714 ODUM 02O'LEARY.jpg

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