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Valiant Penn effort comes up short in state-title game

Penn High School’s football team waged a valiant effort against No. 1-ranked Center Grove in the Class 6-A state championship game Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Penn came up short on the scoreboard as Center Grove captured a 28-16 victory, but the Kingsmen were never short on heart or fight.

“I sleep well at night knowing that our kids are going to battle,” Penn head coach Cory Yeoman said. “I know we’ll never back down, and we’ll keep rocking back. That’s exactly what we did tonight.

“We made some great plays, we did some things, we just couldn’t make enough of them, but it wasn’t because of lack of preparation, or lack of effort. I’m forever grateful and thankful for this senior class and how they led this football team.”

A community celebration of Penn’s season will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday in the Penn High School main arena.

Penn closed to 14-3 when Sam Scholtes kicked a 21-yard field goal with 3:10 left in the second quarter.

An 11-play, 77-yard march to open the third quarter allowed the Kingsmen to pull within 14-10. James Iapalucchi hauled in a 15-yard TD strike from Camden Bohn for the score.

Bohn blasted through the Center Grove defense for a 10-yard TD run with 8:38 left in the fourth quarter to help Penn close to 21-16.

Bohn was 12-of-18 passing for 139 yards, and he rushed 16 times for 88 yards to lead Penn’s “Gold Rush” offense.

John Ohlson caught six passes for 75 yards, and Brice Voorde caught four passes for 43 yards.

Kobe Woods led Penn’s “Wild Bunch” defense with 13 tackles. Parker Adkins had 10 tackles, Paul Moala nine, Reece Treber eight, Will Vakalahi six and Jason Alexander five. Will Vakalahi and Zach Main made a tackle for loss each.

Penn finishes the 2015 season with a 12-2 record, winning semistate, regional, sectional and Northern Indiana Conference championships.

After the game, Penn’s Camden Bohn said that the entire senior class played a leadership role in the Kingsmen success.

“I think the senior class is great,” Bohn said. “A lot of players go unnoticed, and you don’t hear their names on Friday or Saturday night, but those are some of the true leaders. They lead the team in practice, and that allows us to perform well.”