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The 2012 Lawrenceburg team mantra was “Excellent Tradition, Exciting Future” and the Tigers fulfilled those aspirations with style, class and flair. It was a season for the record books and one to rekindle past glories of a program that oozes with football lore.
Fans were treated to an explosive offense that lit up the scoreboard for 537 points. They were treated to eight contests on Neary Field at Dick Meador Stadium. The community supported the team and the kids responded in what was one of the most enjoyable years in the history of the orange and black.
Let’s take a game-by-game look at Lawrenceburg Tigers 2012 campaign:
GAME #1 – LAWRENCEBURG 63, SOUTH DEARBORN 19: The first two quarters of this game would be a sign of the great things to come for Lawrenceburg as they jumped out to a 49-0 halftime advantage on the way to routing South Dearborn. It marked the second straight season the Tigers have knocked off the Knights in a non-conference opener. Six of Lawrenceburg’s nine touchdown drives took two less two minutes. Chad Banschbach started off his senior year in grand fashion with five rushing touchdowns on 17 carries while racking up 107 yards on the ground and 217 all-purpose yards. Sophomore quarterback Sam Fette threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns in his first varsity start. Robert Jackson caught four of Fette’s passes for 103 yards including a 75-yard score. Morgan Baker had a team-high five receptions for 79 yards and the other touchdown catch. Defensively, senior Justin Carlisle was in on 10 total tackles. Kicker Jake Newman went 9-9 on extra points in the victory.
GAME #2 – LAWRENCEBURG 45, TAYLOR 28: Down by five at the half, Lawrenceburg exploded for 21 unanswered third quarter points to defeat visiting Taylor, 45-28. The Neary Field faithful watched the orange and black outscore the boys from up Route 50, 30-6 over the final two quarters of play. The Tigers’ offense dominated as they amassed 525 total yards behind magical evenings from Baker and Banschbach. Baker caught six passes for a school record 203 yards and two touchdowns. Fette went 10-of-15 for 241 yards through the air. The Yellowjackets couldn’t stop Banschbach, who ran for a career-high 277 yards on 14 carries while finding the end zone four times. The senior running back just missed the program record of 288 yards in a contest held by Ki June Yoon (vs. Linton in 1998).
GAME #3 – LAWRENCEBURG 45, MILAN 16: As good as the Lawrenceburg offense was right out of the gate, the defense excelled after intermission as the Tigers beat rival Milan to remain unbeaten. The unit only ceded eight second-half points through their first two games and the trend continued here. Calem Lockard, Andrew Kort and Carlisle continued to lead by example on the field. The Tigers elected to grind it out behind Banschbach, who kept his hot play rolling in this matchup. He ran for 251 yards on 24 carries with three touchdowns and caught four passes for 87 more and another score. For the third straight week Banschbach eclipsed 200 all-purpose yards, ending with 389 in this affair. All of the senior’s solid productions would have not been possible without the efforts up front by classmates right tackle Bobby Weber, guards Josh Logsdon and Robert Feichtner along with juniors Alex Orndorff at left tackle and center Jesse Hennies.
GAME #4 – LAWRENCEBURG 21, GREENSBURG 20: Lawrenceburg blocked a 44-yard field goal attempt by Greensburg as time expired to preserve a 21-20 come-from-behind victory in their EIAC opener. The Tigers showed great heart and toughness as they dug down deep to outlast a hard-nosed Greensburg squad 21-20 as they capped off an undefeated three-game home stand. Carlisle made it known that he was not going to be denied a victory. The senior was in on 23 total tackles and had an interception as the Tigers bent but did not break, yielding 354 yards rushing to the Pirates. Outside of an 83-yard touchdown run by Banschbach yards were hard to come by for Lawrenceburg as they only mustered 112 more in the tilt. Banschbach had 152 yards rushing, two scores on the ground and 286 all-purpose yards.
GAME #5 – LAWRENCEBURG 31, FRANKLIN COUNTY 30: Call them the “cardiac kids”. Lawrenceburg went into the fourth quarter with a 21-16 lead over Franklin County only to see the difference dissipate before hanging on for a one-point victory and remain unbeaten. This affair proved to be very sloppy as both teams combined for 23 total penalties for over 200 yards. The defenses weren’t much better, giving up 735 yards of total offense and 31 first downs between them. Banschbach ran for 206 yards and two touchdowns. It marked the fifth straight week he has amassed more than 200 all-purpose yards and the third time in the last four contests that he has ran for over 200 yards. Fette threw two touchdowns, one to Baker and the other to sophomore Jacob Wesley. It would turn out to be Wesley’s only reception of the season. On defense, secondary members KC Hedger, Riley Lansing and Nico Jessee were in on 23 total tackles. Hedger led the trio with 11 takedowns and Lansing recovered a key fumble.
GAME #6 – LAWRENCEBURG 40, BATESVILLE 0: After two nail-biters everything seemed to fall into place for Lawrenceburg in the second half of their shutout over Batesville. The Tigers defense did not allow the Bulldogs past midfield until the fourth quarter while yielding just 100 yards of total offense on the night. Sophomore lineman Dylan Buckingham continued to build upon what has started out as the foundation of a great career after recording 11 tackles and recovering a fumble. The Lawrenceburg offense showed that it was not just a one-man show as Fette threw for 222 yards on 14-of-18 passing. Baker reeled in seven of those passes for 126 yards and a score. Jackson had four receptions for 99 yards. Lawrenceburg had eight scoring drives on the night. Newman ended half of those drives with four field goals, a career-high.
GAME #7 – EAST CENTRAL 27, LAWRENCEBURG 14: David slaying Goliath was not to be on this night as the East Central Trojans took another step toward their 11th EIAC title in 12 years knocking off the previously unbeaten Lawrenceburg Tigers, 27-14. The Class 2A Tigers just didn’t have the depth up front to last with the Class 4A Trojans. East Central won the time of possession battle by an astounding 33:05 to 14:05 margin. Payton Stonefield ran for 189 yards, threw for 47 more and had two touchdowns on the ground. The Trojans put up 450 total yards. Classmate Evan Fette would catch nine balls for 134 yards and he had an interception on defense. To compound matters, Lawrenceburg could never establish a running game mustering just three first downs in the affair. Banschbach was held to a season low 41 yards on 12 carries. The senior still found a way to make his mark on the contest with kickoff returns of 91 and 78 yards for touchdowns. He finished the night with 286 all-purpose yards.
GAME #8 – LAWRENCEBURG 50, SOUTH DEARBORN 21: For the second time in eight weeks the Lawrenceburg offense steamrolled through South Dearborn. This time the win counts in the EIAC standings. It was big plays all day for the Tigers. Fette completed just five passes for a personal best 254 yards and four touchdowns. Jackson was on the receiving end of three of those scores as he finished with a career-high 170 yards. Baker had three catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. He also had an interception on defense. It was the third time in seven tilts that Baker topped the century mark in receiving yards. Banschbach ran for 211 yards while finding the end zone twice. On defense, Lockard recorded at least 14 total tackles for a fifth straight game. Carlisle tallied 37 total tackles over the past two contests.
GAME #9 – LAWRENCEBURG 51, CLINTON PRAIRIE 6: A record-setting night by Banschbach will go down as perhaps the most dominant individual performance ever by a Lawrenceburg player as they posted 51 points by halftime in an undressing of Clinton Prairie. The senior ran for a school record 343 yards on 10 carries, six of which for touchdowns. He did all of his damage in the first half. The large lead allowed head coach Ryan Knigga a chance to get an extended look at Banschbach’s heir apparents, sophomores Jordan Kauffman and Konner Jackson, who combined for 140 yards of offense.
GAME #10 – LAWRENCEBURG 55, CRAWFORD COUNTY 0: It proved to be quite an encore for Lawrenceburg. The Tigers scored 50 points before intermission for a second week in a row. Banschbach was at it again with 194 yards rushing on nine totes and three scores. Fette had eight completions, four of which went for touchdowns Baker, Robert Jackson, Grant Ricketts and Jacob Rohrer. Jackson improved upon a personal best mark he set just three games earlier with 197 yards receiving. KC Hedger got rewarded for all his hard work on defense by getting a carry and finding the end zone for the first time this season. The Tigers are averaging 41.5 points per game.
GAME #11 – LAWRENCEBURG 56, CLARKSVILLE 7: Banschbach became the first Lawrenceburg player to top the 2,000-yard mark rushing as the Tigers took down Clarksville to advance to the Sectional 31 finals. Banschbach’s historic night saw him find the end zone five times and rush for 185 yards. This is the first time since 2008 that the Tigers have won 10 games in a season. Fette threw for 193 yards with two touchdown passes to Baker. Clarksville tied the game at seven then Lawrenceburg scored 56 unanswered points to end the contest. Lawrenceburg topped the 50-point mark for the fourth week in a row. It meant they would be playing their first sectional championship since 2005. Lawrenceburg has won 15 Sectional titles in their history, but none since 2005.
GAME #12 – LAWRENCEBURG 52, PAOLI 34: Experience favored Paoli. They were making their fourth straight Sectional finals appearance, but it was offense that stole the show for Lawrenceburg as they capture the programs 16th Sectional title and first since 2005. For the fifth straight game Lawrenceburg topped the 50-point mark. Banschbach set the tone returning the opening kickoff 83 yards to put the Tigers up 7-0. It was the start of a wild first quarter that ended with Lawrenceburg leading 21-13. The scoring barrage didn’t stop there as the victors built a 35-26 halftime advantage. Paoli pulled to within a point as they scored with 3:34 left in the thirds quarter to make it, 35-34. The Tigers marched right back down the field and scored on a Fette-to-Baker 22-yard toss to push the lead back up to eight at 42-34. Newman added a fourth-quarter field goal to give his team a 45-34 advantage. Banschbach finished the deal with his 39th touchdown of the season with over two minutes left in the affair. His 200 yards rushing marked the sixth time in 12 outings that he has eclipsed that mark. Fette threw for 186 yards with three touchdown passes. Baker caught five of Fette’s passes for 130 yards and two scores.
GAME #13 – MATER DEI 33, LAWRENCEBURG 14: When it came down to grit and wanting it more, the Mater Dei (11-2) defense flexed its muscles holding the high powered Lawrenceburg (11-2) offense to just 14 points while winning a Class 2A Regional title. It was an impressive showing on the road holding down the Tigers who had scored 50 points or more in their previous five tilts. Relentless Rams pressure caused three interceptions as Lawrenceburg dug a hole that they could never climb out of. The Wildcats offense did their share to keep their opposite off the field. The visitors racked up 299 yards rushing on 48 carries. Mater Dei quarterback, Jack Hartz ran for three touchdowns and tossed two more. Noland Goebel led all runners with 144 yards on the ground. Baker caught seven passes for 113 yards, Banschbach found the end zone twice in defeat.
MILESTONES AND MORE:
--Lawrenceburg won the program’s 16th Sectional title. The Tigers extended their playoff success to a record of 45-19 (.703%) in Sectional action and 59-33 (.641%) overall in the postseason. The team set the school record with 538 points in a season.
--Head coach Ryan Knigga is now 16-8 in two years leading his alma mater.
--The honors and accolades for Chad Banschbach were very impressive being named AP Class 2A All-Indiana, Top 50 All-State Coaches Association, MVP of the EIAC as well as earning the TriStateFootball.com Indiana Offensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season. He set school records for rushing yards in a season (2,395), rushing yards in a game (343), rushing touchdowns in a season (36), total touchdowns in a season (41), longest kickoff return (91 yards), kickoff returns for touchdowns in a season (3), most points in a game (36) and most points in a season (249).
--Not to be outdone by his aforementioned classmate, Jake Newman was named AP Class 2A All-Indiana, IFCA Class 2A Senior All-Indiana, Academic All-State. He set school records for career field goals (10), field goals in a season (8), extra points in a career (26), extra points in a season (67), extra points in a game (9), extra point percentage in a season (97%, 67-69), kicking points in a season (91), touchbacks in a season (22), touchbacks in a game (5) and longest field goal (48 yards).
--Morgan Baker became the first Tiger in history to have more than 1,000 yards receiving on his way to All-EIAC honors. He set school records for receptions in a season (46), yards receiving in a season (1,009), receiving yards in a game (203) and touchdown receptions in a season (10).
--Robert Jackson, the team’s top deep threat, caught 28 passes for 795 yards, a 28.4 per catch average and six touchdowns on his way to All-EIAC honors. He tied a school record with three touchdown receptions in a game.
--A brilliant campaign was turned in by defensive back KC Hedger, who was named Academic All-State and All-EIAC and All-EIAC.
--Justin Carlisle earned the Pat O’Niell Award as the team MVP and All-EIAC. He set the school record for Defensive Points in a game (43).
--Calem Lockard was an absolute terror on defense and he was rewarded by being named to the All-EIAC team.
--Lawrenceburg and quarterback Sam Fette shattered the school’s single-season passing records The sophomore was named All-EIAC for his efforts. He set the school record for passing yards in a season (2,195), most touchdown passes (23), most pass attempts in a season (208) and most pass completions in a season (114).
--Only a junior, Jesse Hennies won the Tremain Award as he was voted the Tigers’ best lineman.
Lawrenceburg has been named the TristateFootball.com Indiana Team of the Year. The Tigers will be recognized at our NKY/Indiana Year in Review Show coming up on Monday, January 21st, 2013 at Quaker Steak & Lube in Florence, Kentucky. Please stay tuned to our website for further details.
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Greg is a co-founder of TSF and is now entering his ninth season as a Featured Analyst for the website. The Xavier University grad also serves as the Content Manager for the website and is widely considered one of the top high school football experts in the region. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.