INDIANAPOLIS -- Mater Dei will keep waiting for its second IHSAA football state championship.
The title drought continued following a 21-9 loss to Andrean in the Class 2A title game on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Wildcats have not won a state championship since beating Fort Wayne Luers in 2000 at the RCA Dome. They've been runners-up four times since.
Mater Dei (12-3) had an opportunity to win this game, which was scoreless through halftime. The Wildcats led on two separate occasions in the second half, including during the fourth quarter following a 31-yard field goal from Camden Marx.
But Andrean (12-3) answered with the biggest plays of the day. Drayk Bowen scored twice and forced a fumble when Mater Dei had a chance to drive for the lead.
The Wildcats' defensive front kept them in the game, keeping the 59ers off the scoreboard in the first half. The trio of James Ralph, Nicholas Boots and Tyler Martin were quite impressive.
Mater Dei had an opportunity to take the lead or even win the game in the fourth quarter. Down 15-9, the Wildcats faced third-and-10 at their own 20. Mason Wunderlich dropped back but had no time to find a receiver. Bowen forced a fumble and it was recovered by Dominic Ditola. The 59ers scored on the next play to make it 21-9.
Play of the Game
Bowen was close to breaking off several runs, including one that was called back on a holding penalty. The Notre Dame commit finally made it happen with 2:13 left in the third quarter. Bowen met two defenders at the second level but bounced to his left. The junior out-ran the rest to the left pylon for a 29-yard touchdown, the first score for the 59ers and a sign of more to come.
Player of the Game
Bowen looked like a different player on the field. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior required multiple tacklers to bring him down on nearly every carry. He also showed why he is the 22nd ranked recruit in the Class of 2023 on defense. Bowen finished with 171 yards rushing (three touchdowns) and 2.5 tackles for loss.
Andrean 0 0 7 14 — 21
Ev. Mater Dei 0 0 6 3 — 9
EM -- Mason Wunderlich 22 run (kick blocked)
A -- Drayk Bowen 29 run (Nico Tovar kick)
EMD -- Camden Marx FG 31
A -- Bowen 2 run (Bowen run)
A -- Bowen 3 run (run failed)
Rushing — Andrean: Bowen 24-171, Billy Jones Jr. 2-(minus-1), Scott Ballentine 3-(minus-26); Evansville Mater Dei: Joey Pierre 16-48, Wunderlich 6-11, Humphrey 2-9, Eli McDurmon 2-(minus-3).
Passing — Andrean: S. Ballentine 15-23-0 115; Evansville Mater Dei: Wunderlich 19-37-2 201.
Receiving — Andrean: Patrick Clacks III 6-51, Alonzo Paul Jr. 4-20, Robby Ballentine 3-44, Eddie Bastardo 2-0; Evansville Mater Dei: Ethan Stolz 6-79, E. McDurmon 5-88, Bryce Humphrey 3-7, Pierre 2-10, Luke McDurmon 2-6, Drew Martin 1-11.
Follow Courier & Press sports reporter Kyle Sokeland on Twitter @kylesokeland.
This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: IHSAA football playoffs: Andrean defeats Mater Dei in 2A state title