Senior sports writer
Franklin Central began the football season with the goal of winning the Conference Indiana championship in its final season in the league.
The Class 6A No. 14 Flashes, under second-year coach Grant Lewis, achieved that goal Friday at home by defeating Terre Haute South 52-17 for their first conference crown since 2005. It was also a milestone 400th win for the program.
Michael Pitz scored three touchdowns and gained 175 yards on only eight carries for the Flashes, and quarterback Dylan Bishop connected on 12-of-17 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He has completed 68 percent of his passes this season.
The Flashes (7-1, 6-0), winners of six consecutive games, can earn the conference title outright Friday by defeating Terre Haute North on the road. FC’s only loss was to non-league foe Roncalli on Aug. 25.
Perry Meridian won its first game of the season by defeating Terre Haute North 21-12.
Roncalli (5A No. 1) had the state’s longest winning streak of 22 games until losing to host Decatur Central (5A No. 5) which more than matched the Rebels point-for-point 49-45. DC’s winning TD came on a 29-yard run with less than three minutes left for the seventh and final lead change.
Roncalli’s fifth TD came on an 80-yard pass play from Connor Gore to Jacob Luedeman in the third quarter. The Rebels’ ground game picked up more than 300 yards and five TDs with Gore and Patrick McManama each scoring twice. Elijah Mahan ran for 146 yards, McManama 99 and Gore 67.
The Rebels (7-1, 2-0) can claim their second straight Circle City Conference title at home Friday against 3A No. 14 Guerin Catholic (6-2, 0-2).
By dominating Broad Ripple, Manual notched its second straight winning season with its fifth win.
Final regular-season games also find 6A No. 13 Columbus North (7-1, 5-1) at Southport (7-1, 5-1), Perry Meridian (1-7, 1-5) at Bloomington South (3-5, 2-4), 1A No. 3 Lutheran (6-2) at Shortridge (4-3), Mooresville (0-8) at Beech Grove (4-4), Manual (5-3) vs. Tindley (5-3) at Indiana Deaf School, Whiteland (2-6, 2-4) at Greenwood (6-2, 3-2), 6A No. 9 Center Grove (4-4) vs. 5A No. 2 Cathedral (3-5) at Tech.