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That Was Then, This Is Now: Remembering Coach Mo’s 1998 Bloomington South title team

By: Scott Burnstein, September 19, 2018, 1:20 pm

Hall of Famer Mo Moriarty and his coaching style on the gridiron are timeless treasures in Bloomington.

Twenty years ago next month, Bloomington South sewed up a Class 5A state football championship by blasting Homestead, 35-14, in the state finals held at the old RCA Dome. This season, the Coach Mo Maulers are off to a 3-2 start to the campaign and are receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 10 poll. South’s current club is just starting to hit its stride and should be primed for the stretch run.

The 1998 club (Coach Mo’s second state crown at BHS that decade) was a fireworks factory of a squad spearheaded by future NFL quarterback Rex Grossman, who would go on to lead the Chicago Bears to an appearance in the 2007 Super Bowl. The 2018 team also has an explosive offense sparked by field general Trent Richardson, tailback Maverick Thiery and wide receiver Jordan Meeks — in Week 5’s 52-35 throttling of Tera Haute South, Thiery went bonkers, rushing for 295 yards and three touchdowns on the ground and Meeks caught a pair of scoring tosses from Richardson.

Back in ’98, the South pigskin crew was known as the “TCB Boys,” determined to Take Care of (UNFINISHED) Business from the prior campaign’s state finals flameout. Boy, did the Panthers do just that, putting a severe hurting on Homestead that day. Grossman and his sure-handed stable of wide receivers (Steve Sutherland, Adam and Tommy Hayes, Aaron Murphy, etc.) sliced and diced the Homestead secondary for five touchdowns through the air. A defense sparked by Charles Davis and Shawn Kemp kept Homestead at bay down the stretch – they had two sacks apiece.

WOW, what a collection of BALLERS, SHOT CALLERS, BOSSES and HOSSES all together in one locker room during that very special season in the fall of ’98. That place must have been overflowing with MAD SWAG!! I suspect the combined BALLERDOM of that gridiron gang could have solved the world’s energy crisis. Yeah, that’s the kind of electricity I’m talking about. What’s know for sure though is that the ’98 team will live in BIG PURPLE NATION lore and Panthers’ fans hearts forever, known for being DEM BOYZ who FINISHED THE BUSINESS for B-Town!!