INDIANAPOLIS — Ben Kuhns and Christian Conkling suited up for one last high school football game on Friday night.
Playing for the South All-Stars in the Indiana Football Coaches Association’s (IFCA) North-South All-Star Game, the two Pendleton Heights stalwarts capped off terrific prep careers before they take the next step into college.
Conkling and Kuhns were a part of the third senior class for current Arabians coach Jed Richman and helped lift Pendleton Heights to a No. 13 final ranking in both Associated Press and IFCA polls. Both were freshmen in the final year of the John Broughton era.
A three-year starter at quarterback, Conkling had a stellar final year, throwing for 1,653 yards and 23 touchdowns. Those numbers were both top 10 in Class 4A in 2018 with his mark for touchdowns tying him for second most in the class.
Those numbers were third and second best, respectively, in the Hoosier Heritage Conference. In four years at Pendleton Heights, he threw for just over 4,000 yards, had 45 passing touchdowns and a completion percentage of 53.7%.
The former Arabian looked strong in his first three drives, tossing long balls of 13, 15 and 48 yards for big first downs. In his first two drives, he threw just one incompletion and was the more efficient quarterback of the two south gunslingers.
Conkling won’t be going too far from home for college, taking his talents to the University of Indianapolis this season.
After spending a week of camp at Key Stadium on the campus of UIndy, Conkling said he is excited to get to work.
Of course, none of Conkling’s numbers would have been possible without strong work up front from Kuhns.
Getting the start at left tackle, Kuhns put in good work for the South team and nearly helped them to their first win over the North in five years.
Putting in reps with the first team, the 6-foot-3, 265-pound Kuhns pushed bodies around and paved the way for the South skill players. He was on the field when the South tried to mount a last-ditch effort to pull off the win.
Unlike Conkling, Kuhns will not be playing football next year and will be heading to Purdue University in the fall.
Kuhns, like Conkling, was a three-year starter for the Arabians, spending the last two seasons in the trenches. He played tight end his sophomore year.
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