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Indiana Football Digest's Top Games - 2018 Sectional Finals

CLASS 6A SECTIONAL 2

VALPARAISO (8-2) AT PENN (8-2)

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, TCU Freed Field.

COACHES: Bill Marshall, 8-3 in first season at Valparaiso. Cory Yeoman, 174-34 in 16th season at Penn.

LAST CONTEST: Valparaiso beat Chesterton, 55-7. Penn beat Warsaw, 16-7.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Penn, 21-3, on August 17, 2018.

UP NEXT: Valparaiso hosts Merrillville (7-3) or Crown Point (4-6) for regional. Penn plays at Crown Point or entertains Merrillville.

TOP PERFORMERS: Jesse Harper caught two passes for 68 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings against Chesterton. Brock Boynton had four receptions for 51 yards with a score and threw a 51-yard pass for the Kingsmen against Warsaw.

COACH TALK: “In order to come out on top this Friday, we will need to continue our offensive output as we have done the past two weeks. We also need to remain sound defensively with our gap integrity across the defensive line and linebacker corps. In all, we need to limit our own mistakes, which we were not able to do the first time we played Penn and they were able to capitalize on.” – Valparaiso’s Bill Marshall.

“We need to limit big plays on defense and get first downs against a strong defense. Our special teams’ play also needs to be solid.” – Penn’s Cory Yeoman.

CLASS 6A SECTIONAL 4

CARMEL (8-2) AT LAFAYETTE JEFF (9-1)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Sheumann Stadium.

COACHES: John Hebert, 36-14 in fourth season at Carmel. Pat Shanley, 25-6 in third season at Lafayette Jeff.

LAST CONTEST: Carmel beat Westfield, 28-7. Lafayette Jeff beat Noblesville, 35-24.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Carmel, 41-20, on November 3, 2017 in sectional final.

UP NEXT: Carmel entertains Fort Wayne Snider (8-2) or Homestead (7-3) for regional. Lafayette Jeff hosts Homestead or travels to Fort Wayne Snider.

TOP PERFORMERS: Gabe Quigley ran three times for 58 yards and a touchdown for the Greyhounds against Westfield. Marquis Munoz raced 25 times for 106 yards for the Bronchos against Noblesville.

COACH TALK: “Lafayette Jeff is an explosive team on offense with several playmakers. Their tempo is very fast and designed to make the defense defend the entire field over the course of a drive. Our challenge will be to establish defensive control of the game. We’ll have to be very focused on our game plan and communicating very well. Defensively, the Bronchos are athletic and quick as well. Running the football and setting up the passing game will be our goals. Just like in every big game, field position and special teams will be very important. We hope that our coverage units can create long fields for them.” – Carmel’s John Hebert.

“They are definitely an elite team and will take a great effort to knock them off. Our special teams’ struggled against Noblesville and must improve in a hurry in order for us to have a chance. Carmel is outstanding in all three facets. They have returned kickoffs for touchdowns and blocked a number of punts this season. We must be great on special teams and not allow their special teams to impact the game. Our defense must get off of the field on third down and keep them from throwing and completing the ball over our head. Our offense must take care of the ball and get first downs. Teams rarely ‘big play’ Carmel because their defense is elite, so we must be able to move the chains and convert when in the red zone.” – Lafayette Jeff’s Pat Shanley.

CLASS 6A SECTIONAL 7

BROWNSBURG (10-0) AT AVON (8-2)

KICKOFF: 7 pm ET, Oriole Stadium.

COACHES: John Hart, 26-5 in third season at Brownsburg, 294-87 in 34th season overall. Mark Bless, 74-31 in ninth season at Avon, 223-98 in 29th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Brownsburg beat Southport, 42-20. Avon beat Perry Meridian, 42-7.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Brownsburg, 21-7, on September 7, 2018.

UP NEXT: Brownsburg plays at Center Grove (7-3) or hosts Franklin Central (3-7) for regional. Avon travels to Center Grove or Franklin Central.

TOP PERFORMERS: Justin Browder scampered 11 times for 58 yards and a score for the Bulldogs against Southport. Shai Sumpter-Bey had 17 rushes for 86 yards and a touchdown for the Orioles against Perry Meridian.

COACH TALK: “Avon is one of the most physical teams we have went against in three seasons, so we need to match their physicality. The last game we won against them was because of a turnover resulting in a touchdown, so the difference may very well be the same again.” – Brownsburg’s John Hart.

“Brownsburg is a very talented team, so we will have to play with more intensity and focus than we did a few weeks ago when we played them in week four. We will need to take care of the football and cut down on our mental mistakes. Field position is also a key in this game.” – Avon’s Mark Bless.

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 18

SOUTH BEND SAINT JOSEPH (7-4) AT MISHAWAKA (10-1)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Steele Stadium.

COACHES: Bryon Whitten, 14-19 in third season at St. Joseph. Keith Kinder, 10-1 in first season at Mishawaka.

LAST CONTEST: Saint Joseph beat New Prairie, 42-30. Mishawaka beat South Bend Riley, 35-28.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Mishawaka, 26-24, on September 28, 2018.

UP NEXT: Saint Joseph hosts Hammond Morton (9-2) or Lowell (9-2) for regional. Mishawaka travels to Hammond Morton or entertains Lowell.

TOP PERFORMERS: Conor Ratigan hauled in a pair of touchdown passes and recovered a fumble for the Indians against New Prairie. C.J. Fisher recorded two interceptions for the Cavemen against South Bend Riley.

COACH TALK: “To achieve victory Friday night, we need to have excellent first and second down efficiency on both sides of the ball. Offensively, if we are able to stay ahead of the chains, we can maintain possession and keep their offense off the field. Defensively, if we can force them into third and long situations, we can hopefully force their offense off the field. Also, like last week, we need to maximize our special teams’ play and either score on special teams or set up a score on special teams.” – Saint Joseph’s Bryon Whitten.

“Saint Joe is a very good football team that is playing its best football of the season right now. We are going to have to do a great job of tackling and keeping their very talented skilled players in front of us. Offensively, we need to take care of the football and finish drives in the red zone.” – Mishawaka’s Keith Kinder.

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 19

NORTHWOOD (11-0) AT ANGOLA (11-0)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Angola Stadium.

COACHES: Nate Andrews, 46-14 in fifth season at NorthWood, 86-53 in 12th season overall. Andy Thomas, 37-17 in fifth season at Angola, 127-84 in 19th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: NorthWood beat East Noble, 46-35. Angola beat Northridge, 34-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Angola, 28-21 (OT), on October 27, 2017 in sectional semifinal.

UP NEXT: NorthWood goes to Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (10-1) or hosts Fort Wayne Wayne (9-2) for regional. Angola plays at Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger or Fort Wayne Wayne.

TOP PERFOMERS: Jaden Miller raced up 12 carries for 76 yards with a touchdown and also caught a 12-yard pass for a score for the Panthers against East Noble. Chase Schnepf found the end zone twice for the Hornets against Northridge.

COACH TALK: “It will take an unbelievable team effort all the way around. They are very, very good. We must limit their explosive plays and sustain drives while finishing with touchdowns.” – NorthWood’s Nate Andrews.

“NorthWood has one of the best players in the state in Bronson Yoder. They play well together because of his leadership. We must tackle him and limit big plays. We have to stay out of negative plays and take care of the ball.” – Angola’s Andy Thomas.

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 20

FORT WAYNE BISHOP DWENGER (10-1) AT FORT WAYNE WAYNE (9-2)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Wayne Stadium.

COACHES: Jason Garrett, 10-1 in first season at Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger. Derrick Moore, 16-27 in fourth season at Fort Wayne Wayne.

LAST CONTEST: Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger beat Leo, 42-9. Fort Wayne Wayne beat New Haven, 53-14.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger, 22-0, on August 17, 2018.

UP NEXT: Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger hosts NorthWood (11-0) or Angola (11-0) for regional. Fort Wayne Wayne plays at NorthWood or entertains Angola.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brenden Lytle was 6-of-12 for 104 yards with two scores for the Saints against Leo. Tristan Pernell accounted for 13 tackles for the Generals against New Haven.

COACH TALK: “We will need to play at a very high level and execute well in all three facets of the game. Limiting big plays and playing assignment football will be especially key for us on Friday night.” – Bishop Dwenger’s Jason Garrett.

“We will have to physical up front. We have to stop them from running the ball effectively. On offense, we have to get first downs and keep the chains moving. They thrive on getting off of the field defensively. They have some guys that play both ways, so we want to make sure they are putting in great effort both defensively and offensively.” – Fort Wayne Wayne’s Derrick Moore. 

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 21

MARION (11-0) AT MISSISSINEWA (10-1)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Fisher Field.

COACHES: Craig Chambers, 23-9 in third season at Marion, 46-22 in sixth season overall. Curt Funk, 66-33 in ninth season at Mississinewa.

LAST CONTEST: Marion beat Delta, 37-0. Mississinewa beat Yorktown, 24-14.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Mississinewa, 21-14, on October 27, 2017 in sectional semifinal.

UP NEXT: Marion travels to Greenwood (4-7) or hosts Mooresville (11-1) for regional. Mississinewa goes to Greenwood or Mooresville.

TOP PERFORMERS: Jakylen Thomas tallied 13 carries for 97 yards with a touchdown for the Giants against Delta. Andruw Cruz registered four catches for 61 yards for the Indians against Yorktown.

COACH TALK: “We have to take care of ball, have no mistakes, be physical on both sides of the ball.” – Marion’s Craig Chambers.

“We will have to play our best football game of the season in order to win the sectional championship against Marion. The Giants are fast and explosive on offense and their defense is the real deal with solid fundamentals. We must have sharp execution, no turnovers, sound special teams play, and we must be great tacklers this week.” – Mississinewa’s Curt Funk.

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 24

BOONVILLE (11-0) AT EVANSVILLE CENTRAL (10-1)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, Bear Den.

COACHES: Darin Ward, 29-14 in fourth season at Boonville, 99-44 in 13th season overall. Troy Burgess, 10-1 in first season at Evansville Central, 105-75 in 17th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Boonville beat Jasper, 17-6. Evansville Central beat Northview, 35-21.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Central, 7-6, on Oct. 24, 2008 in sectional opener

UP NEXT: Boonville entertains East Central (10-1) or Edgewood (8-3) for regional. Evansville Central goes to East Central or hosts Edgewood.

TOP PERFORMERS: Luke Conner had 25 rushes for 100 yards for the Pioneers against Jasper. Malcolm Depriest racked up five receptions for 143 yards and two scores for the Bears against Northview.

COACH TALK: “Evansville Central is a big, physical, sound football team that wants to establish the run and look for big plays down the field in their throw game. We cannot allow big plays on special teams or defensively against their throw game. Offensively, we must be able to run the football and make plays in the throw game when they present themselves. This should be a great sectional championship game.” – Boonville’s Darin Ward.

“We need to take care of the football on offense and make sure we are following our assignments on defense for us to put ourselves in a position to win this game.” – Evansville Central’s Troy Burgess.

CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 25

ANDREAN (10-1) AT WEST LAFAYETTE (11-0)

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Straley Field.

COACHES: Chris Skinner, 23-11 in third season at Andrean. Shane Fry, 64-12 in sixth season at West Lafayette.

LAST CONTEST: Andrean beat Hanover Central, 44-12. West Lafayette beat Twin Lakes, 74-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: West Lafayette, 56-10, on November 3, 2017 in sectional final.

UP NEXT: Andrean hosts Brebeuf Jesuit (9-2) or Blackford (8-3) for regional. West Lafayette plays at Blackford or entertains Brebeuf Jesuit.

TOP PERFORMERS: Nick Flescher came up with five catches for 49 yards for the 59ers against Hanover Central. Lamont Johnson contributed 11 tackles for the Red Devils against Twin Lakes.

COACH TALK: "Defensively, it will be important for us to limit the explosive plays. They average 54 points per game and that's with their offense typically not playing into the fourth quarter. Every one of their skill players has the ability to score from anywhere on the field, so responsibility football will be a must. Offensively, we'll need to limit mistakes and convert scoring opportunities when we have them. Last season, we had a fumble, missed field goal, and a touchdown taken away by penalty in the first quarter and it put us in a hole we couldn't get out of. Ideally, we want to control the time of possession and keep their offense off the field." – Andrean’s Chris Skinner.

“In order for us to beat Andrean, we will need to contain their standout quarterback (Zack) Merrill and their outstanding wide receivers. Offensively, we need to be able to make plays and take care of the ball. Andrean has several standout defensive players and they like to bring pressure from everywhere, so it will be a difficult task moving the ball consistently.” – West Lafayette’s Shane Fry. 

CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 32

EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (11-0) AT GIBSON SOUTHERN (9-2)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, Jewell Field.

COACHES: John Hurley, 84-53 in 11th season at Memorial. Nick Hart, 76-11 in seventh season at Gibson Southern.

LAST CONTEST: Evansville Memorial beat Vincennes Lincoln, 52-6. Gibson Southern beat Heritage Hills, 24-14.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Memorial, 26-17, on November 3, 2017 in sectional final.

UP NEXT: Evansville Memorial entertains Brownstown Central (10-1) or goes to Batesville (9-2) for regional. Gibson Southern plays at Brownstown Central or Batesville.

TOP PERFORMERS: Darrius Johnson recorded 14 carries for 64 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers against Vincennes Lincoln. Mitchell Spindler had two catches for 99 yards and a score for the Titans against Heritage Hills.

COACH TALK: “Gibson Southern is a well-coached football team which is playing at a very high level. Coach Hart and his staff do a great job preparing for big games. It will be a great environment for a sectional championship. We will need to stop the run, protect the football, and make big plays.” – Evansville Memorial’s John Hurley.

“Evansville Memorial is the defending Class 3A state champs and No. 1 ranked team for a reason. They are a tremendous football team that has been great in the previous 11 weeks. Their offense averages 47 points a game against a very good schedule. I think their defense may be the best kept secret in the state. Their starting unit has given up very few scores all season, so we have to play a turnover free game. They are good enough and certainly don't need any of our help. They have the ability to make a lot of big plays on the offensive side and we must limit those as much as possible.” – Gibson Southern’s Nick Hart.

CLASS 2A SECTIONAL 33

BOONE GROVE (9-2) AT WHITING (11-0)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, Galavan Stadium.

COACHES: Dan Kukulski, 17-6 in second season at Boone Grove. Jeff Cain, 193-82 in 25th season at Whiting.

LAST CONTEST: Boone Grove beat Lake Station, 47-0. Whiting beat Gary Roosevelt, 48-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Whiting, 27-13, on August 31, 2018.

UP NEXT: Boone Grove travels to Bremen (9-2) or hosts Bluffton (7-4) for regional. Whiting plays at Bremen or Bluffton.

TOP PERFORMERS: Andrew Eriks ended up with 11 tackles for the Wolves against Lake Station. Nino Barbosa carried the ball five times for 52 yards and two touchdowns for the Oilers against Gary Roosevelt.

COACH TALK: “We have to be able to execute the way we know we can. Our kids have come together as a group and believe in each other. Focus and intensity in all three aspects of the game are paramount with no mistakes. Whiting is very good at capitalizing on opponents’ mistakes, so at the risk of sounding cliché, the game is going to come down to who blocks and tackles the best.” – Boone Grove’s Dan Kukulski.

“Boone Grove is a team that runs the ball well with two very good backs (Braeton Vann and Monsoor Adisa). We will need to slow them down and eliminate big plays and try to contain their senior quarterback (Dylan Paul) who can throw the ball when he needs to. Line play on both sides will also be most important to our success.” – Whiting’s Jeff Cain.

CLASS 2A SECTIONAL 37

INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA (10-1) AT TRITON CENTRAL (10-1)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Mendenhall Stadium.

COACHES: Ott Hurrle, 191-130 in 27th season at Indianapolis Scecina, 192-139 in 29th season overall. Tim Able, 52-20 in sixth season at Triton Central, 177-118 in 26th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Indianapolis Scecina beat Heritage Christian, 47-26. Triton Central beat Knightstown, 20-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Indianapolis Scecina, 20-0, on September 28, 2018.

UP NEXT: Indianapolis Scecina entertains Western Boone (11-0) or plays at North Putnam (8-3) for regional. Triton Central goes to Western Boone or North Putnam.

TOP PERFORMERS: David Baker hauled in four receptions for 78 yards and a score for the Crusaders against Heritage Christian. Richard Knowles III ran 19 yards for a touchdown for the Tigers against Knightstown.

COACH TALK: “Our defense will need to be very alert and aggressive, and our offense will need to be turnover free.” – Scecina’s Ott Hurrle.

“Indianapolis is Scecina has an awesome football program from their coaches down to their athletic players. Their team speed is the quickest we have faced this season, so we must try and contain their very talented running back (Tavon Middlebrook), quarterback (Mac Ayers), and wide receivers. It’s a very tall task for any team in the state of Indiana, so we are hoping for better results this time.” – Triton Central’s Tim Able.

CLASS 2A SECTIONAL 39

PROVIDENCE (9-2) AT PAOLI (11-0)

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Cook Field.

COACHES: Larry Denison, 48-40 in eighth season at Providence. Jeremy Lowery, 20-3 in second season at Paoli.

LAST CONTEST: Providence beat Perry Central, 28-6. Paoli beat Mitchell, 42-16.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Providence, 41-25, on November 3, 2017 in sectional final.

UP NEXT: Providence hosts Southridge (8-3) or goes to Evansville Mater Dei for regional. Paoli travels to Southridge or Evansville Mater Dei.

TOP PERFORMERS: Bryce Drury amassed three catches for 67 yards with two scores for the Pioneers against Perry Central. Austin Carmickle had a three-yard touchdown run for the Rams against Mitchell.

COACH TALK: “To win a sectional this Friday, we are going to have to play our very best to beat a very, very good Paoli team. They are upbeat this season because they are very talented, very disciplined, and very well-coached. To win, we must be disciplined in our defensive reads and assignments. Paoli runs their flex bone offense like a well-oiled machine, so we must be just as disciplined as they are when it comes to carrying out our defensive assignments. Offensively, we must come off the ball and block well up front. Ball security will be a key in this game given the weather forecast and field conditions. Our motto this season is ‘to just get better each week’. Thus far, that is what we have done. We will need to continue with that improvement if we hope to beat Paoli.” – Providence’s Larry Denison.

“We are very excited for the opportunity to play for a sectional championship this Friday. This is exactly where we wanted and envisioned our team to be after last season ended. We were beat in this game last season and now, we get an opportunity to play Providence for a second straight season. Providence is a fine football team. They are well-coached and have some very talented athletes. Offensively, they do a nice job with execution and are fundamentally sound. They also have big play capability which gives them the threat to score on any play. Defensively, they do a great job with their ‘3-5’ schemes. They are very fast and tackle well. Our kids have done a great job getting to this point. We are preparing hard to be at our best in all three phases of the game. Our kids are very dialed in and are committed to improving each and every week. We look forward to every opportunity we get to play another football game.” – Paoli’s Jeremy Lowery. 

CLASS 1A SECTIONAL 43

SOUTHWOOD (11-0) AT ADAMS CENTRAL (11-0)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Minnich Field.

COACHES: Dave Snyder, 57-35 in eighth season at Southwood. Michael Mosser, 78-39 in 10th season at Adams Central.

LAST CONTEST: Southwood beat Fremont, 37-6. Adams Central beat Churubusco, 35-10.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Southwood, 50-27, on November 3, 2017 in sectional final.

UP NEXT: Southwood hosts Monroe Central (9-2) or Union City (5-6) for regional. Adams Central goes to Monroe Central or entertains Union City.

TOP PERFORMERS: Alex Farr was 5-of-10 for 76 yards with two touchdowns for the Knights against Fremont. Jalen Hammond recorded 17 rushes for 67 yards with a score and 13 tackles for the Flying Jets against Churubusco.

COACH TALK: “I think that it is very important we stay patient on both offense and defense. Big games are often decided by staying tough and taking advantage of opportunities. We are for the most part a young team, but have come together and found ways to win. We are now playing Adams Central for the third season in a row for a championship, so our kids are excited and ready to compete. We have a simple game plan, give (Gabe) Lloyd the ball and try to slow down (Logan) Macklin. We know that we have to be good in getting people to the ball and wrap up on our tackling. They have multiple threats on offense and will be the best rounded team we have seen this season.” – Southwood’s Dave Snyder.

“It’s definitely a great matchup between No. 2 (Adams Central) and No. 3 (Southwood). We are going to have to play tough defense to beat Southwood. They have some great skill players and are very tough and experienced on the offensive line, so it’s going to be a real challenge to stop them. We must be able to move the ball, drain clock, and score points. I think they have a very good defense, so it will be challenging. We have to find ways to get Logan Macklin the ball as much as possible. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.” – Adams Central’s Michael Mosser.

CLASS 1A SECTIONAL 48

NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG) (8-1) AT WEST WASHINGTON (9-2)

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Sanders Field.

COACHES: Travis Nolting, 59-27 in eighth season at North Central. Phillip Bowsman, 83-49 in 12th season at West Washington.

LAST CONTEST: North Central beat Tecumseh, 57-0. West Washington beat Eastern Greene, 20-13.

PREVIOUS MEETING: North Central, 28-6, on October 23, 1970.

UP NEXT: North Central plays at North Vermillion (10-1) or hosts Attica (8-3) for regional. West Washington travels to North Vermillion or Attica.

TOP PERFORMERS: Blake Chatman ended up with 17 carries for 91 yards for the Thunderbirds against Tecumseh. Holden Bowsman tossed a touchdown pass for the Senators against Eastern Greene.

COACH TALK: “In order to beat West Washington, we must control the line of scrimmage offensively. We have to establish our ground game early and sustain grinding drive. Clock management is also vital for us this week. Upfront, we are larger than they are and we must use that to our advantage and create running opportunities for Dawson Basinger, Blake Chatman, and Ty Thompson. Defensively, we must use our size upfront to control the line of scrimmage. They will look to get the ball into the hands of sophomore Bobby Stevens quite a bit. He is quick and has size to go with it. Quarterback Holden Bowsman is also very skilled, so we will need to play lock down coverage and have a solid pass rush all night. Overall, we must control all three phases of the game. Our kids are hungry and they want this more than anything and will bring everything they have into this game.” – North Central’s Travis Nolting.  

“At this point in the season, it is important to be playing your best football. North Central Farmersburg runs the ball very well and they have had success all season in doing so. It will be very important for us to be physical up front and be great tacklers. Their backs run very hard and we need to have great gang tackling. Offensively, we must win the line of scrimmage and establish our running game. Having a great balance between our run game and passing game will be a must as well. This is a great time of the season and our guys are very excited about the opportunity to be playing a sectional championship at home.” – West Washington’s Phillip Bowsman.

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