Indiana Football Digest's Top Games - 2018 Sectional Openers

(ALL GAMES ON FRIDAY UNLESS INDICATED)

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 18

MISHAWAKA (8-1) AT HOBART (7-2)

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, The Brickyard.

COACHES: Keith Kinder, 8-1 in first season at Mishawaka. Craig Osika, 7-2 in first season at Hobart.

LAST CONTEST: Mishawaka beat Penn, 49-42, OT. Hobart lost to Lowell, 34-7.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Mishawaka, 49-28, on October 26, 2012 in Class 4A sectional semifinal.

UP NEXT: Mishawaka will host South Bend Clay (0-8) or South Bend Riley (5-4). Hobart travels to Clay or hosts Riley.

TOP PERFORMERS: C.J. Fisher had 11 tackles and an interception for the Cavemen against Penn. Riley Johnston was 3-of-7 for 63 yards and a touchdown for the Brickies against Lowell.

COACH TALK: "Hobart has had a great season. They are very talented on both sides of the football and have some great ball carriers. We are going to have to eliminate mistakes in special teams and take great care of the football. Defensively, we will have to tackle their skilled kids well in space." – Mishawaka's Keith Kinder.

"We have to be able to slow down their offensive attack. We have to limit the amount of possessions they have by sustaining our own offensive drives. We also have to take advantage of scoring opportunities. We are not going to be able to beat them by kicking field goals, we have to score touchdowns. This gives us the best opportunity to win on Friday." – Hobart's Craig Osika.   

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 19

ANGOLA (9-0) AT CULVER ACADEMY (6-2)

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

COACHES: Andy Thomas, 35-17 in fifth season at Angola, 125-84 in 19th season overall. Andy Dorrel, 125-102 in 21st season at Culver Academy.

LAST CONTEST: Angola beat Eastside, 48-7. Culver Academy beat Bremen, 17-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Angola, 31-30 (OT), on November 3, 2017 in Class 4A sectional final.

UP NEXT: Angola hosts Northridge (4-5) or Wawasee (1-8). Culver Academy plays at Northridge or travels to Wawasee.

TOP PERFORMERS: Jarrett Gibson found the end zone three times for the Hornets against Eastside. Deontae Craig recorded eight tackles for the Eagles against Bremen.

COACH TALK: "Culver Academy is a tremendous team. They have great team speed. They fly to the ball well on defense and execute well on offense. We need to stay on blocks, limit negative plays, and take care of the ball. Our defense needs to communicate, be physical, and not give up big plays." – Angola's Andy Thomas.

"In order for Culver Academies to advance in the playoffs this Friday, we must continue to play stellar defense. Angola features a potent offense loaded with playmakers. Offensively, our focus is to control the football, eliminating penalties, and taking a few shots to get the ball in the end zone. Another key component to this game will be special teams. Controlling field position will be a critical component to determining the outcome of this game. Both teams feature a strong defense, therefore we believe it will take three touchdowns to win this football game." – Culver Academy's Andy Dorrel.

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 21

PENDLETON HEIGHTS (7-2) AT MARION (9-0)

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

COACHES: Jed Richman, 17-14 in third season at Pendleton Heights, 52-44 in ninth season overall. Craig Chambers, 21-9 in third season at Marion, 44-22 in sixth season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Pendleton Heights beat Shelbyville, 62-8. Marion beat Harrison (West Lafayette), 14-11.

PREVIOUS MEETING: None.

UP NEXT: Pendleton Heights hosts Lebanon (5-4) or travels to Delta (6-3). Marion goes to Delta or Lebanon.

TOP PERFORMERS: Kamden Early had five carries for 86 yards and a score for the Arabians against Shelbyville. Xavier Gee registered nine tackles for the Giants against Harrison (West Lafayette).

COACH TALK: "Marion is a very good football team. They are big strong and athletic. We definitely have our work cut out for us. They have playmakers all over the field and are very physical and fast. Marion is 9-0, ranked in the top five, and is very well-coached. They have one of the best defenses and offensive option attacks in the state. It's a great opportunity to play one of the best teams in Class 4A." – Pendleton Heights' Jed Richman.

"We have to play well offensively, minimize turnovers, be efficient in our kicking game, and contain their passing game." – Marion's Craig Chambers.

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 21

WESTERN (7-2) AT MISSISSINEWA (8-1)

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

COACHES: Alex Stewart, 14-7 in second season at Western, 24-17 in fourth season overall. Curt Funk, 64-33 in ninth season at Mississinewa.

LAST CONTEST: Western beat Lafayette Central Catholic, 56-19. Mississinewa beat Blackford, 28-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Mississinewa, 41-39, on November 3, 2017 in Class 4A sectional final

UP NEXT: Western hosts Yorktown (4-5) or Frankfort (0-9). Mississinewa travels to Yorktown or entertains Frankfort.

TOP PERFORMERS: Josh Coleman carried the ball 14 times for 98 yards for the Panthers against Lafayette Central Catholic. Heisman Skeens tallied 136 yards and a touchdown on 15 rushes for the Indians against Blackford.

COACH TALK: "Mississinewa is a very tough team. To beat them, we have to win the turnover battle, not allow them to have big plays, and control the line of scrimmage. Heisman Skeens and Cade Campbell are two outstanding football players, so it will be a major challenge for our defense to try and contain them. Curt Funk does a great job having his team ready to play, so we need to match their intensity, and play with focus and relentless effort." – Western's Alex Stewart.

"We must be prepared to play a physical football game Friday night vs. an outstanding Western Panther football team. Their team is big, fast, and tough, so we will have to play our most discipline football to come out victorious. Whatever team executes the basic fundamentals will win the game on Friday night." – Mississinewa's Curt Funk

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 22

BEECH GROVE (6-3) AT MOORESVILLE (8-1)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Coach Joe Popp Stadium.

COACHES: Mark Weller, 37-45 in eighth season at Beech Grove, 50-66 in 11th season overall. Mike Gillin, 11-10 in second season at Mooresville, 316-127 in 40th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Beech Grove lost to East Central, 42-18. Mooresville beat Perry Meridian, 52-21.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Mooresville, 17-12, on October 13, 2017.

UP NEXT: Beech Grove hosts Connersville (0-9) or travels to Richmond (1-8). Mooresville plays at Connersville or Richmond.

TOP PERFORMERS: Kylon Tyler caught four passes for 108 yards and a touchdown for the Hornets against East Central. Kamden Schmitt racked up 17 stops for the Pioneers against Perry Meridian.

COACH TALK: "Beech Grove has good speed on both sides of the ball and a punishing ground attack. We must get stops on defense, stay balanced on offense, control special teams, and win the turnover battle." – Mooresville's Mike Gillin.

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 24

EVANSVILLE REITZ (6-3) AT EVANSVILLE CENTRAL (8-1)

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

COACHES: Andy Hape, 53-15 in sixth season at Evansville Reitz. Troy Burgess, 8-1 in first season at Evansville Central, 103-75 in 17th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Evansville Reitz beat Evansville Mater Dei, 35-7. Evansville Central beat Evansville North, 40-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Central, 26-21, on September 7, 2018.

UP NEXT: Evansville Reitz entertains Northview (9-0) or Owen Valley (0-9). Evansville Central hosts Owen Valley or plays at Northview.

TOP PERFORMERS: Alex Mitchell carried the ball 18 times for 138 yards and a score for the Panthers against Evansville Mater Dei. Jalen Bowman had two receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown for the Bears against Evansville North.

COACH TALK: "This Friday should be a great game between two good teams. Central is talented team with many weapons on both sides of the ball. Playing consistent and passionate football will be a must in order to be successful at the end of the night." – Evansville Reitz's Andy Hape. 

"For us to be successful on Friday, we will have to take care the football and keep Reitz from making the big the plays. We need to make them sustain long drives and give our defense an opportunity to create turnovers." – Evansville Central's Troy Burgess.

CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 27

KNOX (6-3) AT JIMTOWN (5-4)

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

COACHES: John Hendryx, 30-14 in fourth season at Knox, 205-90 in 26th season overall. Michael Campbell, 97-38 in 11th season at Jimtown.

LAST CONTEST: Knox beat Caston, 61-6. Jimtown beat South Bend Clay, 41-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Jimtown, 55-0, on September 12, 2014.

UP NEXT: Knox travels to Mishawaka Marian (5-4) or hosts Fairfield (0-8). Jimtown plays at Marian or Fairfield.

TOP PERFORMERS: Payton Baugh ran five times 40 yards and two touchdowns for the Redskins against Caston. Trey Washington had five carries for 88 yards and a score for the Jimmies against South Bend Clay.

COACH TALK: "For us to have any success, we can't let them have the ball all night. We need to get some first downs and try to keep their offense off the field as much as possible. They play a great schedule and offensively move the ball on everyone, so we need to try to limit their possessions the best we can." – Knox's John Hendryx.

"Knox is a well-coached, very physical football team. Under Coach Hendrix, they bring multiple offensive formations and various defensive fronts. We'll have to take care of the ball and match their physicality if we want to come out on top this week." – Jimtown's Mike Campbell.

CLASS 2A SECTIONAL 33

NORTH NEWTON (6-3) AT WHITING (9-0)

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

COACHES: Scott Rouch, 6-3 in first season at North Newton. Jeff Cain, 191-82 in 25th season at Whiting.

LAST CONTEST: North Newton beat Tri-County, 30-6. Whiting beat River Forest, 55-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: North Newton, 20-14, on October 20, 2017in Class 2A sectional opener.

UP NEXT: North Newton hosts River Forest (2-7) or travels to Gary Roosevelt (3-6). Whiting plays at River Forest or Gary Roosevelt.

TOP PERFORMERS: Alex Goetz registered four rushes for 83 yards for the Spartans against Tri-County. Joel Torres came up with nine tackles for the Oilers against River Forest.

COACH TALK: "We will need to be able to run the ball effectively and be able to stop the run. I believe if we are able to do those two things, we will have a shot at coming out on top. Of course, accomplishing this will not be easy. They are a very well-coached team with outstanding talent. I do, however, look forward to this test." – North Newton's Scott Rouch.

"North Newton poses many problems on the offensive side. They feature a back, fullback Colin Wagner, with over 1,200 yards rushing, but also use their wings and quarterback (Ben Vanderwall) to carry out the rest of their running game. All three of their other ball carriers are very good, so we will need to reduce their big plays. Defensively, they get after it, so we will need to match their level to be successful. Their middle linebacker (Wagner) is a playmaker, so we will need to do our job when blocking him. Their defensive line is a strength of theirs and we will need to win those battles." – Whiting's Jeff Cain.

CLASS 2A SECTIONAL 34

WOODLAN (4-5) AT BREMEN (7-2)

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Don Bunge Field.

COACHES: Sherwood Haydock, 59-34 in eighth season at Woodlan, 192-153 in 31st season overall. Jordan Leeper, 19-12 in third season at Bremen.

LAST CONTEST: Woodlan lost to Adams Central, 31-3. Bremen lost to Culver Academy, 17-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Bremen, 35-14, on November 7, 2014 in Class 2A sectional final.

UP NEXT: Woodlan hosts Central Noble (6-3) or travels to Wabash (2-7). Bremen goes to Wabash or Central Noble.

TOP PERFORMERS: Sebastian Spieth scampered 22 times for 89 yards for the Warriors against Adams Central. Nathan Mullen rambled 15 times for 49 yards for the Lions against Culver Academy.

COACH TALK: "Bremen and us are much alike. We're both big and physical. We both run and stop the run very well. I believe the quarterbacks will decide the outcome." – Woodlan's Sherwood Haydock.

"Controlling the line of scrimmage will be important as to who advances in our sectional game. Defensively, we will need to be physical against their run and disciplined in our pass coverage. They are a good running football team with the ability to hurt you through the air as well. Offensively, we will need to control the clock and keep their offense off the field. Their defense is very good at getting pressure in the backfield and disrupting what you want to do. We will need to handle that pressure to give us a shot at putting points on the board." – Bremen's Jordan Leeper. 

CLASS 2A SECTIONAL 35

DELPHI (9-0) AT RENSSELAER CENTRAL (5-4)

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Harrison Complex.

COACHES: Josh Strasser, 36-38 in seventh season at Delphi. Chris Meeks, 158-81 in 20th season at Rensselaer Central.

LAST CONTEST: Delphi beat Taylor, 57-14. Rensselaer Central lost to Lewis Cass, 20-14.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Rensselaer Central, 58-6, on September 19, 2015.

UP NEXT: Delphi plays at Eastern (Greentown) (8-1) or hosts Lewis Cass (5-4). Rensselaer Central travels to Eastern (Greentown) or Lewis Cass.

TOP PERFORMERS: Blake Carroll hauled in six passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns for the Oracles against Taylor. Aidan Stevens raced 22 times for 93 yards for the Bombers against Lewis Cass.

COACH TALK: "Rensselaer is a program built on winning, especially in the post-season. Coach Meeks has done a tremendous job building for the post-season and we must be ready to play at a high level in order to compete in an atmosphere that we will see on Friday. Obviously, Rensselaer has an outstanding offense with several playmakers which makes them difficult to defend. Rensselaer is also very capable of handling their own with their passing game. Our main objective defensively would be to limit their big play ability. Rensselaer is a pressure-oriented defense with talented athletes that are very capable of covering space. In order to be successful offensively, we must be efficient, limit our mistakes, and be successful on third downs." – Delphi's Josh Strasser.

"Delphi is a tremendous team as proven by their perfect regular season. They are very athletic with their skill players and have some nice size up front. They are very well-coached and are playing with a lot of confidence. For us to be successful, we will need to keep their offense from getting the big play. Watching film on them, their quarterback (Seth Waters) does a nice job of distributing the football to their athletes in space. Offensively, we need to sustain long drives and keep their offense off the field. They are very aggressive defensively, so there should be ample opportunities to hit some play action passes. We are looking forward to a great game." – Rensselaer Central's Chris Meeks.

CLASS 1A SECTIONAL 43

SOUTH ADAMS (7-2) AT CHURUBUSCO (8-1)

GAME TIME: 7 p.m. EDT, Victor Field.

COACHES: Grant Moser, 23-19 in fourth season at South Adams. Paul Sade, 46-18 in sixth season at Churubusco.

LAST CONTEST: South Adams beat Southern Wells, 41-7. Churubusco beat Fairfield, 62-8.

PREVIOUS MEETING: South Adams, 29-27, on November 4, 2016 in Class 2A sectional final.

UP NEXT: South Adams hosts Adams Central (9-0) or Northfield (5-4). Churubusco entertains Northfield or travels to Adams Central.

TOP PERFORMERS: James Arnold went 4-of-10 for 113 yards with three touchdowns and ran for another score for the Starfires against Southern Wells. Gage Kelly accumulated five rushes for 63 yards and a score for the Eagles against Fairfield.

COACH TALK: "They are very well-coached and play very hard. They are very disciplined. Churubusco is also a very tough place to play. We are excited for the opportunity at the chance to knockoff our third ranked team of the season. We will have to eliminate turnovers and penalties and our defense will have to play very well." – South Adams' Grant Moser.

"South Adams has a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball. They are young, but their sophomores play like experienced varsity standouts, particularly quarterback James Arnold and tight end-defensive end Nick Miller. We are going to have to be disciplined mentally and play a physical football game to be able to compete with them." – Churubusco's Paul Sade.

CLASS 1A SECTIONAL 45

TRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN (8-1) AT COVENANT CHRISTIAN (9-0)

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Saturday, Avon High School.

COACHES: Adam Stevenson, 13-5 in second season at Traders Point. Larry McWhorter, 29-9 in fifth season at Covenant, 180-69 in 23rd season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Traders Point beat Fremont, 28-19. Covenant beat Bowman Academy, 42-8.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Covenant Christian, 21-7, on October 5, 2018.

UP NEXT: Traders Point Christian or Covenant Christian will host Indianapolis Tindley (3-6).

TOP PERFORMERS: Elias Underwood had 12 rushes for 60 yards and two scores for the Knights against Fremont. Gage Coffey finished with eight tackles for the Warriors against Bowman Academy.

COACH TALK: "We are excited about the opportunity to compete in the first sectional game in our program's history. We are playing a great opponent in Covenant Christian, who is very well-coached. For us to be successful, we will need to execute at a high level, and keep them off-balance on defense. We must protect the ball, and slow down their strong pass rush. Defensively, we must stop No. 19 (Jonah Bronger), who is a great player. Hopefully we will conduct ourselves in the highest manner of sportsmanship and leave it all on the field." – Traders Point Christian's Adam Stevenson.

"It will require a total team effort to contain their prolific offense by forcing them into a long field and a much better offensive effort then in our first game against them. Their defense is playing extremely well, so we will need to find some ways to score." – Covenant Christian's Larry McWhorter. 

CLASS 1A SECTIONAL 47

FOUNTAIN CENTRAL (6-3) AT ATTICA (6-3)

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

COACHES: Ryan Hall, 6-3 in first season at Fountain Central, 41-33 in seventh season overall. Ryan Good, 80-41 in 11th season at Attica.

LAST CONTEST: Fountain Central lost to Parke Heritage, 18-15, OT. Attica beat South Vermillion, 35-21.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Attica, 32-8, on September 14, 2018.

UP NEXT: Fountain Central hosts Parke Heritage (7-2) or Covington (5-4). Attica travels to Parke Heritage or hosts Covington.

TOP PERFORMERS: Walker Hands recorded five receptions for 27 yards and a score for the Mustangs against Parke Heritage. Drew Sheridan raced 23 times for 87 yards for the Red Ramblers against South Vermillion.

COACH TALK: "For us to beat Attica and continue on, we must try to contain their quarterback (Eli Kirkpatrick) since he ran all over us the last time we played. We will need to match their intensity and aggressiveness. The last time we played, they took it to us. Their defense flies to the ball, so we must be able to counter that with us playing faster on offense. We changed a lot of things after that loss, so we will see if those changes benefited us or not. Playoff football means we don't have time for the simple mistakes. We have to play together, understand the plan, and execute." – Fountain Central's Ryan Hall.

"We will have to play solid defense and compete with their bigger linemen as well as keeping an eye on their different offensive weapons. Offensively, we will need to be consistent and keep moving the chains." – Attica's Ryan Good.

Related Content

2021 Season Tickets Available Now!

Our 2021 home opponents are locked in. Secure your seats for the next season and defend home turf against the Seattle Seahawks, LA Rams, New England Patriots and more.

Advertising