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Indiana Football Digest's Top Games - 2018 Sectional Semifinals

CLASS 6A SECTIONAL 2

WARSAW (7-2) AT PENN (7-2)

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

COACHES: Bart Curtis, 7-2 in first season at Warsaw, 208-104 in 28th season overall. Cory Yeoman, 173-34 in 16th season at Penn.

LAST CONTEST: Warsaw beat Concord, 45-3. Penn lost to Mishawaka, 49-42, OT.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Penn, 40-0, on November 3, 2017 in Class 6A sectional final.

UP NEXT: Warsaw hosts Chesterton (3-6) or Valparaiso (7-2), Penn travels to Chesterton or entertains Valparaiso.

TOP PERFORMERS: John Culbertson recorded 14 tackles for the Tigers against Concord. Trenton Horvath ran 11 times for 63 yards with a touchdown for the Kingsmen against Mishawaka.

COACH TALK: “To beat Penn, you must beat Penn because they will not beat themselves. They are very well-coached and they hurt opponents in many ways because they make few (if any) mistakes. We cannot give the Kingsmen any additional possessions. In the past, this has come back to haunt us. We must keep first downs as first downs. They cannot turn into touchdowns. We must tackle well in the open field and not allow six yard gains to turn into six points. We must be willing to punt the football on fourth down sometimes and must be willing to take three points (if available). We must flow with the ebbs and tides of the game because great things and terrible things will happen. We cannot get too high or too low and continue playing Tiger football for four quarters.” – Warsaw’s Bart Curtis.

“We have to play disciplined assignment football to be successful. We also need to get first downs on offense and must fit and tackle well on defense” - Penn’s Cory Yeoman.

CLASS 6A SECTIONAL 7

SOUTHPORT (7-2) AT BROWNSBURG (9-0)

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

COACHES: Brandon Winters, 18-12 in third season at Southport. John Hart, 25-5 in third season at Brownsburg, 293-87 in 34th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Southport beat Bloomington North, 40-34. Brownsburg beat Hamilton Southeastern, 10-9.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Brownsburg, 42-6, on September 26, 1997.

UP NEXT: Southport hosts Avon (7-2) or travels to Perry Meridian (1-8). Brownsburg travels to Avon or Perry Meridian.

TOP PERFORMERS: Jalen Caldwell had 20 rushes for 98 yards and two scores for the Cardinals against Bloomington North. Donny Marcus scampered 21 times for 117 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs against Hamilton Southeastern.

COACH TALK: “We have to protect the quarterback because Brownsburg's pass rush has been strong. We have to stop the run. We feel that we have to make them beat us by throwing the ball. We need to gain an advantage on special teams because big plays and mistakes in this area can cause big swings in playoff games.” – Southport’s Brandon Winters.

“They have some terrific skilled players and are very proficient on offense. They have the ability to score a lot of points, so putting pressure on their (NCAA) Division 1 quarterback Eddie Schott will be crucial. They also do a lot of ‘stuff’ on special teams, especially onside kicks, so we need to not only secure ball, but take advantage of their risk.” – Brownsburg’s John Hart.

CLASS 6A SECTIONAL 8

COLUMBUS NORTH (8-1) AT CENTER GROVE (6-3)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Ray Skillman Stadium.

COACHES: Tim Bless, 130-82 in 19th season at Columbus North, 142-91 in 21st season overall. Eric Moore, 185-65 in 20th season at Center Grove, 233-70 in 24th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Columbus North beat Terre Haute South, 50-6. Center Grove beat Indianapolis Cathedral, 34-7.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Center Grove, 20-14, on November 3, 2017 in Class 6A sectional final.

UP NEXT: Columbus North entertains Jeffersonville (2-7) or Franklin Central (2-7). Center Grove goes to Franklin Central or hosts Jeffersonville.

TOP PERFORMERS: Preston Terrell caught five passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs against Terre Haute South. Cameron Petty had three receptions for 150 yards and two scores for the Trojans against Indianapolis Cathedral.

COACH TALK: “As always, playing one of the state's finest programs on their home field presents a great challenge for our program. To be successful Friday night, we must eliminate all distractions and focus on our assignments between the white lines on every snap. We must do so with precision and maximum effort for 48 minutes. Like every football game, success will favor the team that makes the fewest mistakes.” – Columbus North’s Tim Bless.

“This is the sixth time in seven years the Trojans and Bulldogs have played in the sectionals. The games are always great excitement for the fans, and this year’s game hopes to be no different. The high rolling Bulldog offense comes to Center Grove with one of the state’s best offenses, while the Bulldog defense has not given up 100 yards to a rusher all season. For the Trojans to win, we must play a perfect game. We cannot have costly turnovers and we must not give up drives on penalties. First downs will be huge for the Trojan offense, in order to keep their high scoring offense off the field. The challenge for our defense will be to try to control the excellent play of quarterback Trenton Kelley. We must tackle on defense and not give up big yardage plays. Like most high school games, the game will lay upon the offensive and defensive lines. Whoever controls the line of scrimmage will probably come out the winner.” – Center Grove’s Eric Moore.

CLASS 5A SECTIONAL 12

NEW PALESTINE (9-0) AT ZIONSVILLE (6-4)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Orlin Coleman Field.

COACHES: Kyle Ralph, 69-4 in sixth season at New Palestine. Pat Echeverria, 27-30 in fifth season at Zionsville, 50-44 in eighth season overall.

LAST CONTEST: New Palestine beat Delta, 84-13. Zionsville beat Muncie Central, 52-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Zionsville, 26-24, on November 3, 2017 in Class 5A sectional final.

UP NEXT: New Palestine travels to Greenfield-Central (0-9) or hosts Anderson (2-7). Zionsville plays at Greenfield-Central or Anderson.

TOP PERFORMERS: Maxen Hook recorded eight tackles for the Dragons against Delta. Colin Price raced five times for 87 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles against Muncie Central.

COACH TALK: “This is one of the games you love to be a part of as a high school athlete and coach. Zionsville is a very talented and successful team that plays an incredibly hard schedule. They are well tested and experienced. We will need to play at our absolute best in all three phases of the game in order to be successful. They have tremendous elite level athletes on offense which can cause a lot of issues for a defense, and they have a very aggressive and fast defense that has given many offenses issues. It is going to be an incredible environment Friday night.” – New Palestine’s Kyle Ralph.

“We have to be great on first down defensively to get them behind the chains for second and third downs. Offensively, we will have to score touchdowns and not settle for Field goals, so we must be great in the red zone (inside the opponent’s 20-yard line). As a team we need to play a clean game by minimizing penalties and turnovers.” – Zionsville’s Pat Echeverria.

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 18

GRIFFITH (8-2) AT LOWELL (8-2)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, The Inferno.

COACHES: Ben Geffert, 30-15 in fourth season at Griffith. Keith Kilmer, 73-32 in ninth season at Lowell.

LAST CONTEST: Griffith beat Gary West, 53-0. Lowell beat Highland, 34-14.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Lowell, 42-7, on November 3, 2017 in Class 4A sectional final.

UP NEXT: Griffith or Lowell will either host Hammond Morton (7-2) or play at East Chicago Central (6-4).

TOP PERFORMERS: Ernest Johnson recorded 10 carries for 65 yards with two touchdowns and caught a pass for another score for the Panthers against Gary West. Tyler Wildman racked up 15 rushes for 54 yards and two scores for the Red Devils against Highland.

COACH TALK: “To be successful, we are going to have play with passion and intensity that the playoffs demand. We'll have to find a way to move the ball consistently to keep Griffith's high-powered offense off of the field.” – Lowell’s Keith Kilmer.

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 19

NORTHWOOD (10-0) AT EAST NOBLE (9-1)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, East Noble Field.

COACHES: Nate Andrews, 45-14 in fifth season at NorthWood, 85-53 in 12th season overall. Luke Amstutz, 56-19 in seventh season at East Noble, 82-34 in 11th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: NorthWood beat Plymouth, 40-7. East Noble beat DeKalb, 33-32.

PREVIOUS MEETING: NorthWood, 52-24, on November 4, 2016 in Class 4A sectional final.

UP NEXT: NorthWood or East Noble travels to Northridge (5-5) or Angola (10-0).

TOP PERFORMERS: Ben Mestach returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown for the Panthers against Plymouth. Logan Mitchell tallied 13 tackles for the Knights against DeKalb.

COACH TALK: “It will take a total effort in all three phases of the game. We must establish our run game, limit their big plays, and be sound in the kick game.” – NorthWood’s Nate Andrews.

“Looking forward to a great game between two programs that know each other well. For us to be successful against NorthWood, we have to find a way to control the run game, especially, Bronson Yoder who is one of the top players in the state. Offensively, the ability to keep them on their heels by being aggressive in the run game will be huge. But ultimately, this game will come down to turnovers and special teams plays.” – East Noble’s Luke Amstutz.

CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 24

EVANSVILLE CENTRAL (9-1) AT NORTHVIEW (10-0)

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Knights Stadium.

COACHES: Troy Burgess, 9-1 in first season at Evansville Central, 104-75 in 17th season overall. Mark Raetz, 48-14 in sixth season at Northview, 63-59 in 12th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Evansville Central beat Evansville Reitz, 30-14. Northview beat Owen Valley, 55-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: None.

UP NEXT: Evansville Central or Northview entertains Jasper (6-4) or Boonville (10-0).

TOP PERFORMERS: Brennan Schutte had 37 carries for 306 yards and two scores for the Bears against Evansville Reitz. Keegan Garrison went 5-of-5 for 76 yards with a touchdown for the Knights against Owen Valley.

COACH TALK: “Northview is a very good football team that is extremely well-coached. We will have to try and control their defensive front four. They are very physical up front, so on defense, we will need to try and control their run game because they have a very good quarterback (Trey Shaw) and running back (M.J. Shelton).” – Evansville Central’s Troy Burgess.

“Evansville Central is an outstanding team. We really see no weaknesses with them. We will have to play the best we have all season in all phases of the game to give ourselves a shot. We have to slow down their running game and be able to finish drives with points.” – Northview’s Mark Raetz.

CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 32

HERITAGE HILLS (10-0) AT GIBSON SOUTHERN (8-2)

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

COACHES: Todd Wilkerson, 49-25 in seventh season at Heritage Hills. Nick Hart, 75-11 in seventh season at Gibson Southern.

LAST CONTEST: Heritage Hills beat Mount Vernon (Posey), 47-0. Gibson Southern beat Washington, 54-6.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Heritage Hills, 31-7, on September 21, 2018.

UP NEXT: Heritage Hills or Gibson Southern hosts Evansville Memorial (10-0) or Vincennes Lincoln (8-2).

TOP PERFORMERS: Kyndell Carter accounted for three rushes for 70 yards and a touchdown against Mount Vernon (Posey). Dawson Witte caught five passes for 84 yards and a score for the Titans against Washington.

COACH TALK: “We have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Hart and the Gibson Southern football program. It will take a great effort from our players to be successful Friday. To put ourselves in position to win this game, our defensive line must be physical and limit big plays in the run game. On offense, we need to move the chains and keep the ball away from Gibson Southern's offense. Special teams are vital during playoff football, so our special team play has to be solid. It should be an awesome high school football game.” – Heritage Hills’ Todd Wilkerson.

“We are going to have to play our best game of the year in order to win. They beat us pretty good earlier in the season, so they are a very, very good football team. We can’t turn the ball over and we have to get some stops against their option attack. It is easier said than done, but something we must do to win.” – Gibson Southern’s Nick Hart.

CLASS 2A SECTIONAL 38

TIPTON (9-1) AT WESTERN BOONE (10-0)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Western Boone Field.

COACHES: Aaron Tolle, 104-55 in 14th season at Tipton. Justin Pelley, 48-19 in sixth season at Western Boone.

LAST CONTEST: Tipton beat Speedway, 62-13. Western Boone beat Indianapolis Washington, 49-0.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Western Boone, 21-14, on October 27, 2017 in Class 2A sectional semifinal.

UP NEXT: Tipton or Western Boone plays at Cascade (5-5) or hosts North Putnam (6-3).

TOP PERFORMERS: Peyton Carter carried the football 10 times for 230 yards and three touchdowns for the Blue Devils against Speedway. Logan Benson racked up four catches for 69 yards and a score for the Stars against Indianapolis Washington.

COACH TALK: “Western Boone is an excellent team that poses many problems. For us to be successful, we will need to finish drives and put points on the board when we get in the red zone. We will also have to limit their big plays. They are a very aggressive defense, therefore, we will have to be very smart up front and control their blitzes. Much like last year, the team that makes the fewest mistakes and the fewest turnovers will probably come out on top.” – Tipton’s Aaron Tolle.

“Tipton will be a great challenge this Friday night and our kids are excited for the opportunity. The key to the game will be stopping their quarterback KJ Roudebush. He is versatile on the ground and through the air, so we will have to be fundamentally sound in hopes of keeping him contained. On offense, we need to be efficient by eliminating penalties and not turning the ball over. Spread the ball around and take what they give us will be our plan going into the game.” – Western Boone’s Justin Pelley.

CLASS 2A SECTIONAL 40

EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (5-5) AT LINTON-STOCKTON (5-5)

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

COACHES: Mike Goebel, 216-67 in 22nd season at Evansville Mater Dei. Brian Oliver, 64-14 in sixth season at Linton-Stockton.

LAST CONTEST: Evansville Mater Dei beat North Posey, 35-7. Linton-Stockton beat Forest Park, 42-7.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Mater Dei, 32-0, on November 5, 1993 in Class 2A sectional final.

UP NEXT: Evansville Mater Dei or Linton-Stockton travels to Southridge or hosts North Knox.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brady Boring raced 17 times for 119 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats against North Posey. Lance Dyer had nine touches for 62 yards for the Miners against Forest Park.

COACH TALK: “Linton-Stockton presents an array of challenges for us. They have a rich history, recent state title and runner-up finishes, and took last year's 2A state champ (Southridge) to a one-point game, so they understand the game. Playing at Linton and weather conditions will add to our challenge as well. What is particularly impressive is that Linton has improved very much recently and is, simply put, a hard-hitting, aggressive team. They are playing at their best level now and we are very impressed with the excellent execution of the Wing-T offense and the hard running of (Lance) Dyer and (Luke) Lannan is very noticeable. Coach Oliver has also brought his quarterback (Trey) Goodman along, so they can throw the football which will make our defense defend even more options. The Miner defense is solid and aggressive and like the offense is very well-coached. They present a tremendous challenge in every aspect of the game.” – Evansville Mater Dei’s Mike Goebel.

“Evansville Mater Dei is a very good and dangerous team. In order for us to win, we need to take care of the ball and not give up big plays. We need to have long offensive drives and finish them by putting points on the board.” – Linton-Stockton’s Brian Oliver.

CLASS 1A SECTIONAL 43

CHURUBUSCO (9-1) AT ADAMS CENTRAL (10-0)

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

COACHES: Paul Sade, 47-18 in sixth season at Churubusco. Michael Mosser, 77-39 in 10th season at Adams Central.

LAST CONTEST: Churubusco beat South Adams, 28-21. Adams Central beat Northfield, 34-23.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Adams Central, 17-14, on October 27, 2017 in Class 1A sectional semifinal.

UP NEXT: Churubusco or Adams Central hosts Southwood (10-0) or Fremont (2-8).

TOP PERFORMERS: Reese Wicker finished with 11 tackles for the Eagles against South Adams. Jalen Hammond accounted for 15 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown for the Flying Jets against Northfield.

COACH TALK: “Adams Central is ranked second in the state for a reason. They have the best running back in Class 1A football in senior halfback Logan Macklin. Complimenting him is senior fullback Jalen Hammond and senior quarterback Parker Bates which creates the best backfield in our sectional and potentially in all of 1A football. We hope to be able to contain them as stopping them completely is futile. On defense, they are very aggressive and disciplined. They will make running the ball very difficult for us. We need to try to loosen them up in the box in order to run our offense the way we are most comfortable, which is between the tackles.” – Churubusco’s Paul Sade.

“We are going to have to stop their run game for sure and not get fooled by all their various formations and miss direction. That will be a challenge. We will also have to match their speed and skill. They are bigger than us up front, so that will be a challenge as well. We have to play better overall than we did last week against Northfield. We made a lot of mistakes on both sides of the ball that we have not done all year. Executing and not making mistakes will be the key. We also have to find a way to get the ball to Logan Macklin, but that will be a challenge since they will be keying on his every move. It will be a tough game and close, so the team that plays the best and makes the fewest mistakes wins.” – Adams Central’s Michael Mosser.

CLASS 1A SECTIONAL 44

SHERIDAN (8-2) AT MONROE CENTRAL (8-2)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Monroe Central Field.

COACHES: Larry Wright, 417-191 in 53rd season at Sheridan, 418-194 in 54th season overall. John Hochstetler, 54-26 in seventh season at Monroe Central, 141-109 in 22nd season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Sheridan beat Tri-Central, 35-14. Monroe Central beat Clinton Central, 34-13.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Monroe Central, 26-7, on November 3, 2017 in Class 1A sectional final.

UP NEXT: Sheridan plays host to Clinton Prairie (2-8) or Union City (4-6). Monroe Central plays at Clinton Prairie or Union City.

TOP PERFORMERS: Cameron Hovey tallied 16 carries for 97 yards and a score for the Blackhawks against Tri-Central. Taft Manship registered eight rushes for 61 yards for the Golden Bears against Clinton Central.

COACH TALK: “We must be able to stop their multiple offense. They give you many different looks, so we must adjust to these looks quickly. One play, they might be double tight with a wing offense and another play, they may have a five wide outs spread. They do them both very well. Their defense is also very solid with multiple looks and fronts, so we must be able to attack them with success.” – Sheridan’s Bud Wright.

“Well, the tradition that Sheridan has in high school football in our state is well documented. Our challenge is to be sound in all three phases of the game. Our team has been through the rigors and adversity that sets in on all football teams over a three month plus time frame. This game is the next big step for our program to establish our own traditions. Should be a good one.” – Monroe Central’s John Hochstetler.

CLASS 1A SECTIONAL 47

ATTICA (7-3) AT PARKE HERITAGE (8-2)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Parke Heritage Field.

COACHES: Ryan Good, 81-41 in 11th season at Attica. Brian Moore, 8-2 in first season at Parke Heritage, 195-45 in 21st season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Attica beat Fountain Central, 40-12. Parke Heritage beat Covington, 37-21.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Parke Heritage, 37-2, on September 7, 2018.

UP NEXT: Attica or Parke Heritage hosts Seeger (2-7) or travels to North Vermillion (9-1).

TOP PERFORMERS: Eli Kirkpatrick was 7-of-16 for 93 yards with a touchdown and ran 15 times for 49 yards for the Red Ramblers against Fountain Central. Jaylen Crull accounted for eight receptions for 75 yards with a score for the Wolves against Covington.

COACH TALK: “Defensively, we need to stop the Parke Heritage run game and limit the number of explosive pass plays they complete. Offensively, we will need to continue to execute our running game and mix in our passing every now and then.” – Attica’s Ryan Good.

“We need to run the ball, protect the quarterback, and find a way to score often. Defensively, we have to continue to tackle well and eliminate big plays. Attica has a very talented, senior dominated football team. We surprised them earlier this season, so we won't surprise them again. Both teams have improved, so we have to execute flawlessly on offense. Our biggest improvement has come defensively. We need to play really well to keep them out of the end zone. They run the ball really well and have big play capabilities with (Chase) Little in the passing game. Their defense is stingy against the run and they are athletic all over their unit.” – Parke Heritage’s Brian Moore.

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