Indiana Football Digest Top Games - 2019 Sectional Finals

The Indiana Football Digest Top Games is a weekly preview of the top contests around Indiana high school football.



PENN (6-4) AT WARSAW (8-2)

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

COACHES: Cory Yeoman, 180-39 in 17th season at Penn. Bart Curtis, 15-5 in second season at Warsaw, 216-107 in 29th season overall.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Penn, 16-7, on October 26, 2018 in Class 6A sectional semifinal.

LAST CONTEST: Penn beat Portage, 13-6. Warsaw beat Chesterton, 35-28.

UP NEXT: Penn hosts Crown Point or travels to Merrillville. Warsaw plays at Crown Point or Merrillville.

TOP PERFORMERS: Kyle Riffel ran 32 times for 143 yards for the Kingsmen against portage. Juan Jaramillio had 35 carries for 183 yards and two scores for the Tigers against Chesterton.

CHALK TALK: "It's going to come down to execution in all three phases of the game. Bart has done a great job over there and they are playing with a lot of confidence. We have to find to move the ball in order to keep their offense off the field." – Penn's Cory Yeoman.

"We cannot get overwhelmed by them physically because they can do this to people. They are big up front and fast in the backfield. Penn's defense is sound, likes to fly around, and understands what we are trying to accomplish. We cannot get overwhelmed by the moment and atmosphere. This is an exciting time for Warsaw Tiger football. We (everyone) needs to stay in the moment and prepare like we always do. We need to filter out unnecessary 'noise' and treat this like it is the next game. We cannot get overwhelmed by game circumstances Great things will happen Friday night and awful things will happen as well. We need to roll with the punches and play the next play to our highest effort and ability. We cannot get overwhelmed by big plays because they will happen. We have to make certain we end up with the football at the end of each offensive snap and make sure that their first downs (they will get them) don't become touchdowns. Finally, we cannot get overwhelmed with their size up front. They have a big offensive line that moves well, so we can't tie up with them. We must escape blocks and get to the football. We also must tackle well because their backs run very hard." – Warsaw's Bart Curtis.



KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Greyhound Stadium.

COACHES: Jake Gilbert, 60-43 in ninth season at Westfield, 90-79 in 15th season overall. John Hebert, 46-18 in fifth season at Carmel.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Carmel, 28-7, on October 26, 2018 in Class 6A sectional semifinal.

LAST CONTEST: Westfield beat Fishers, 42-14. Carmel beat Hamilton Southeastern, 28-14.

UP NEXT: Westfield entertains Homestead or travels to Carroll (Fort Wayne). Carmel plays at Carroll (Fort Wayne) or Homestead.

TOP PERFORMERS: Mason Piening caught eight passes for 107 yards with a touchdown for the Shamrocks against No. 6 Fishers. Christian Williams was 9-of-13 for 61 yards and ran five times for 31 yards and a score for the No. 5 Greyhounds against Hamilton Southeastern.

CHALK TALK: "We have to stop the run. They are big up front and have three great running backs and a lethal quarterback (Christian Williams). They are dangerous. Offensively, we have to find a way to move the chains. They are very disciplined and don't give up explosive plays very often. They are great tacklers. They are awesome right up the middle of their defense and that is always disruptive. We have to take what they give us and then turn it into more. Lastly, our kids have to bring it. We have to play with confidence like we did last week. We are very young on defense. Our young guys have to be big enough for the moment!" – Westfield's Jake Gilbert.

"Westfield is a very well-coached football team in all three phases. Their offensive and defensive lines are both big and physical and help them establish control in games. I think their play at quarterback and wide receiver is very strong which complements the great production they get from (Eli) Patchett and (Micah) Hauser at running back. They do a very nice job controlling the football and producing explosive plays. (Wide receivers) Mason Piening and Dane Wheeler are excellent playmakers as well. We've tried to use the regular season as preparation for the tournament. Our goal every year is to be playing our best football by week 10 to give us a shot at making a run in the post-season. There has been some evidence the past few weeks that we may be hitting the mark with that. Looking at the film of Westfield's victory over Fishers, I think the same can be said for them. This should be a really good game." – Carmel's John Hebert.



KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Arlington Field.

COACHES: Kyle Enright, 38-9 in fourth season at Decatur Central. Bill Peebles, 14-8 in second season at Cathedral, 88-73 in 15th season overall.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Decatur Central, 21-14, on November 2, 2018 in Class 5A sectional final.

LAST CONTEST: Decatur Central beat Terre Haute North, 49-0. Cathedral beat Terre Haute South, 38-14.

UP NEXT: Decatur Central entertains New Palestine or travels to Franklin. Cathedral goes to New Palestine or Franklin.

TOP PERFORMERS: Kenny Tracy scampered 19 times for 160 yards with four touchdowns for the No. 5 Hawks against Terre Haute North. Jake Langdon had nine rushes for 107 yards and two scores for the No. 3 Irish against Terre Haute South.

CHALK TALK: "Cathedral is a very good football team. They are well-coached and have played a very good schedule. When there is frost on the pumpkin, you have to be able to run the football and stop the run. That will be our focus. The team the blocks harder, tackles better, protects the football, and plays great special teams will win the ball game. We are excited for the opportunity to compete for a sectional title." – Decatur Central's Kyle Enright.

"This should be a great game. Decatur Central is on a roll. In their last nine games, they are averaging 50 points a game. In our last six games, our defense is giving up about eight points a game. Something will have to give. They are very explosive and have great skill players. We have to find a way to slow down (running back) Kenny Tracy. He is an exceptional player and that is much easier said than done. Offensively, we have to minimize the impact their aggressive blitzing defense has. If they are in our backfield throughout the night, it will be a long game." – Cathedral's Bill Peebles.



KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Kelso Stadium.

COACHES: Chris Coll, 11-19 in third season at Franklin, 90-62 in 14th season overall. Kyle Ralph, 84-4 in seventh season at New Palestine.

PREVIOUS MEETING: New Palestine, 25-0, on October 12, 1990.

LAST CONTEST: Franklin beat Seymour, 42-0. New Palestine beat Whiteland, 35-7.

UP NEXT: Franklin hosts Decatur Central or Indianapolis Cathedral. New Palestine travels to Decatur Central or entertains Cathedral.

TOP PERFORMERS: Drew Byerly went 11-of-18 for 177 yards with three touchdowns and rushed seven times for 103 yards and two scores for the No. 9 Grizzly Cubs against Seymour. Charlie Spegal rambled 33 times for 242 yards with four touchdowns for the top-ranked Dragons against Whiteland.

CHALK TALK: "We have got to be able to compete with them up front on both sides of the ball. That will be the critical factor. If they over power us there, it will be a long night. We also need to be able to compete at a high level for an entire game. That sounds kind of simplistic and cliché, but from what I've seen of them, teams have played with them for periods of time. But at some point, they always wear their opponents down mentally as much as anything and then the game gets out of hand. So, we have to be able to mentally compete play after play for an entire four quarters, which is something they are very, very good at." – Franklin's Chris Coll.

"Franklin is a very good football team that is experiencing one of their best season in a long time. Coach Coll has done an exceptional job down there in his time and his kids have bought into his program. Their offense and defense has been really good this season, so we will need to play a well-rounded game. On offense, we need to execute much better than a week ago and come prepared to play. Defensively, we will need to be sound in our assignments because they have been very good in both their run and pass game this season. It should be a great environment as two highly ranked teams meet with a sectional championship on the line." – New Palestine's Kyle Ralph.



KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EST, Amzie Miller Field.

COACHES: John Barron, 124-53 in 16th season at Plymouth. Russ Radtke, 77-19 in eighth season at New Prairie, 367-139 in 43rd season overall.

PREVIOUS MEETING: New Prairie, 37-35, on November 7, 2014 in Class 4A sectional final.

LAST CONTEST: Plymouth beat South Bend Saint Joseph, 28-12. New Prairie beat Culver Academy, 49-3.

UP NEXT: Plymouth entertains Hobart or travels to Lowell. New Prairie plays at Hobart or Lowell.

TOP PERFORMERS: Ivan Winkle rushed 18 times for 131 yards with three scores for the Rockies against Saint Joseph. Chase Ketterer scampered 22 times for 190 yards with three touchdowns and also returned

CHALK TALK: "It's going to take a big effort on our part to beat New Prairie at New Prairie, but I'm pretty sure we will get on the bus. They are enormous up front offensively with an average of 6-foot-2 and 283 pounds and have arguably the best running quarterback in the state of Indiana in Chase Ketterer, who has 237 carries and only lost one fumble. That's incredible. He's a special player, no doubt about it. There's also little doubt who is touching the ball or doing all the scoring. It's either Ketterer or No. 34 (Chris) Mays. They dominate their offensive statistics. Defensively, they are aggressive and move a lot. They will try to pressure our quarterback (Joe Barron) and make him get rid of the ball before we want to. We will need to protect our quarterback and get the ball in the hands of the mismatches." – Plymouth's John Barron.

"The Cougars look forward to welcoming the Plymouth Rockies to Amzie Miller field Friday night. This will be the first time that the Rockies have been here since 1982. I do know that both communities are in for a good game. The last two times we have faced them, we were fortunate enough to come away with victories, but we also know that is a good motivator to opposing teams. Coach Barron and his staff have again put together an outstanding football team. We see a lot of similarities to their 2014 team, a great quarterback with the last name of (Joe) Barron, and receivers that may not have the name (Jeremy) Drudge, but are just as dangerous. For us to come away with the win, our defense again must be at the top of their game. We have been please at the progress that we have been seen, but know that our defensive backs will be tested again. We must be aggressive, but composed. Offensively, our line must be ready for any fronts and stunts they throw at us, get into the right blocking schemes and communicate, allowing our backs to call the right plays. Plymouth has been very solid on special teams and field position will be key. Should be a great atmosphere for high school football." – New Prairie associate head coach Bill Gumm.



KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Mooresville Field.

COACHES: Jake Meiners, 11-0 in first season at East Central. Mike Gillin, 23-13 in third season at Mooresville, 328-130 in 41st season overall.

LAST CONTEST: East Central beat Greenwood, 49-35. Mooresville beat Martinsville, 41-16.


UP NEXT: East Central entertains Evansville Memorial or Evansville Central. Mooresville travels to Evansville Memorial or hosts Evansville Central.

TOP PERFORMERS: Jake Fike rumbled 35 times for 283 yards and five touchdowns for the No. 1 Trojans against Greenwood. Caden Robinson had 31 carries for 175 yards with a score for the No. 8 Pioneers against Martinsville.

CHALK TALK: "We need to win the time of possession. We feel that this is a must on Friday. With our style, we put a lot of emphasis on winning the time of possession, but it is more important this week. Mooresville has a great offense and we need to keep them off of the field. We must play a clean game. South Dearborn and Martinsville struggled with turnovers, especially early. We cannot allow them to build momentum early. Penalties were also a major problem for us against Greenwood. We cannot allow penalties to impact the game. We have to know where (No. 13) Brayden Evans is at all times. He is a special player who has hurt teams all season with his size and speed. We must limit his big play ability." – East Central's Jake Meiners.

"They are a very athletic, well-coached team. They're very balanced on both sides being able to run and throw, but they also do good job defending the run and pass. We will need to mix run and pass to be successful on offense and not turn it over. We will need to get some three-and-outs to create field position and not give up big plays. Special teams are quite even but will also be a factor." – Mooresville's Mike Gillin.



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

COACHES: John Hurley, 96-55 in 12th season at Memorial. Sean Coultis, 9-2 in first season at Central, 18-13 in third season overall.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Central, 23-20 (2OT), on October 4, 2019.

LAST CONTEST: Memorial beat Boonville, 33-13. Central beat Jasper, 27-16.

UP NEXT: Evansville Memorial goes to East Central or hosts Mooresville. Evansville Central travels to East Central or Mooresville.

TOP PERFORMERS: Colton Pence went 10-of-14 for 230 yards with two touchdowns for the No. 3 Tigers against Boonville. Collins Turner completed 5-of-11 for 134 yards with three scores for the No. 6 Bears against Jasper.

CHALK TALK: "Central is a well-coached football team who is playing at a very high level at the right time. Coach Coultis and his staff do a great job preparing for big games. It will be a great environment Friday night at Central fit for a sectional championship. We will need to stop the run, protect the football, eliminate penalties and make big plays on both sides of the ball." – Evansville Memorial's John Hurley.

"Memorial is an outstanding program led by a great head coach in John Hurley. They won state in 2017 and lost at state in 2018. We tied them this year for the SIAC conference championship. It is a shame that one of our two teams has to go home on Friday. We want to make sure that we leave everything on the field. We will do our best to prepare our kids in practice, watch film, and lift weights so we have no regrets. The truth is whatever team loses had an outstanding year and should be super proud of their season. To be honest, if we played these guys five times, the same team probably wouldn't come out on top each time. Hopefully we can create big plays on offense, limit big plays on defense, and win the turnover battle. The team that can do that will come out on top." – Evansville Central's Sean Coultis.


KNOX (10-1) AT CALUMET (9-1)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CST, The Arrowhead.

COACHES: John Hendryx, 41-16 in fifth season at Knox, 216-92 in 27th season overall. Richard Good, 18-11 in third season at Calumet.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Calumet, 20-18, on November 1, 2014 in Class 3A sectional semifinal.

LAST CONYEST: Knox beat Twin Lakes, 36-7. Calumet beat River Forest, 32-13.

UP NEXT: Knox entertains Mishawaka Marian or goes to Jimtown. Calumet plays at Mishawaka Marian or Jimtown.

TOP PERFORMERS: Payton Brugh had 14 carries for 178 yards and four scores for the Redskins against Twin Lakes. Justin Barker returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown for the Warriors against River Forest.

CHALK TALK: "For us to have success, we have to try and find a way to deal with Calumet's team speed. They are very fast and we can't let them hit on a lot of big plays on us. Offensively, we need to eliminate turnovers and penalties." – Knox's John Hendryx.

"We're excited to play in the school's fourth ever sectional final and we're hoping to win the first-ever title. For us to do that there's a few things that we've preached to the kids that we think will be important. Offensively, we have to stay on schedule and get positive yardage on first down. When we're running the ball well and getting ourselves into third down and short situations, we tend to play much better. We need to control the time of possession. For us to be successful Friday, we need to try and keep our offense on the field and keep Knox from driving the ball the length of the field. We need to get Mark Flores going at quarterback in the passing and running game. If we can keep Knox honest and not let them load up the box, we feel our big play ability will have the best opportunity to make an impact. Defensively, we have to stalemate their big offensive line. This will be the biggest unit we've faced since week two (Mount Carmel, Illinois), so letting them control the line of scrimmage will make things difficult for us up front. We have to use our team speed to create third and long situations for them. We feel we have the speed advantage and want to be able to bring pressure against their passing game. They run the ball 80 percent of the time, so we'd like to make them throw to win. We have to tackle well. They get a lot of players to the point of attack and we need to make the most of open field opportunities or we're going to be in a shootout which is not the style we feel gives us the best chance to win." – Calumet's Rick Good.



KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Bishop Chatard Stadium.

COACHES: Shane Fry, 77-14 in seventh season at West Lafayette. Rob Doyle, 28-10 in third season at Bishop Chatard.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Bishop Chatard, 31-7, on November 27, 2015 in Class 3A state championship.

LAST CONTEST: West Lafayette beat Guerin Catholic, 34-31. Bishop Chatard beat North Montgomery, 49-12.

UP NEXT: West Lafayette entertains Peru or Fort Wayne Concordia. Bishop Chatard goes to Fort Wayne Concordia or hosts Peru.

TOP PERFORMERS: Harrison Truitt caught seven passes for 154 yards with a touchdown for the No. 5 Red Devils against Guerin Catholic. Daylen Taylor ran nine times for 100 yards with two scores and caught two passes for 38 yards with a touchdown for the No. 1 Trojans against North Montgomery.

CHALK TALK: "Bishop Chatard is an outstanding football team. In order for us to be successful, we must match their physicality and win the turnover battle. Defensively, we need to slow down their outstanding running attack. Their offensive line and running backs are the best we have seen this season.  Offensively, we need to move the chains and convert when we are in the red zone." – West Lafayette's Shane Fry.

"West Lafayette has an explosive offense that runs a play about every 14 seconds. (Kyle) Adams is a tremendous quarterback and (Harrison) Truitt is a dominant receiver. We need to slow them down as best we can. On offense, we have to avoid turnovers and run the ball with physical authority. We do not want this to turn into a shootout." – Bishop Chatard's Rob Doyle.



KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Cogdell Field.

COACHES: Jeff Adamson, 277-88 in 31st season at Eastbrook. Josh Edwards, 56-76 in 13th season at Eastern, 72-140 in 21st season overall.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Eastbrook, 56-7, on October 20, 2017 in Class 2A sectional quarterfinal.

LAST CONTEST: Eastbrook beat Tipton, 34-7. Eastern beat Alexandria, 20-7.

UP NEXT: Eastbrook hosts Eastside or travels to Fairfield. Eastern (Greentown) goes to Fairfield or Eastside.

TOP PERFORMERS: Wyatt Stephson scampered 25 times for 132 yards with three touchdowns for the No. 8 Panthers against Tipton. Nolan Grubb was 5-of-11 for 100 yards with two scores and ran for a third tally for the No. Comets against Alexandria.

CHALK TALK: "Eastern is a very athletic team that is playing with a lot of confidence after posting an undefeated season. We need to get off to a fast start offensively. Their offense has been able to remain very balanced between the run and the pass, so we will need to play assignment football and hopefully get a couple of turnovers." – Eastbrook's Jeff Adamson.

"Obviously Eastbrook is a very good opponent. Defensively, we will have to eliminate their big plays and make them drive the ball on us. Offensively, we will need to control the clock and keep the ball in our possession as much as possible. We need to be able to pass the ball effectively in key situations." – Eastern's Josh Edwards.



KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Heritage Christian Stadium.

COACHES: Ott Hurrle, 200-134 in 28th season at Scecina, 201-143 in 30th season overall. Kyle Ray, 26-15 in fourth season at Heritage Christian.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Scecina, 47-26, on October 26, 2018 in Class 2A sectional semifinal.

LAST CONTEST: Scecina beat Shenandoah, 49-22. Heritage Christian beat Eastern Hancock, 28-6.

UP NEXT: Scecina goes to Western Boone or entertains South Vermillion. Heritage Christian travels to Western Boone or South Vermillion.

TOP PERFORMERS: Tyishaun Woods tallied 12 carries for 145 yards with two scores for the Crusaders against Shenandoah. Nate Thomson caught nine passes for 123 yards with a touchdown for the No. 7 Eagles against Eastern Hancock.

CHALK TALK: "We will have to be able to handle their various blitz packages and match their physicality." – Scecina's Ott Hurrle.

"We need to play our most physical game of the season to have success. We need to win the line of scrimmage first and foremost. We need all 11 guys on defense to fly to the football and be great tacklers. On offense, we need to maintain our balance of run and pass. We have to enjoy the moment and embrace the grind that comes with a championship game." – Heritage Christian's Kyle Ray.



KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, Gibson Field.

COACHES: Brian Moore, 18-4 in second season at Parke Heritage, 205-47 in 22nd season overall. Brian Crabtree, 87-14 in eighth season at North Vermillion, 122-53 in 15th season overall.

PREVIOUS MEETING: North Vermillion, 42-36, on October 4, 2019.

LAST CONTEST: Parke Heritage beat Attica, 44-26. North Vermillion beat South Putnam, 28-13.

UP NEXT: Parke Heritage goes to Park Tudor or hosts Indianapolis Lutheran. North Vermillion plays at Indianapolis Lutheran or Park Tudor.

TOP PERFORMERS: Austin Petrillio hauled in nine receptions for 199 yards with two touchdowns for the No. 6 Wolves against Attica. Brennan Ellis went 17-of-25 for 145 yards with two scores and rushed 10 times for 69 yards and two touchdowns for the No. 5 Falcons against South Putnam.

CHALK TALK: "We lost a heartbreaker in the regular season at North Vermillion. Our offense got inside the red zone four times without scoring and our defense against the run was non-existent. We have to improve in both areas to have a chance to win on Friday. North Vermillion is very well-coached on both sides of the ball. Their program is in a place where they expect to win. They do not get rattled in close games. I know they love this senior class which is easy to see why, they are very talented. Our kids are playing football in November for the first time in their lives. We have to be able to check our nerves at the door and go out and play the best game of our lives. If we do that, we will have a chance to win." – Parke Heritage's Brian Moore.

"On offense, we need to control the tempo of the game with long, sustained drives that keep the ball out of their hands. On defense, we have to limit their explosive plays and defend the pass better than we did in our first meeting. As always, we need to win the turnover battle, limit mistakes and penalties, and tackle well." – North Vermillion's Brian Crabtree.



KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EST, The Teepee.

COACHES: Steve Stirn, 35-20 in fifth season at North Decatur, 122-69 in 17th season overall. Ryan Langferman, 87-51 in 12th season at Milan.

PREVIOUS MEETING: North Decatur, 21-0, on September 20, 2019.

LAST CONTEST: North Decatur beat Tri, 12-0. Milan beat Hagerstown, 34-14.

UP NEXT: North Decatur hosts Perry Central or goes to West Washington. Milan plays at West Washington or Perry Central.

TOP PERFORMERS: Alex Stirn completed 11-of-17 for 205 yards and two scores for the No. 7 Chargers against Tri. Peyton Wert was 8-of-15 for 166 yards with three touchdowns and rushed 15 times for 85 yards for the Indians against Hagerstown.

CHALK TALK: "The keys will be execution offensively and ensuring that Milan's linebackers are blocked on every play. Both interior linebackers are athletic, physical, and react well to their keys. The Chargers have to secure those two individuals to be able to move the football on the ground, which is always a must in November football. Defensively, the Chargers will need to limit the Indians' ground game. A recent quarterback change to No. 10 Peyton Wert leaves the passing game as a bit of a question mark for the game, but the Indians still have large receiving targets that the Chargers must contain and address." – North Decatur's Steve Stirn.

"We need to be able to advance the football against a very tough defense. We are going to have to take care of the football and string together some long drives to give our defense a break. Defensively, we must contain (Alex) Stirn and (Logan) Koehne, who both are very good athletes that make plays. We will need to be fundamentally sound to hold them in check and eliminate big plays." – Milan's Ryan Langferman.

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