Indiana Football Digest Top Games - 2019 Sectional Quarterfinals 

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

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CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 17

HOBART (7-2) AT HAMMOND MORTON (8-1)

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

COACHES: Craig Osika, 14-5 in second season at Hobart. Sean Kinsey, 29-14 in fourth season at Morton.

LAST CONTEST: Hobart beat Lowell, 38-7. Morton beat Hammond Clark, 49-0.

UP NEXT: Hobart hosts East Chicago Central or Highland. Hammond Morton travels to Highland or entertains East Chicago Central.

TOP PERFORMERS: Riley Johnston was 9-of-16 for 101 yards and ran 10 times for 68 yards with a touchdown for the Brickies against Lowell. Cradell Prather went 14-of-21 for 200 yards with four scores for the No. 9 Governors against Hammond Clark.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Hobart, 35-12, on October 7, 2016.

CHALK TALK: "We are going to have to limit their big plays and stay disciplined in our coverage assignments when their quarterback (Credell Prather) breaks out of the pocket. Offensively, we are going to have to be able to handle their size up front. Ultimately, it always comes down to the team that makes the fewest mistakes and blocks and tackles better." – Hobart's Craig Osika.

"We will need to stop the run. We will need for our playmakers on offense to make explosive plays and we will need special teams to play consistent." – Hammond Morton's Sean Kinsey.

SECTIONAL 20

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

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

COACHES: Chris Overholt, 27-16 in fourth season at Delta. Curt Funk, 74-35 in 10th season at Mississinewa.

LAST CONTEST: Delta lost to New Palestine, 49-13. Mississinewa beat Blackford, 38-13.

UP NEXT: Delta entertains Fort Wayne South or Huntington North. Mississinewa travels to Huntington North or hosts Fort Wayne South.

TOP PERFORMERS: Wesley Stitt has four rushes for 25 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles against top-ranked (Class 5A) New Palestine. Ethan Bennett completed all five of his passes for 119 yards and two scores for the No. 5 Indians against Blackford.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Delta, 42-0, on October 31, 2014 in Class 4A sectional semifinal.

CHALK TALK: "Coach Funk has done a great job developing a solid football culture at Mississinewa. This year's team has big linemen and tough skilled players. For us to be successful, we will need to win the line of scrimmage and get turnovers. We need to play physical football and take the fight to them. Our conference schedule has prepared us for the tournament, so should be a great first round game." – Delta's Chris Overholt.

"We will have to bring high energy and intensity on Friday against a very talented Delta football team. We can't turn the ball over, must be great at blocking and tackling, and sound on special teams to have success against a very good Delta football team." – Mississinewa's Curt Funk.

SECTIONAL 23

SILVER CREEK (8-1) AT EAST CENTRAL (9-0)

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

COACHES: David Papenhaus, 8-1 in first season at Silver Creek. Jake Meiners, 9-0 in first season at East Central.

LAST CONTEST: Silver Creek beat Corydon Central, 28-14. East Central beat Beech Grove, 49-15.

UP NEXT: Silver Creek entertains Greenwood or Madison. East Central entertains Madison or goes to Greenwood.

TOP PERFORMERS: Ben Landers scampered 13 times for 93 yards with a touchdown for the Dragons against Corydon Central. Jake Fike rambled 22 times for 193 yards and two scores for the No. 1 Trojans against Beech Grove.

PREVIOUS MEETING: East Central, 24-0, on Nov. 3, 2017 in Class 4A sectional final.

CHALK TALK: "For us to be successful Friday, we have to do three things. We must play our game. We cannot get caught up in the tradition of East Central. We know that they have a long and storied tradition and that we do not as we have only had football for the past eight years. We have to come out and do what we do, and keep our focus on us. We have to stop the power running game that East Central brings. We have to get them off schedule and force them to punt. We have to be able to run the football and move the chains. We have to be efficient and not put ourselves in bad positions by self-inflicting wounds, like penalties or missed assignments. If we do these three things, we have a very good chance of moving on to next week." – Silver Creek's David Papenhaus.

"It is looking like this will be a great matchup. In order for us to be successful on Friday, we must play fast and aggressive. We want to start fast and take chances as the game allows. Silver Creek appears to have a great defense, so our offense must be ready to go. We cannot turn over the football and must get our players in favorable matchups on the field. We must execute in the run game and take the pass when it is available, so our quarterback Ryan Bond must get us into the correct play. Silver Creek's offense will throw multiple looks at our defense, so we must align correctly and know our responsibilities on each play. We must communicate and fly to the football and try to create turnovers. Our special teams must win the field position battle. If we can do these things, hopefully we can walk away Friday with a victory." – East Central's Jake Meiners.

CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 28

INDIANAPOLIS BISHOP CHATARD (8-1) AT BREBEUF JESUIT (7-2)

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

COACHES: Rob Doyle, 26-10 in third season at Bishop Chatard. Mic Roessler, 54-29 in seventh season at Brebeuf Jesuit.

LAST CONTEST: Bishop Chatard beat Bloomington South, 42-7. Brebeuf Jesuit beat Terre Haute North, 28-14.

UP NEXT: Bishop Chatard hosts Crawfordsville or goes to North Montgomery. Brebeuf Jesuit travels to North Montgomery or Crawfordsville.

TOP PERFORMERS: Kyle Cheek was 12-of-15 for 155 yards with a score for the top-ranked Trojans against Bloomington South. Gabe Wright ran 10 times for 98 yards with two touchdowns for the No. 6 Braves against Terre Haute North.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Bishop Chatard, 49-14, on August 23, 2019.

CHALK TALK: "The keys for us to be successful include being physical in an attempt to wear them out. We can't let their athletes run free and we have to play with enthusiasm and have fun." – Bishop Chatard's Rob Doyle.

"Offensively, we need to get the ball in our playmaker's hands. Defensively, we need to prevent huge plays that allows them to convert long down and distances. We need to be aggressive throughout the entire game." – Brebeuf Jesuit's Mic Roessler.

SECTIONAL 31

BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (9-0) AT CHARLESTOWN (7-2)

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

COACHES: Reed May, 268-52 in 27th season at Brownstown. Jason Hawkins, 94-36 in 12th season at Charlestown, 100-49 in 14th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Brownstown beat Scottsburg, 39-13. Charlestown beat Eastern (Pekin), 35-6.

UP NEXT: Brownstown Central travels to Scottsburg or hosts Lawrenceburg. Charlestown is on the road at Lawrenceburg or Scottsburg.

TOP PERFORMERS: Eli Brown tallied three rushes for 42 yards with two touchdowns for the No. 3 Braves against Scottsburg. Chase Benner tossed a 72-yard scoring pass for the Pirates against Eastern (Pekin).

PREVIOUS MEETING: Brownstown Central, 21-14, on August 30, 2019.

CHALK TALK: "We were fortunate to win the first game against them and it is always hard to beat a team twice. Offensively, we need to do a better job than the first game because they have an outstanding defense that's only given up eight points per game. Defensively, we need to try and contain the (Marion) Lukes kid as best as we can. He is an outstanding back, but in doing so, we need to be aware of their other offensive weapons. The key, as always, will be who wins the turnover battle and who excels best on special teams." – Brownstown Central's Reed May.

"Brownstown's been one of the best teams in our conference for a long time. You have to stop (quarterback) Derek Thompson, if you're going to stop Brownstown. Derek was a key reason why they beat us the first time. He's running the ball more now than he was. We're going to have to control the ball. No turnovers and play sound defense." – Charlestown's Jason Hawkins.

SECTIONAL 32

GIBSON SOUTHERN (7-2) AT SALEM (6-3)

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

COACHES: Nick Hart, 83-14 in eighth season at Gibson Southern. R.J. Hartsfield, 36-35 in seventh season at Salem.

LAST CONTEST: Gibson Southern beat Southridge, 22-21. Salem beat West Washington, 22-6.

UP NEXT: Gibson Southern entertains Heritage Hills or Corydon Central. Salem travels to Heritage Hills or hosts Corydon Central.

TOP PERFORMERS: Seth DeLong hauled in six passes for 190 yards and a score for the No. 8 Titans against No. 10 Southridge. Lane Price accumulated 148 yards and two touchdowns on 30 attempts for the Lions against No. 9 (Class 1A) West Washington.

PREVIOUS MEETING: None

CHALK TALK: "R.J. is doing a great job there. They are a very well-coached team which makes very few mistakes. They've had a heck of a year and we are in for a big challenge on Friday. Offensively I think they present some unique challenges. They are a flex-bone team, but they throw the ball often for a flex-bone team and they do so very efficiently. Their defense has been lights out. They are only giving up 14 points a game and are going to try and control the ball and keep our offense off the field. We are going two hours for a sectional game, so we've got to handle the trip well and come out ready to play. I think it is exciting to go travel and play a different team than the same teams traditionally in your sectional." – Gibson Southern's Nick Hart.

"In order to win this game, we must take care of mental mistakes like turnovers and penalties. We must establish the run and take chances in the throw game. Defensively, we will have to stop the run number one and limit the big play. If we can play fast and with great effort, we will be in good shape." – Salem's R.J. Hartsfield.

CLASS 2A SECTIONAL 34

PIONEER (8-1) AT LEWIS CASS (8-1)

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

COACHES: Adam Berry, 52-2 in fourth season at Pioneer. Jeff Phillips, 23-20 in fourth season at Cass, 69-54 in 12th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Pioneer beat North Judson, 56-0. Cass beat West Lafayette, 49-42.

UP NEXT: Pioneer travels to Delphi or hosts Rochester. Lewis Cass goes to Rochester or Delphi.

TOP PERFORMERS: Miles VonTobel ran nine times for 53 yards with a score for the No. 3 Panthers against North Judson. Joey Humphrey came up with two receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns for the No. Kings against No. 5 (Class 3A) West Lafayette.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Lewis Cass, 28-22, on August 23, 2019.

CHALK TALK: "Lewis Cass is a great team that can do multiple things offensively. We need to recognize early if they are in their Wing-T or Spread set and communicate effectively. On the offensive side of the ball, we need to control the line of scrimmage and have great second level blocking. Ball control and limiting penalties will be two things we must focus on this week." - Pioneer's Adam Berry.

"To have success against the Pioneer Panthers this Friday, we will have to have a solid performance from all three phases, special teams, offense, and defense. Our special teams will need to continue to create favorable field position. On defense, we will need to prevent big plays. Both Ezra and Addai Lewellen are capable of taking it to the house on any given play, so we will have to have great pursuit and tackle well in space. On offense, we will need to continue finishing drives and protect the football. Winning the turnover battle is always a key factor." Lewis Cass' Jeff Phillips.

SECTIONAL 36

LAPEL (6-3) AT EASTERN (GREENTOWN) (9-0)

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

COACHES: Tim Miller, 46-45 in eighth season at Lapel. Josh Edwards, 54-76 in 13th season at Eastern, 70-140 in 21st season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Lapel beat Eastern Hancock, 28-20. Eastern beat Clinton Prairie, 34-0.

UP NEXT: Lapel hosts Elwood or goes to Alexandria. Eastern (Greentown) plays at Alexandria or Elwood.

TOP PERFORMERS: Charlie Prough had four catches for 87 yards with a touchdown for the Bulldogs against Eastern Hancock. Zane Downing found the end zone twice for the No. 9 Comets against Clinton Prairie.

PREVIOUS MEETING: None.

CHALK TALK: "Offensively, we need to take care of the football and not have turnovers or three and outs. Picking up their blitzes is key to our success on offense this week. Our defense needs to stop the run and not get beat on deep passes when they take their shots." – Lapel's Tim Miller.

"Lapel is a very good football team with athletes all over the field on both sides of the ball. Obviously the key to hanging close to them is slowing down their quarterback, No. 6 Cole Alexander. He is the best we have seen in a few years. He has a nice stable of receivers to throw to and some nice backs. The key to the Comets having a chance is to minimize Lapel's big plays. They have a good offense and will score some points, so we have to keep that at a minimum if we hope to complete with them. Offensively, we have to continue to run the ball well and not turn the ball over. We need to use ball control passing game and hope to hit on a few deep balls. This will be a tough game for us." Eastern's Josh Edwards.

SECTIONAL 38

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (8-1) AT NORTHEASTERN (7-2)

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

COACHES: Kyle Ray, 24-15 in fourth season at Heritage Christian. Wes Oler, 7-2 in first season at Northeastern.

LAST CONTEST: Heritage Christian beat South Putnam, 30-6. Northeastern beat Hagerstown, 18-12.

UP NEXT: Heritage Christian entertains Winchester or travels to Eastern Hancock. Northeastern plays at Winchester or Eastern Hancock.

TOP PERFORMERS: Maxwell Milton went 16-of-30 for 262 yards with three touchdowns for the No. 7 Eagles against South Putnam. Shane Berry rambled 25 times for 105 yards with two scores for the Knights against Hagerstown.

LAST MEETING: Northeastern, 30-0, on August 22, 2003.

CHALK TALK: "We need to play very physical and disciplined to have success this week. Northeastern is a very good football team and they run an offense that can be hard to stop. We need to swarm to the ball on defense and tackle well. On offense, we need to continue to stay balanced with our run and pass. We need to win the line of scrimmage up front, avoid turnovers, and finish drives with touchdowns in the red zone. We need to gain an edge in the special teams'-field position battle as well by playing with great effort and execution." – Heritage Christian's Kyle Ray.

"For us to have success on Friday night hosting Heritage Christian, we will have to control the line of scrimmage. Defensively, we must shut down their running lanes and also pressure the quarterback to disrupt his reads. Offensively, we have to establish our style of football and that starts with being able to move them up front. Our linemen are the strength of our team and that must continue Friday night. But, the bottom line is the team who plays the cleanest game from a turnover and penalty standpoint will be playing next Friday." – Northeastern's Wes Oler.  

CLASS 1A SECTIONAL 44

SOUTHWOOD (9-0) AT CHURUBUSCO (7-2)

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

COACHES: Dave Snyder, 66-36 in ninth season at Southwood. Paul Sade, 54-21 in seventh season at Churubusco.

LAST CONTEST: Southwood beat Tippecanoe Valley, 21-7. Churubusco beat Fairfield, 36-14.

UP NEXT: Southwood plays at Northfield or hosts Triton. Churubusco goes to Triton or Northfield.

TOP PERFORMERS: Tristan Hayslett carried the ball 11 times for 61 yards with a touchdown for the No. 3 Knights against Tippecanoe Valley. Jake Fulk rumbled 29 times for 252 yards and two scores for the No. 10 Eagles against Fairfield.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Southwood, 24-13, on October 31, 2008 in Class 1A sectional semifinals.

CHALK TALK: "Probably the key for us is to stop their run game. They run a lot of motion and misdirection, so keeping our eyes on our reads and not in the backfield will be a must. They are big up front, so we will need to get to the perimeter with our run game and find the soft spots against their cover two pass defense." – Southwood's Dave Snyder.

"If we are going to compete with Southwood, we are going to have to eliminate turnovers and blown assignments. We have not played a team that has this kind of team speed across the board. They are very disciplined in their approach and have a number of weapons that can make the smallest misstep a very critical error. One mistake against a team like this could very well be the difference in the game." – Churubusco's Paul Sade.

SECTIONAL 46

INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN (8-0) AT SHERIDAN (6-3)

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

COACHES: Dave Pasch, 94-50 in 12th season at Lutheran, 159-107 in 23rd season overall. Larry Wright, 423-195 in 54th season at Sheridan, 424-198 in 55th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Lutheran beat Traders Point Christian, 63-27. Sheridan beat Carroll (Flora), 64-56.

UP NEXT: Lutheran hosts Covenant Christian or plays at Indianapolis Tindley. Sheridan goes to Indianapolis Tindley or Covenant Christian.

TOP PERFORMERS: Blake White went 17-of-21 for 332 yards with three scores for the No. 1 Saints against Traders Point Christian. Christian Clausen ran 11 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns for the Blackhawks against Carroll (Flora).

PREVIOUS MEETING: None.

CHALK TALK: "The key for us this week is to continue to have great focus on us and to improve in practice. I believe the keys will be our execution, our ability to play without mistakes, penalties, and to be fundamental football players." – Indianapolis Lutheran's Dave Pasch.

"It will take a great effort on our part. We will have three of the five players back that have been out (four who were two-way players), but practice time for them has been slow working them back in, so they must perform at a high rate. We cannot make mistakes and must take advantage of the breaks we get. We must play four quarters, which has been a problem. If we play like we can, we should see results

We must attack Lutheran's weak spots, which are not many, and be able to score points. We must be able to get stops on defense and play hardnosed football." – Sheridan's Larry "Bud" Wright.

SECTIONAL 47

MILAN (7-2) AT KNIGHTSTOWN (6-3)

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

COACHES: Ryan Langferman, 85-51 in 12th season at Milan. Chad Montgomery, 15-5 in second season at Knightstown.

LAST CONTEST: Milan beat Switzerland County, 54-0. Knightstown beat Centerville, 14-7.

UP NEXT: Milan entertains Hagerstown or travels to Oldenburg Academy. Knightstown plays at Hagerstown or Oldenburg Academy. 

TOP PERFORMERS: Cole Steele came up with six carries for 59 yards and a touchdown for the Indians against Switzerland County. Ben Newby rumbled 25 times for 170 yards for the Panthers against Centerville.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Milan, 59-26, on October 16, 2015.

CHALK TALK: "Defensively we will have to contain No. 22 (Nick Walsh). He's a good running back, so tackling will be a major focus this week. On the offensive side of the ball, Knightstown runs multiple defensive fronts. We will need to rely on our fundamentals to execute blocking assignments properly. As always, limiting penalties and turnovers will be key. Knightstown has a rich football tradition, so we know it will be a tough road game for us. Our team energy and focus will be key to overcome a tough playoff environment." Milan's Ryan Langferman.

"It's going to sound like coach speak, but the only games we lost this year, we have lost the turnover battle. We have to reduce our penalties and eliminate big plays by their offense. This has been our formula for every win thus season and last season too." - Knightstown's Chad Montgomery.

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