Timeout football: Region sectional games to watch
October 25, 2012 11:30PM
Updated: August 18, 2013 3:41PM
Crown Point (7-3) at Lake Central (8-2), 7 p.m.
Radio: 1270-AM, 88.5-FM, 107.1-FM
The skinny: During the regular season, the Indians cruised past the Bulldogs 27-7. But that was with Purdue recruit David Yancey playing for LC. He didn’t play last week, and could be out for the duration of the postseason. Or not. At first it was said Yancey would be out six to eight weeks with a leg injury. Then it was changed to two to three weeks. Now there’s a rumor that Yancey’s walking around the halls at school. As Jack Nicholson’s version of “The Joker” said in the original Batman movie, “Who do you trust? Who do you trust?” If Yancey doesn’t play, this game’s virtually a pick ’em.
Mishawaka (7-3) at Hobart (8-2), 7 p.m.
The skinny: These two teams haven’t met in the postseason and are both on a roll headed into this game — the Cavemen winning five straight and the Brickies winning six in a row. Something’s gotta give, but it won’t be easy for Hobart without wide receiver Anthony Burgos, who will miss the game since the IHSAA didn’t change the referee’s ruling despite Burgos not throwing a punch in last week’s melee at KV. Now Burgos will be an inspiration to the team with the motto, “Win No. 7 (in a row) for No. 7 (his jersey).” Mishawaka has two sectional titles in the last three years, while Hobart hasn’t won a crown since 1997 while reaching six sectionals finals in that span.
Morton (5-5) at East Chicago (9-1), 7 p.m.
The skinny: These two teams last met in the sectional semifinal last year with the Governors winning 35-21. But this is a different Cardinals squad with Martayveus Carter and Carlos Fernandez leading the way in a season that hasn’t been seen in the city in more than 20 years. EC and coach Stacy Adams have come too far to let Morton hoard sectional titles like it has in recent years.
West Side (6-4) at Highland (2-8), 7 p.m.
The skinny: Two years ago West Side reached a sectional final for the first time in program history. The Cougars and coach Jason Johnson are one win away from accomplishing that again, but they’ll have to get past a Highland squad that edged Erie-Lackawanna Trail rival Griffith last week. West Side is a slight favorite, but the Trojans have picked up momentum at this point after lackluster regular seasons in the past, so don’t sell them short.
SB St. Joseph’s (6-4) at Calumet (1-9), 6:30 p.m.
The skinny: This is an unlikely matchup of teams that have never faced, and polar opposites when it comes to postseason success. Calumet has never won a sectional title while St. Joe’s is coming off back-to-back appearances at the dome, losing the state final both times to Indianapolis Chatard. Needless to say, the Warriors will need a miracle to hang with the Indians.
Boone Grove (7-3) at Andrean (8-2), 7 p.m.
The skinny: Here’s another first-time meeting between two programs. Led by Cody Poynter’s rushing and Dean Hill’s passing and rushing, the Wolves are one of the feel-good stories in the region this year, winning seven games and earning their first postseason victory. But that could come crashing down on Friday as the 59ers clicked on all cylinders in a rout of Wheeler. This could be a typical trap game for Andrean, but don’t count on it as Matt DeSomer and Trevor Berg are coming off three-touchdown efforts last week.
Bowman Academy (6-4)
at Rensselaer (5-5), 7 p.m.
The skinny: These two teams met in last year’s sectional opener in which the Bombers won 52-28. That was an improvement for Bowman, which got throttled in the teams’ only other meeting in the 2009 sectional (64-6). Of course, that was a different Rensselaer team in the middle of three straight sectional titles and a couple regional crowns. This year’s Bombers have gathered momentum recently, winning three of four with quarterback Hunter Hickman playing well.
North Judson (4-6) at Rochester (7-3), 6 p.m.
The skinny: Here’s another rematch of a sectional game from last year, with Rochester defeating Judson 34-20 in the 2011 opener. But this is a different Bluejays team than the one that lost six straight in the middle of the season. They’ve gotten some players back from injuries and have won two in a row. Balance has been a key for Judson with three running backs averaging about five yards per carry rushing, while Erik Beckman has 676 yards receiving on 36 catches.
Bishop Noll (5-5) at Winamac (7-3), 6:30 p.m.
The skinny: These two teams have only met once in the postseason — that was 2005 when Winamac won 22-14. This is a different Noll squad than in the beginning of the season. The Warriors have reached .500 by winning four of five, including back-to-back wins over North and South Newton. Anthony Mayers has more than 760 yards of total offense for Bishop Noll this season.
West Central (9-1) at Whiting (10-0), 6:30 p.m.
The skinny: There’s got to be some Whiting fans — maybe even coach Jeff Cain — who are thinking, “Here we go again.” The Oilers seem to handle region teams in the postseason quite handily, but since winning their last sectional in 1997, they have lost to multiple non-region Class 1A powers, including five times to West Central, which ended Whiting’s season last year in the sectional opener, 39-7. The Oilers, which finished No. 3 in the state coaches poll, will need another stellar effort from quarterback AJ Veloz and the area’s leading receiver Paul Petruf to hold off No. 8 West Central.
— Steve T. Gorches