LINDEN — It’s a new season as the football post season gets underway Friday, and North Montgomery is looking forward to a first-round matchup with Indianapolis Brebeuf Jesuit in the 3A Section 28 playoffs..
“Our players have been training for this part of the season,” Chargers coach Josh Thompson said. “Our kids have been great with everything we have asked of them given the current situation and we have been able to compete this year.”
North was able to get nine regular-season games played, although one foe wasn’t on the original schedule due to Covid issues. They finished with a 5-4 mark, including a 2-4 record in the Sagamore Conference.
The Braves got seven games played, and only two were conference matchups. They were 3-4 overall.
Thompson and his coaching staff will face a Brebeuf team that has thrown the ball all over the field.
“We need to secure tackles,” Thompson said of the defensive plan, “and keep our eyes on our keys and get pressure on the QB.”
That quarterback is senior quarterback Drake Hagerman, who has thrown for 1,637 yards and 16 TDs.
The Chargers have their own hurler, though, as Donovan Haworth has thrown for 934 yards and 14 scores of his own. Logan Kelly has 465 yards and been in the end zone six times to lead the receivers.
Zak Searle was the top regular season rusher with 812 yards and nine touchdowns, but a late-season injury has sidelined the senior tailback. Sophomore Gage Galloway, along with freshmen Austin Sulc and Ross Dyson, carried the load at halfback in the Week 9 loss to Danville. Searle is uncertain for Friday.
“We need to secure the football and finish long drives with scores,” Thompson said of the offensive plan. “We cannot afford to have short drives and give the ball right back to Brebeuf.”
Nick Norman is the leading tackler for the Chargers defense, accumulating 57 bring-downs. Sulc and Ben Cody both are over 45 tackles.
North got off to a 4-0 start, and have wins over both county foes. Improvement is always on the forefront of a coach’s thoughts.
“Our players understand our overall system on both sides of the ball which allows them to play multiple positions,” Thompson noted. “We have been able to move players to different positions and they know what they are responsible for. Our two-way players are also in decent shape.”
The Chargers have won at least one game in four of the last five sectionals and are 1-3 against Brebeuf in the postseason.
The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Charger Field. The winner will advance to the second round to play the winner of Yorktown and Crawfordsville.