The Class 3A Sectional No. 28 is wide open, with no clear favorite. It includes the defending state champion and AP No. 5 West Lafayette, No. 1 Indianapolis Chatard, No. 6 Brebeuf Jesuit, and No. 12 Guerin Catholic. However, very little attention is on Crawfordsville and North Montgomery.
The Chargers (5-4) will travel to Crawfordsville (1-8) for the opening round on Friday, with both teams coming off a win.
North Montgomery will look to show off their improvements since their 42-6 win over the Athenians from earlier in the season.
“Our entire team has improved throughout the season,” North Montgomery coach Josh Thompson said. “We have seen individual players improve as well as our overall offense, defense, and special teams.”
Averaging only 7.1 points per game, Crawfordsville coach Kurt Schlicher knows what they are up against.
“It will be a difficult task Friday as North has an excellent team so we cannot afford to hurt ourselves with mental errors,” he said.
Schlicher says he has seen improvement on and off the field, and hopes they can carry momentum into Friday from last week’s 20-6 win over Frankfort.
“Our team has grown both on the field and off,” he said. “Learning what kind of investment it takes to be successful. We have experienced some success so hopefully that will give us some confidence heading into this Friday night.”
The winner will get the winner of Chatard and Brebeuf. Crawfordsville and North Montgomery are looking for their first win over either school since the Chargers beat Brebeuf in the 2008 sectional, before losing to Chatard in the regional. They’re a combined 0-8 since against the Braves and Trojans.
Thompson knows no matter the opponent, the Chargers, who have won three of their last four games, must take it one game at a time.
“We have to play one team at a time and have to win to move on,” he said. “The players understand this and are focused on the task at hand which is playing at Crawfordsville on Friday.”
Southmont (3-6) at Western Boone (8-1)
Western Boone enters Friday night’s home sectional opener as the defending Class 2A state champion, and currently ranked No. 1 in the state. Southmont coach Desson Hannum, however knows the Mounties played one of the worst games of their season when they lost to the Stars 56-13 back in early October.
“When we played them earlier in the year, we played our worst game of the season,” he said. “I think if we compete and play like we have the last couple of weeks, we give ourselves a chance. We have prepared all week like we are going to win on Friday and I think it starts with our mindset and believing that we are going to win.”
Southmont enters Friday night on a four-game losing streak, but Hannum has seen the improvement, as the Mounties have overcome injuries all season long.
“I think we have played really hard that last couple of weeks. If we can run the ball and play good defense, we always give ourselves a chance. I also think we have played better upfront over the last couple of weeks,” he said. “This team could have easily folded many points during the season, but it is a testament to our kids that they have not. They have continued to play hard even though we have battled injuries and changes at the QB position.”
The winner will play the winner of North Putnam and Speedway.
Fountain Central (0-9) at Attica (5-4)
Fountain Central will try and snap a 12-game losing streak dating back at last season when they travel to Attica on Friday night in the sectional opener. The Mustangs have lost three straight to the Red Ramblers, including a 50-0 home loss earlier this season.
Fountain Central has been outscored by its opponents 387-54 on the season, and has been shutout four times.