Football Sectional Championship Preview

Mounties get re-match with Miners with sectional title at stake


“Winning the school’s first sectional title is something that immortalizes you.” Southmont senior Quarterback Nolan Boyer summed up his teams mindset and mantra perfectly as on Friday night for the first time since 2017 a Montgomery County team will be playing for a sectional title when the Southmont Mounties make the trip all the way down to Linton for a re-match of last year’s semi-final when they take on the No 1 (Coaches Poll, No. 2 in AP Poll) Linton-Stockton Miners.

These teams are familiar with each other as they’ve routinely scrimmaged one another in the summer and of course met a season ago. Linton looked in cruise control leading South 35-7 before the Mounties scored 22 straight points to make the score 35-29 and had the ball to secure the upset, but the Miners forced a turnover and ended the Mounties season.

This time around a sectional title hangs in the balance. Southmont is looking for the school’s first sectional title as the Mounties are appearing in their fifth sectional title game in school history. The Mounties have wins over Sullivan (32-21) and a thrilling 22-21 OT win over Cascade while the top-ranked Miners knocked off North Knox (48-14) and came from behind last week to eliminate Greencastle (26-21).

“We’ve been really prepared this week coming off a very physical game last week,” Boyer added. “We feel like there’s even more on the line because we’re vying for the school’s first sectional title. We feel like this is as good as an opportunity as we’ve ever had.”

The Mounties have been battle-tested and have been through wars basically the last six weeks going back to their grueling end to Sagamore Conference play. They’ve been bitten with injury too but here they still stand on the doorstep of making history.

“It’s an exciting time for our program,” Southmont coach Desson Hannum said. “We’ve had some real tough games especially last week. Cascade gave us everything they could handle last week. To get the opportunity to go down to Linton again and hopefully avenge our loss from last season. This is a place that we’re familiar with since we scrimmage them and obviously playing them at their place last year. We know that it’s going to be a great environment for football and at this point if you’re still playing, you’re playing for a championship.”

The 10-1 Miners are much like the Cadets from a week ago with their run-heavy offense. Sophomore QB Paul Oliver who stands 6’3 leads the Miner offense. Oliver much like Tri-West QB Malachi Walden, is a run-first QB as he has tallied 1,074 yards on 169 carries for the Miners this season and had 16 scores on the ground. Through the air he’s completed just 29 passes on 83 attempts and has thrown for right at 600 yards with just four TD’s and nine interceptions. Junior running back Jesse Voigtschild is one of a plethora of backs for the Miners. He’s carried the ball 110 times for 824 yards and 10 TD’s. Christian Shonk has also added 84 carries for 474 yards and eight scores.

“Oliver is a very good player for a sophomore,” Hannum said of the Miners QB. “He’s a coaches kid and you can tell that he knows exactly what to do and how to do it. He’s a big strong kid who is hard to bring down. You know that going to have to stop him and if you do you’ll have a great opportunity to win the game.”

The Mounties bring back plenty of players from last year’s semi-final loss so big-game experience isn’t anything that Hannum is worried about.

As Boyer did, Hannum also summed up what it would mean if the Mounties were able to take care of business and bring home the school’s first sectional championship.

“It would mean everything,” the longtime Mountie coach said. “I’ve been here 17 years and we’ve been close a few times. To make it be a reality on Friday night would mean the world to our players, to our school and to this program.”

Kick off down in Linton is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday night. If you’re unable to make the lengthy drive, you can catch a live broadcast of the game on 106.3 WCDQ beginning at 6:30 as Jared McMurry, Bob Cox and Codey Emerson will bring you the call as the Mounties look to achieve history.