Throughout this week your trusty furry pal Blitz will delve deeper into each sectional in the area – from which teams look like legit contenders to players to watch.
As sectional play kicks off tonight, we are checking in with Sectional 10 in Class 5A.
ELKHART CENTRAL (4-5)
The Blue Blazers have won just a single sectional in program history (2014), but are primed to double that total in the next few weeks.
No team in this sectional has a winning record, but Elkhart Central is the best bet despite just four victories.
According to the Sagarin Ratings, Elkhart Central has played the 27th toughest schedule in the state, easily the best in Sectional 10. It nearly beat Penn two weeks ago, falling by just three points. Two other losses came by two points to South Bend St. Joseph’s and by seven at Mishawaka.
The bulk of the offense comes from junior Mark Brownlee, who has rushed for 1,462 yards, which constitutes 71 percent of Elkhart Central’s total running output for the year.
Quarterback Isaiah Chandler can make some throws, with his primary receiver senior Kyran Pearson (467 yards, 4 TDs).
NORTH SIDE (2-7)
Who says a two-win team cannot compete for a postseason championship?
Following an 0-4 start in which the Legends did not score more than eight points in a game, North Side broke out with 52 points and a victory over Bishop Luers in Week 5. Since then, Coach Mike Brevard’s team has been competitive in every game outside of a 29-point drubbing at the hands of Homestead.
Alex Holliday-Robinson enters the playoffs with 1,111 yards rushing and seven TDs, easily the top weapon offensively for North. But sophomore QB Ronald Collins III has shown improvement in the second half of the year. From Week 5 onward, Collins has thrown eight touchdowns against just a trio of INTs.
North gets Elkhart Central out of the gate. If the Legends can go on the road and win a sectional game (something they haven’t done since 2012), they should be in the sectional title game.
It has been a rebuilding year of sorts for the Minutemen, who graduated a lot from last year’s 10-win season.
That said, Concord has shown enough to be a threat in this sectional. It played NorthWood tough, losing by just nine early in the year. A pounding at Warsaw last week is concerning, but with no clear top team in Sectional 10, the Minutemen have a shot.
ELKHART MEMORIAL (3-6)
Memorial got pounded by its rival Elkhart Central to begin the year, but has since looked respectable despite its record. Three of their other five losses were close defeats to quality teams Warsaw (14-7), Concord (31-27) and Plymouth (29-28 in OT).
Former Wayne coach Scot Shaw helms the Chargers.
The Redhawks are the lone team in this sectional that does not feel like a potential champion. That said, Goshen got the bye and will play the winner of North Side and Elkhart Central to go to the championship game.
The passing game is anemic, with the rushing duo of Bryant Grewe (539 yards, 6 TDs) and Daveyon Sandford (418 yards, 5 TDs) commanding much of the attention offensively.
Defensively, Goshen is surrendering over 33 points per game. Not a good recipe for success.