It will be a dry and crisp night on football fields throughout the area tonight as we kick off the start of the postseason.
Which teams will advance? Who will see their season end? It may be in the hands of the players below to lead their teams into the sectional semifinal round.
LANDON MILLER, SENIOR, DEKALB
In a showdown of NE8 foes in Sectional 19 tonight, both Columbia City and the Barons will both be looking to establish the offense early and get an edge after their regular-season matchup went down to the wire.
Miller had just five carries the first time around against the Eagles, but he rushed for 70 yards and a score, including a 55-yard jaunt. Success on the ground is paramount to DeKalb’s success. Miller, who is just the eighth Baron ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, will be at the forefront of that effort.
BRANDON DAVIS, JUNIOR, CONCORDIA
When talking about his quarterback earlier this week, Concordia coach Tim Mannigel mentioned how Davis is rarely rattled and is pretty even keel, no matter the successes or failures.
Davis had an up-and-down regular season with 14 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions, but it is those lessons learned against 5A and 6A foes that should set him up for success in 3A.
If Davis can gain some traction in the vertical pass game, it will open up opportunities for Amir Drew on the ground tonight at Maconaquah.
TUCKER HASSELMAN, JUNIOR, ANGOLA
In Week 2, an inexperienced Angola team went to Leo and got beat up in a 33-13 defeat. Now in Week 10, the Hornets get a second shot at the Lions, this time with serious postseason implications.
Purdue commit Ryan Brandt will be the best player on the field at safety, but Angola’s chances may come down to the play of its junior QB. Hasselman needs to make some plays with his arm and his legs in this one to keep the Lions off balance on defense.
If Hasselman can make a few big plays and not turn the ball over, the Hornets may have a shot.
JAKE FULK, SENIOR, CHURUBUSCO
I mean, the kid should be on this list every week. He has rushed for 1,688 yards on the year and is truly the catalyst on the Churubusco offense.
Southwood’s defense is incredibly stingy, not having allowed a team to reach double digits since Week 1.
Perhaps the onus should be put more so on the ‘Busco offensive front that must open holes for their stud senior running back to run through. It is the Eagles’ best chance at handing the Knights their first loss of the season and a long bus trip home.
JAKE ROEMER, FRESHMAN, WOODLAN
Lost in the Warriors’ two losses to South Adams and Adams Central over the final two weeks was their freshman running back accumulating 189 yards on the ground combined against a pair of really good teams.
If Woodlan is to threaten Eastside tonight in an attempt to pull the upset, it will need to establish the running attack and take some of the pressure off of Ben Reidy. Eastside did a phenomenal job in bottling up Jake Fulk in its 42-14 victory over Churubusco in Week 4. Woodlan must not be one dimensional tonight. Roemer could be the key.