We are breaking down every area sectional this week as the postseason kicks off this Friday.
Next up is Sectional 20 in Class 4A.
Marion (4-4) at Wayne (2-7)
South Side (1-7) at Delta (4-5)
Jay County (3-6) at Mississinewa (6-2)
New Haven (4-5) at Huntington North (2-7)
This is the most compelling area sectional we have, and it’s because of just how wide open it truly is.
A two-win team as the favorite? Absolutely. The Generals are the highest-ranked team in the field in the Sagarin Ratings, and it has a rushing attack that has a two-headed monster in Shawn Collins and Lamarion Nelson.
The matchups aren’t easy. Marion can be a dangerous foe if their playmakers are allowed to get out in space, but the Generals have faced plenty of those types of guys over the course of the year.
A visit to Delta in Round 2 would be difficult…unless South Side can spring the upset in Round 1, which isn’t out of the question.
It will be three difficult games for Wayne, but it has a proven coach in Sherwood Haydock and a team that has stayed together through the trials and tribulations of a full SAC season.
Three straight losses entering the postseason has Delta reeling a bit, but if it can recover it does have a shot at capturing its first postseason crown in five years.
The draw is favorable as Delta could get two home games if Wayne knocks off Marion. Sophomore Kaiden Bond is an adept thrower who can also makes some things happen in the ground game.
The Hoosier Heritage Conference has some tough teams in it, so Delta’s league slate was by no means soft.
NEW HAVEN (4-5)
The Bulldogs routed their first sectional foe by 30 just a week ago, so you have to feel good about getting into the second round. Then, you face either Mississinewa or Jay County at home, both of which cannot match up with New Haven in terms of skill position players.
So Coach Kyle Booher’s team that started the season 1-4 has a very real chance of getting into a sectional final where anything can happen.
While the strength of schedule is the worst in the entire sectional by a significant margin, six wins still needs to be respected.
This is a run-first team that wants to instill its will on the ground, evidenced by an average of 310 yards on the ground per game. But the Indians have beaten just a single team with a winning record, although that was a 28-point rout of Oak Hill.
It is a team that has been able to handle the challenges of the Central Indiana Conference (outside of Eastbrook) but has not proven itself against squads with the athleticism it will see in this feild.
There are a lot of imperfect teams in this sectional that could put things together and win it. Marion is another example.
The Giants have thrown for just 363 yards all season with two touchdowns and eight INTs. Senior running back Winston Baity is the prime threat, having rushed for 1,270 yards on the year. But the defense has given up plenty of yardage and points, particularly against teams with balanced offenses.
Marion proved last year it could handle this sectional but you could argue last year’s squad was much better equipped to do so.
JAY COUNTY (3-6)
Coach Grant Zgunda’s squad just doesn’t match up well with the teams in this sectional. Too much speed, quickness and game-breaking ability for a team that is comfortable in grind-it-out contests.
SOUTH SIDE (1-7)
Just where is this team? Yes, it survived the rigors of the SAC, but Coach Tiny Lee had to sit out the Week 9 game due to disciplinary issues and the Archers have not scored a point since Week 7.
HUNTINGTON NORTH (2-7)
The Vikings are a squad that needs to face a particular type team to have a fighting chance, that being a slow, physical team that isn’t going to stretch the defense too much. Unfortunately, the first-round matchup with New Haven is the complete opposite. The Bulldogs scored 57 points on HN last week and may do so again on Friday.
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