We are breaking down every area sectional this week as the postseason kicks off this Friday.
Next up is Sectional 35 in Class 2A.
Prairie Heights (2-7) at Bishop Luers (4-5)
Churubusco (7-2) at Central Noble (2-7)
Eastside (7-2) at Wabash (3-6)
Manchester (1-8) at Whitko (0-9)
I’ve gone back and forth on which team should be the favorite. I went with Bishop Luers last season and got burned. It feels like I’ll get it wrong either way because football. Eastside is the pick this season because it rattled off six straight wins and none of them have been particularly close.
The Blazers have done their best to replace the production of Laban Davis with Carsen Jacobs. The receiver-turned-quarterback has amassed over 1,700 total yards of offense by himself and 19 total touchdowns. He’s no Laban Davis but has done a tremendous job making sure this offense is still very tough to stop.
The Blazers are still strong along both lines, which was a key factor in last year’s sectional title game against Bishop Luers. And a lot of players that played in last year’s championship game are on this year’s roster, which should help when they meet up in a few weeks, because let’s be honest, no one is stopping either team from getting to Eastside-Bishop Luers IV.
BISHOP LUERS (4-5)
The Knights have taken a big step back from where they were last year but are still dangerous in this setting due to the fact of them playing in the SAC, which doesn’t mean as much as it did in the past. But it still counts for something.
Luers’ offense, led by Charlie Stanski, is one-dimensional with a lack of consistent running game. However, the combination of Stanski and Nick Thompson can be lethal.
With its defense also taking a slight step back compared to last year’s squad, it’s hard to see an easy path to championship for the Knights, especially with Churubusco lurking in the second round, followed by the Blazers.
After a 2-2 start, the Eagles have won five straight heading into the postseason and a second matchup with rival Central Noble, which it beat 42-0 in Week 7. Churubusco feasted on the bottom of the NECC Small Division to start its winning streak but did pick up two solid wins in the last weeks with victories over West Noble and Fairfield.
The Eagles go as far as Riley Buroff and Wyatt Marks will take them. Marks rushed for over 1,000 yards and eight scores while Buroff rushed for 603 yards and threw for 825 more with a total of 20 touchdowns. Most importantly, he threw zero interceptions.
Churubusco would love another crack at Eastside, but Luers will more than like get in the way of that happening.
The Apaches improved by one win under first-year coach Ryan Carmichael. They have wins over Manchester and Whitko. Unfortunately, they’re not playing either of those two teams in the first round.
Junior quarterback Izaak Wright can sling it. He has 1,746 passing yards with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions.
CENTRAL NOBLE (2-7)
From an eight-win season last year to just two this year, it’s been a rebuilding year for the Cougars. Lots of juniors and sophomores saw the field, which hopefully means better results for 2023 and beyond.
PRAIRIE HEIGHTS (2-7)
The Panthers got an unfavorable draw with a trip to Luersfield. The one bright spot was Jaden Daniels, who had a record-breaking season and is the all-time leader at Prairie Heights with 60 career receptions.
The Squires’ lone win came over winless Whitko in Week 7. The two face off again this Friday. The winner gets Eastside.
It’s been a rough season in South Whitley. The Wildcats were shut out six times, their coach was fired after three weeks and they’ve allowed over 50 points per game.
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