Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

October 31, 2013

Kats set to return to action

KHS football team opens sectional play Friday vs. McCutcheon.

After a week off, the four football squads in Class 5A Sectional 11 take to the field Friday for semifinal matchups. Kokomo (5-4) hosts McCutcheon (3-6) on the local side of the bracket, while top-ranked Westfield (8-1) meets Harrison (0-9) on the other side.

“Having two weeks is kind of nice, you get to do a few different things, work on special teams, work on different aspects on offense, work on different aspects on defense,” Kokomo coach Brett Colby said. “Our kids are ready to play. There’s no doubt about it.

“We’ve gelled at the end of the year so I honestly believe right now we’re playing our best football. We’ll see where we’re at. I know the kids are ready for the challenge.”

The Wildkats have won five of their last six games with wins over Huntington North, New Castle, Logansport, Marion and Anderson. The Kats lost to North Central Conference champion Richmond in that span. Kokomo finished with a share of second place in the league for the second straight year.

Bo Baker leads the Kats in rushing with 1,274 yards (141.6 per game) and 12 rouchdowns. Jeron Gray has 223 yards in two games (111.5 per game). Kokomo’s defense has shined during the second half of the season. The Kats haven’t given up any more than seven points in their five wins. Linebacker Fletcher Miller has a team-high 79 stops. Brevin Beard is second with 52.

“We’ve got to be able to run the football and we’ve got to be able to stop the run,” Colby said. “If we can do those two things and play good special teams and not turn the ball over, we’re going to have a chance.

“I think we’re peaking at the right time and defensively we’ve played pretty well. Fletcher Miller’s been a key there for us. He’s led us in tackles six straight games. The secondary ... they’re all underclassmen, but they all are athletic and fast and have played great on defense. Hopefully we can cause some turnovers. That’s been one aspect of the game that has really taken hold during this stretch that we’ve played our best football — our defense has played really well.”

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