Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

October 31, 2013

Kats set to return to action

KHS football team opens sectional play Friday vs. McCutcheon.

(Continued)

McCutcheon plays in the rugged Hoosier Crossroads Conference. The Mavs lost 42-28 to Westfield in Week 7 and beat Harrison 24-19 in Week 4.

“They play physical football and their schedule is so good,” Colby said.

“They run the ball well, they play good on defense. Those are the two things that they hang their hat on. They’re going to throw a lot of three-step, quick drops. They have some good receivers, but when things are going well, they’re going to try to run you over.”

McCutcheon enters on a five-game losing streak, dropping games to Noblesville, Fishers, Westfield, Avon, and Hamilton Southeastern after a three-game winning streak where they beat Zionsville, Lafayette Jeff and Harrison.

“We look at their schedule and they’re coming in 3-6, they’ve beat the two Tippecanoe County schools, but they’ve also beat somebody down there [in the Indianapolis area],” Colby said. “They don’t play any slouches. It’s like I told our kids, they’re playing teams like [Kokomo’s non-conference opponents] Fort Wayne Wayne and Mount Vernon every week. Hopefully we can come out and play physical and play well and represent what we do over here in a good way.”

McCutcheon, Harrison and Jeff are joining the North Central Conference next season so Kokomo will get an advance look at how the league will change.

“Of the three teams coming into our conference ... they’re the team that’s kind of dominated Tippecanoe County [big-school] football the last four years. We’re going to see right away what we’re in for with them coming into the conference.”

Nate Deno and Blake Elming are McCutcheon’s top playmakers. Deno has rushed for 1,187 yards on 196 carries (6.1 yards per carry) with 11 touchdowns and Elming has 564 yards on 85 carries (6.6 ypc) with six TDs. They also lead the team in receiving — Elming has 13 receptions for 316 yards (24.3 yards per catch) with three TDs and Deno has 14 receptions for 314 yards (22.4 ypc) and five TDs.

McCutcheon has used a pair of quarterbacks. Aaron Phillips has completed 33 of 79 attempts for 636 yards with five TDs and six interceptions. Jami Frier has completed 15 of 33 attempts for 239 yards with three TDs and no picks.

CLASS 5A SECTIONAL 11 Friday's games; 7 p.m. kickoffs • McCutcheon (3-6) at Kokomo (5-4) • Westfield (8-1) at Harrison (0-9)

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