Northwestern, Western and other KT-area football squads playing in sectional semifinals tonight have their work cut out for them.
• Northwestern (7-3) hosts No. 5-ranked Yorktown (9-1) in Class 3A Sectional 28. Yorktown features dynamic running back Chandler Carroll, who ranks No. 4 in the state in rushing with 218.6 yards per game.
• No. 8 Western (9-1) visits No. 6 West Lafayette (9-1) in the other Sectional 28 semifinal. The Red Devils have a balanced offensive attack. Quarterback Parker Ronchetto is completing 72.4 percent of his pass attempts and running back Maurice Woodard is a dangerous playmaker.
• In Class 2A, No. 7 Tipton (7-3) hosts Hoosier Conference rival Lafayette Central Catholic (9-1) in a Sectional 35 semifinal. No. 2-ranked LCC is riding a 25-game postseason happy streak after winning the last four Class A championships.
• In Class A, No. 8 Tri-Central (9-1) visits Sheridan (5-5) in Sectional 44. TC beat Sheridan 33-27 in a Hoosier Heartland Conference game two weeks ago, but this is the postseason and Sheridan is a nine-time Class A state champion.
• Also in Class A, Carroll (6-4) hosts No. 9 Pioneer (8-2). Pioneer is riding an eight-game winning streak during which it has scored an average of 55 points per game.
The following are looks at those five games. The Tribune previewed the McCutcheon-Kokomo game in Thursday’s edition.
YORKTOWN AT NORTHWESTERN
Yorktown’s lone loss came to unbeaten Class 4A No. 2 New Palestine in Hoosier Heritage Conference play. The Tigers were runners-up in the league, which is composed of five Class 4A schools and two 3A schools.
Yorktown averages 47 points per game. Carroll has rushed for 2,186 yards and 31 touchdowns, averaging 9.8 yards per carry.
“They’re very talented. You don’t go 8-1 with the schedule they have and not be very good,” Northwestern coach John Hendryx said. “They don’t have many weaknesses. They’re huge — their tackles are 6-5, 280 [pounds], the quarterback is 6-5, 210 and they have two or three 6-2 receivers. The running back is not overly big, but he’s probably the fastest running back that we’ve had to play probably since I’ve been at Northwestern. He is unbelievably fast. If he gets into the second level, there’s not much you’re going to do except watch him run down the field.”