The road to “The Luke” is set
The road to Lucas Oil Stadium starts with a similar path for Michigan City.
The Wolves, who won their first football sectional and regional titles last fall, will open the postseason Oct. 26 at Ames Field against Munster, the same team they faced in the opening week a year ago.
“Right now, we just want to finish, so the focus is on C.P.,” City coach Phil Mason said of Friday’s final regular-season opponent. The bye week will be nice to give some guys a little rest.”
Munster gave the Wolves a test in 2018, when the Wolves prevailed 28-14, but it’s been a rough ’19 for the Mustangs, who are just 1-7 under interim coach Jason Grunewald.
“It’s post-season so we will respect all teams,” Mason said. “It’s a little down year for the ’Stangs, but they’re always tough. We just need to focus on us each week and hopefully we can continue to play well. If we are fortunate enough to get deep, I believe home field will become a huge factor.”
City (6-2) is only team in Class 5A Sectional 9 with a winning record, would face either South Bend Adams (3-5) or La Porte (2-6) if it reaches the finals, as expected. The Eagles host the Slicers the same night at School Field, where LP won 40-19 last year. La Porte will be tasked with holding down Eagles dual threat quarterback Ira Armstead, who has over 2,000 total yards of offense, and receiver Tre Gray (818 yards).
“The ball hasn’t bounced our way this season, but we still won enough games to qualify for the playoffs,” Slicers coach Dave Sharpe, tongue in cheek. “We look forward to heading back to School Field. Adams is a very underrated program these days. They gave us a great game last year with a lot of underclassmen.”
In 4A Sectional 18, New Prairie (5-3) travels to South Bend Washington (3-5) on Oct. 19. The Cougars and Panthers share a bracket with S.B. St. Joseph (4-4) and Kankakee Valley (2-6). Hobart and Mishawaka are on the other side in a matchup of 7-1 teams.
The Cougars already defeated St. Joe 41-28 in South Bend back on Sept. 7 this season, but were defeated at home by Class 4A No. 4 Mishawaka 27-21 the very next week; the team the Cougars would most likely see in the sectional title game if they make it that far.
“It goes back to the old saying, ‘It’s tough to beat a team twice’,” Cougars assistant coach Bill Gumm said on the possibilities of playing St. Joe and Mishawaka again. “There’s motivators for sure. The second time you play a team, there’s always a different feel. The same’s with us, but they get to go back and fix their mistakes from the first game.”
In A Sectional 41, South Central (2-6) is on the road at West Central, whose three wins this season surpass their total for the last three years combined. The run-based Trojans have passed the ball just 57 times on 390 offensive plays.
“They run a hurry-up offense and a lot of counters and power plays,” S.C. coach Buzz Schoff said. “They’re 3-5, but when they win, they win big. They have scored over 40 points (three) times and 70 twice. It should be a nice game.”
Local Sectional Pairings
La Porte (2-6) at South Bend Adams (3-5), 6:30 p.m.*
Munster (1-7) at Michigan City (6-2), 7 p.m.
New Prairie (5-3) at South Bend Washington (3-5), 6:30 p.m.*
South Central (2-6) at West Central (3-5), 6 p.m.
* — at School Field