Football Team Gets Ready For Sectional

Posted on October 21, 2011 in Fall Sports, Football, Home

By Chuck Landis

Madison-Grant and Oak Hill are familiar athletic rivals – sometimes too familiar.

The two county teams meet for the second time in six weeks and fourth time over the past two seasons this evening at Madison-Grant in the Class 2A Sectional 27 playoff opener.

“We’ve played them so many times over the last four years (six),” said Beau Engle, in his fourth year as Argylls coach. “I’m not sure that’s all that good.

“Both teams feel they know the other team well,” he added. “It’s just going to be a matter of execution.”

In other sectional games, Marion (4-5) travels to Jay County (5-4) with a 7:30 p.m. start; Eastbrook (6-3) hosts Yorktown (5-4), and Mississinewa (7-2) plays at Maconaquah (2-7). All other games start at 7 p.m.

Madison-Grant (6-3) has won its last five encounters with Oak Hill (4-5), including a 28-21 decision Sept. 9 on the Golden Eagles’ field. Both teams played in the opening round of the tournament last year with the Argylls pulling out a 35-0 victory over the host Eagles.

More often, the games have been close, and the Argylls needed to make a late defensive stop in the regular season game. The Argylls went on to win the Central Indiana Conference championship, and the Eagles struggled with injuries over the second half of the season.

“Everybody is back and we’re about as healthy as we’ve been since midseason,” Oak Hill coach Bud Ozmun said.

Kegan Anderson, the Eagles’ leading rusher with 800 yards, is healthy again and ready join speedster Alec Samuels (711) in the backfield. Quarterback Derek Durkes has thrown for 1,085 yards, and Matt McDivitt is the county’s top receiver with 21 catches for 439 yards.

Madison-Grant’s rushing attack of Cedric Presley (1,191) and Tyler Young (990) carried the Argylls to the CIC title. Young rushed for 233 yards Friday in the 34-20 clinching victory over Mississinewa.

“Beau does a good job with the backfield he has,” Ozmun said. “He knows if you take one away that he can hurt us with the other.

“It’s beneficial that we played them before,” Ozmun added. “We would have liked to won the game, but we have a good feel about the team we are going to play.”

Engle said both teams are significantly different from their first meeting.

“Watching Oak Hill on film, they have improved at running the football, and Durkes can throw the ball,” Engle said. “We have made three or four changes to our personnel, and I like to think we have been building more confidence throughout the season.”

Eastbrook enters the tournament with the Class 3A No. 2 ranking in the coaches’ poll and No. 3 by the Associated Press. Yet, Panthers coach Jeff Adamson said the Tigers coached by Southwood graduate Dave Wilhelm won’t be a pushover.

“(Yorktown) is much better than their record would indicate and play in a very good conference (Hoosier Heritage),” Adamson said. “They are going to be the best team we have played all year, along with Western.

“Our kids have seen enough film to know how good Yorktown is,” Adamson added. “There may be some in our community who haven’t grasped that.”

Eastbrook has Class 3A’s highest scoring offense at 47.8 points a game and are led by Gavin Pearson with a school-record 1,561 rushing yards and quarterback Jacob Singer (959 rushing, 467 passing).

Marion last played Jay County in the opening round of the 2008 playoffs and outscored the Patriots 47-33, which was the Giants’ last postseason victory.

“(Jay County) has some bigger kids, over 250 pounds, and we want to take advantage of our quickness against the lack of speed that their bigger kids have,” Marion coach Randy Sehy said.

Yet, Sehy said Marcus Marble, Marion’s fastest running back, remains a game time decision with a hamstring injury. Shannon Fouce filled in nicely for Marble last week and ran for 285 yards, which threatened the school’s single-game rushing record.

“Shannon did a great job playing both ways,” Sehy said. “He stepped in for Marcus last week, and we feel he can do the same this week.”

Mississinewa also is well acquainted with first-round sectional opponent Maconaquah, coached by Marion graduate Mark Hartman. The Indians defeated the Braves 28-13 on Aug. 26 and 25-21 in the opening round of last year’s playoffs.

“It’s almost become a mini-rivalry,” Mississinewa coach Curt Funk said. “We have got to come out ready to play football because (Maconaquah) is going to be hungry and ready for revenge.

“Last year, we knocked them out of the playoffs,” he added. “This year, they are thinking that they can do it.”


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