1. Snider (8-0)
2. Homestead (7-1)
3. Angola (8-0)
4. Leo (6-2)
5. East Noble (6-2)
6. Woodlan (7-1)
7. B. Dwenger (5-3)
8. Adams Central (6-2)
9. New Haven (7-1)
10. Churubusco (7-1)
On Oct. 1, when the sectional pairings were announced, Snider coach Kurt Tippmann indicated the sectional first-round matchup against Homestead on Oct. 27 wouldn't even be looked at until after the regular season ended.
The focus was on the Week 8 matchup against Bishop Dwenger and the Week 9 game against Bishop Luers. For good reason, as the Panthers will have valuable film footage to evaluate as the Saints exploited some weaknesses.
“This helps us tremendously,” Tippmann said of the 34-31 win over Bishop Dwenger on Friday. “We learn about ourselves, but we were challenged physically. We have not been challenged like that all year on the defensive line.
“I don't know if we're complacent but that's what we needed. Credit to Bishop Dwenger, they're a great team.”
The Panthers played without linebacker Austin France and receiver Michael Ledo and at one point during the game, Lawrence Johnson and Christian Covington received attention from trainers.
Woodlan was, of course, pleased to leave Etzler Field with a 25-3 victory over South Adams, the team that shockingly beat the Warriors last season in the sectional.
But coach Sherwood Haydock told his team it had plenty to work on after it was penalized 13 times for 145 yards and let South Adams hang around almost the entire game.
“We stopped the run really well,” Haydock said. “There were some screen passes that really hurt us. We came out with a lot of emotion, but we just couldn't put it together. I guess what upset me was we couldn't run our pass offense. It wasn't clicking at all. We had several drops.
“So in the second half, we came double-tight and just pounded it. But we couldn't convert a couple times, and I thought the game should have had a wider range of points. We'll take it, though, because that's a tough team.”
Short of goal
On the second half's opening drive, facing fourth-and-goal from the East Noble 2, New Haven lined up 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive lineman Antwone Washington in the backfield to run the ball. Gain two yards, and the Bulldogs would have tied Friday's contest at 21.
Washington would gain only 11/2 yards as the Knights' defensive front withstood the charge, stopping his outstretched arm just shy of the goal line, as East Noble won 42-21. In a game New Haven coach Jim Rowland characterized as a “motivating loss,” that play stood out as a missed opportunity.
“They made a good stop on the goal line, and it took the wind out of our sails a little bit,” Rowland said. “It kind of got away from us. We have to learn from it and get better and keep improving.”