Tonight’s matchups (sectional finals):
Columbus East at Floyd Central
Game time: 7 p.m.
Records: Columbus East 10-1, Floyd Central 8-2
Last week’s games: East beat Bedford North Lawrence 56-14, Floyd Central won 31-13 at New Albany
Regular-season meeting: East won 55-7 at East
Coaches: Bob Gaddis is 300-134 in his 39th year, including 182-34 in his 17th year at East; Brian Glesing is 110-80 in his 17th year, including 70-50 in his 11th year at Floyd Central
Key players: Columbus East QB Josh Major, RB Jamon Hogan, TE Tyler Thomas, OT Zach Clark, LB Nash Murphy, CB Jonah Wichman, S Ethan Summa; Floyd Central QB Matt Weimer, RB Jason Cundiff, WR Jon Gunn, K Cole Hussung
What to watch for: The Class 5A No. 2 Olympians will be playing a Hoosier Hills Conference opponent for the third week in a row. They led the Highlanders 42-0 at halftime of their Week 6 blowout. Floyd Central hasn’t lost since that game, however. In their four consecutive wins, the Highlanders have gone to more of a power running game. East, meanwhile, will take a nine-game winning streak into tonight’s contest.
Prediction: Columbus East 42, Floyd Central 14
Columbus North at Center Grove
Game time: 7 p.m.
Records: Columbus North 9-1, Center Grove 5-5
Last week’s games: North beat Jeffersonville 56-14, Center Grove beat Franklin Central 35-3
Last year’s meeting: Center Grove won 41-14 in last year’s sectional final
Coaches: Tim Bless is 134-89 in his 20th year, including 122-80 in his 18th year at Columbus North; Eric Moore is 226-66 in his 23rd year, including 178-61 in his 19th year at Center Grove
Key players: Columbus North QB Trenton Kelley, RB Cortez Bandy, WR Jaylen Flemmons, WR Tristan Bailey, WR/CB J.D. Harris, OT/DT Logan Abbott, LB Brigham Kleinhenz; Center Grove QB Jackson Moore, RB Carson Steele, RB Sam Hohlt, DE Austin Daming, LB A.J. Gin, LB Keegan Gephart, CB Tyler Watson
What to watch for: The Trojans don’t have as sparkling a record as they have had the past few years, but four of their five losses have been by eight points or fewer, and four of the five came against teams ranked in the top five in Class 6A or 5A. Center Grove has knocked the Bull Dogs out in the sectional three years in a row and five of the past six. North hasn’t beaten the Trojans since a 23-7 decision at Center Grove in 2007.
Prediction: Columbus North 28, Center Grove 27