Delaware County sectional first round playoff preview
The 2017 IHSAA football playoffs begin Friday and hosts Josh Shelton and Robby General go through some of the biggest football games going on in the Delaware County area heading into the first round of sectionals.
Five of the six Delaware County teams will be in action including Delta, Yorktown, New Castle, Wes-Del and Monroe Central.
Delta (5-4) vs. Marion (6-3) – 7 p.m. at Delta
Yorktown (3-7) vs. Western (5-4) – 7 p.m. at Yorktown
Wes-Del (4-5) vs. Union City (3-6) – 7 p.m. at Wes-Del
Monroe Central (8-1) vs. Clinton Central (0-9) – 7 p.m. at Monroe Central
New Castle (5-4) at Richmond (0-9) – 7 p.m. at Richmond
After starting off the season 1-5, Wes-Del has bounced back in a big way, looking to win its first sectional game since 1998.
Wes-Del's last three games have included victories over Tindley (8-6), Edinburgh (56-12) and Anderson Prep (72-14), but Union City (3-6) is a more evenly matched opponent for Wes-Del.
Both Wes-Del and Union City have played Cambridge City Lincoln, Tri and Monroe Central this season. Both teams have lost to Tri and Monroe Central and both beat Cambridge City Lincoln in overtime.
Head coach Brad Hess said it's going to come down to who have improved the most in this Friday night matchup.
After lucking out on the draw, Delta will open up the playoffs at home against Marion. The Eagles are 4-1 at home on the season, with their only loss coming to a 9-0 New Palestine team a week ago.
This will surely be another tightly contested ball game, with both teams scoring 273 points through nine games this season. With Marion giving up only 112 points compared to 243 Delta points, this game will likely come down to who can stop the offensive star.
For Delta, that star is running Charlie Spegal, whose dominating season is up to 2,179 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns. Marion's offensive spark, however, comes from quarterback Justin Johnson, who is leading the team in both rushing (83.6) and passing (81.3) yards per game.
While head coach Christopher Overholt said it has been a quiet goal for his team all season long, Delta is searching for its third straight sectional championship, something that hasn't been done in school history.
Monroe Central lost its perfect season after a 42-20 loss to Shenandoah in the final week of the regular season.
This game was expected to be a test, as quarterback Casey Conatser finished 7-of-17 with 114 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Monroe Central should be able to get out of the first round unscathed this week against winless Clinton Central.
For the first time in 32 years, New Castle finished the regular season with a winning record. While head coach Kyle York didn't hesitate to congratulate the team, he told them come Monday it's time to look ahead and focus on the playoffs.
Normally an offensive-heavy team, New Castle's defense was the star in the game against Greenfield-Central. With a second half shutout, the Trojans held the Cougars to just 14 points in the game.
York said he finally has the pieces together that he wants on his defense, and with the level of competition in Sectional 22 of the IHSAA State Playoff tournament, the Trojans have a chance to keep making history.
Yorktown suffered another close loss against Mt. Vernon last week by a score of 10-6.
While wide receiver Brandt Applegate continued to step us as quarterback, due to Reid Neal being out, he remains a weapon at wide receiver.
Head coach Mike Wilhelm said Neal is "feeling better every week," which means there's the possibility that he will take over at center once again.
Western is a tough opposing matchup to start the playoffs against, but a Neal return for the Tigers would mean a whole added dimension for that offense.
See the full preview here: