CAYUGA, Ind. — When the IHSAA Class 1A Sectional 45 pairings were announced on Oct. 13, nearly everyone’s eyes looked ahead to the possible rematch between the Parke Heritage Wolves and the North Vermillion Falcons for the sectional title.
Here we are nearly five weeks later and it will be the Wolves and Falcons part two.
“I’m really excited about the atmosphere that we are going to have Friday night,’’ said North Vermillion coach Brian Crabtree. “When we played them during the regular season, it was packed and the crowd was great. There was a ton of energy.
“With this being for the sectional championship, I feel it will be like that and even better.’’
And how did that first matchup turn out?
North Vermillion defeated Parke Heritage, in what turned out to be the Wabash River Conference championship, 42-36 in a game where Wyatt Reynolds of the Falcons intercepted a pass in the end zone from Wolves quarterback Logan White in the final minutes.
Those two names figure to be key factors in the sectional championship.
Reynolds will not only be a big part of the North Vermillion defensive game plan, but the 5-foot-9 senior averages more than 100 yards per game on the ground. He is also one of the leading receivers for the Falcons (10-1).
“We are more balanced this year than we’ve ever been,’’ Crabtree said. “We still want to run the ball and that’s our first option, but we have a very capable passing attack.’’
Handling the quarterback duties for North Vermillion is senior Brennan Ellis, who is throwing for more than 200 yards per contest.
“Brennan has thrown the ball better than any of our quarterbacks since I’ve been here,’’ Crabtree said.
While the Falcons would be classified as a run-first offense, the Wolves (10-1) are definitely a pass-first offense with White, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior throwing for more than 3,400 yards and 39 touchdowns this season with just six interceptions.
“They are really good on offense,’’ Crabtree said. “I think Logan White is leading the state in passing yards. They throw the ball really well and they have gotten better at running the ball as the season has gone along. We have to keep them from hitting the big plays.
“If we can’t slow their offense down, it will be trouble for us.’’
In the sectional semifinal win over Attica, White passed for 337 yards and rushed for 115, which was his first 100-yard rushing game of the season. Parke Heritage’s leading rusher this season has been Seth Bollinger with 971 rushing yards.
White’s top targets are Noble Johnson, a 6-2 sophomore, Austin Petrillo, a 5-9 senior, and Jaylen Crull, a 6-2 senior. All three of them have more than 50 receptions and they have combined for 35 touchdowns.
“Defensively, it’s a matter of being disciplined and reading our keys,’’ Crabtree said.
North Vermillion has an additional weapon in the kicking game. Makenzie Crowder is 45-of-47 in extra points and she just missed her first-ever field goal in last week’s sectional semifinal win over South Putnam.
“Getting those extra points have been big for us,’’ said Crabtree. “If you can line up and just kick the extra points, that’s a lot easier than going for 2 points every time.’’
Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. (Eastern) kickoff and the game can be heard locally on WKZS-FM 103.1.