Sectional titles on the line; Local prep football teams gear up for showdowns

Is there an echo in the Roncalli locker room?

The biggest game of the year for the Rebels will be followed by, you guessed it, the biggest game of the year for the Rebels.

After executing a revised defensive scheme to perfection to shut down Class 4A No. 5 Greenwood this past Friday night, 35-14, No. 3 Roncalli (9-2) travels to No. 4 Cathedral (6-5) on Friday night for the Sectional 14 title.

The Rebels aren’t the only local team facing a tough tough test against a familiar foe.

Indian Creek and Center Grove match up against their opponents from last year’s sectional title games, both won by the local team.

The Class 3A Braves (9-2) travel to Greensburg (9-2), a team that is an impressive 5-1 against larger schools this season.

In Class 5A, the Trojans (10-1) play host to dangerous Columbus North (6-5), which has hit its stride to win five straight games following early season stumbles.

The Roncalli-Cathedral matchup pits two tradition-rich private schools in a southside/northside showdown.

Although the two teams have a rich tournament history between them, that past does not include a regular season meeting this year.

Indeed, the only common opponent is Class 3A Chatard, which beat the Rebels 28-25 in double overtime, and Cathedral, 21-7, the following week.

Veteran coach and football commentator Dick Dullaghan, who has seen both play this season, thinks the Rebels will be tough to stop.

“They are clicking on all cylinders,” Dullaghan said after watching Roncalli shut down a Greenwood offense that was averaging 40 points a game.

The Irish defeated the Rebels in the semifinal round of the 2011 sectional and have won eight straight going back to 2007.

Still, this is a Cathedral program that might be a notch below recent standards, as especially shown in the Chatard loss. Three of the other Irish losses are to out-of-state teams (the fifth was to Class 5A Ben Davis), making the assessment challenging.

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