by Kenny Hetzler
For the Pharos-Tribune
The Class A, No. 3-ranked Winamac Warriors successfully defended its sectional crown in football by defeating West Central 33-7 in the championship game of the IHSAA Class A, Sectional 41 here at West Central Field Friday.
It was the second straight time that Winamac played West Central for the sectional championship and the second straight year that the Warriors came out victorious.
“We’ve never done this before, two times in a row,” said Winamac coach Tim Roth on winning the second consecutive sectional title. “It’s a great feeling. The kids have worked hard for this. Their effort has paid off. They are very coachable and have done what we’ve asked them to do.”
Winamac struggled on its first possession but recovered in scoring on three of its next four possessions.
Keegan Kasten started the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown run, and Tyler Katschke scored twice on touchdown runs of 38 and 19 yards. Winamac led 19-0 at halftime.
It was the same story for the Warriors in the third quarter as Parker Fox found Sean Lynch for touchdown passes of 32 and 40 yards. The Warriors led 33-0 with 1:40 left in the third quarter.
The Warriors defense bent a little but didn’t break as West Central punted on its first five possessions, all in the first half. In the second half the Warriors defense finally broke as West Central scored its only touchdown with 1:23 left in the game on a 13-yard touchdown run by Hunter Holliday.
“My hats off to West Central tonight, because they shortened the game,” Roth said. “They used the entire play clock and they kept our offense off the field as much as they could.
“I am extremely proud of both sides of the ball because we kept our cool. Defense gave us some opportunities and the offense got their opportunities, which was not very many. They took advantage, and put some points on the board.”
Winamac had 255 yards rushing and 106 yards passing, while West Central had 145 yards rushing and 42 yards passing.
Katschke led Winamac with 17 carries for 134 yards rushing and one touchdown. He also had one pass completed for 19 yards and a touchdown.
Parker Fritz led West Central (8-4) with 18 carries for 97 yards.
Winamac (12-0), ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ poll, plays at No. 9 Pioneer (10-2) next Friday for the regional title.