ROYAL CENTER — The Winamac Warriors’ dream season continues.
The Warriors faced yet another rock-solid Pioneer team on Friday night in a regional championship showdown.
Winamac was up to the challenge and then some, delivering a 28-14 win in front of a standing-room only crowd at The Pit.
The Warriors claimed their second ever regional title and first since 2000.
“It’s crazy. This is probably the best feeling I’ve ever had,” Winamac senior Keegan Kasten said. “We came out and we played an almost perfect game. I think we had too many penalties, but Pioneer, man, they battled hard from the trenches, everywhere, they battled us really hard. It was a hard-fought game.”
It was also Winamac’s first win at The Pit since 2000, which is also the last time the Warriors started a season 13-0.
“This team is as good as 2000 and now they have a chance to prove they’re better,” Winamac coach Tim Roth said. “And that’s saying something because that 2000 team was awesome. But this team’s pretty awesome too.”
The Class A No. 3 Warriors (13-0) host No. 8 Tri-Central (12-1) at 7:30 p.m. next Friday for the northern semistate game. No. 1 Linton-Stockton (13-0) travels to No. 4 Eastern Hancock (13-0) for the southern semistate game.
Tyler Katschke was in beast mode for the regional game and finished with a game-high 113 yards rushing on 19 carries and had a pair of 15-yard touchdown runs in the second half to lead the Warriors.
Pioneer (10-3) was denied in its bid for a fourth regional title.
The Panthers had to be just about perfect in this one. They almost were, but they had a fumble at the goal line on their first possession and they fell short of a first down on their second possession by about an inch on a fourth-down play in Winamac territory. The result was a 14-0 deficit at halftime.