Parker Fox had a 1-yard touchdown run and a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kasten in the first half to bolt the Warriors out to the 14-0 lead.
Pioneer opened the second half with a touchdown that included a long kickoff return by a J.P. Smith and a 1-yard TD run by Sam Kiser. Fullback Justin Mersch converted the 2-point conversion to make it a 14-8 game.
The Panthers then recovered a Winamac fumble on a muffed handoff on the Warrior 27-yard line and had a prime opportunity to tie the game or take the lead in the third quarter.
But the Warriors defense held on a four-and-out and their offense quickly drove on the field and scored on the first of Katschke’s touchdown runs to make it 21-8.
After a Kiser punt pinned the Warriors back at their 1-yard line, Pioneer got the ball back in great field position and converted on an 18-yard strike from Kiser to Kamrin Buell to make it a 21-14 game with 7:45 remaining.
But the Warriors sealed the regional title with a championship drive. They embarked on an 11-play, 80-yard drive that took 6:25 off the clock. Katschke capped it off with his second touchdown run with 1:20 left to play to make it a 28-14 game.
The Panthers drove the ball into Winamac territory again on their final possession but ran out of time.
The Panthers had little room for error and came up short.
“We had some opportunities we did not capitalize on,” Pioneer coach Mike Johnson said. “When you turn the ball over and have penalties, it’s going to come back to bite you, especially against a team like that.
“I was a little disappointed that we didn’t play a little better than that. We certainly had opportunities on offense and did not get it done. The defense played well enough and gave us some chances. But it was certainly not the level that we needed to play at in order to win a regional.”