Winamac’s football team is just one win away from its first-ever trip to the state finals.
In fact it would be the Warriors’ first trip to the state finals in any team sport since 1932 in boys basketball. The Warriors have had individual state champions in Shane Crawford (boys track), Miles Nelson (wrestling) and Chris Kasten (wrestling).
The Warriors (13-0) host Tri-Central (12-1) in the Class A northern semistate game at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Roudebush Stadium.
The Trojans enter ranked No. 8 in the AP poll and No. 7 in the coaches’ poll.
They have won 12 straight games after a season-opening loss to No. 4 Eastern Hancock (47-35), which is hosting No. 1 Linton-Stockton in the southern semistate game. Tri-Central’s tournament run has included a 35-7 win in sectional play over perennial power Sheridan and a 28-7 win at South Adams last week in regional play.
“They are a very good ballclub. There’s a reason they’re here,” Winamac coach Tim Roth said.
Tri-Central is located in northern Tipton County in between Tipton and Kokomo.
The Trojans have scored 35.9 points per game this season while allowing 10.9 ppg.
Tri-Central junior quarterback Cody Howell is 73-for-127 passing on the season for 1,272 yards with 20 touchdowns to go with four interceptions. He’s also rushed 75 times for 402 yards and 8 TDs.
Senior Garrett Kelley is the leading rusher with 1,622 yards and 19 TDs on 242 carries. Sophomore Cody Colbert has rushed for 695 yards and 4 TDs on 104 carries. Sophomore Dillon Smith has rushed for 531 yards and 9 TDs on 86 totes.
Senior Jade Pickett is the leading receiver with 25 catches for 379 yards and 9 TDs. Senior Seth Blunck adds 21 catches for 442 yards and 6 TDs.
“They run an offense that is different than what we’re used to,” Roth said. “They run a split-back veer with two backs in the backfield, not necessarily a fullback and tailback. It’s old-school football. They run dive right, dive left, off tackle right, off tackle left, option power to both sides. They run a two tight end formation. They will bounce out of two tights and run some slot as well.