“Two weeks ago they played Lake Station and Lake Station had a chance to tie the game up on them and Whiting went on to beat them 34-14. We looked at that film and there are things we think we can exploit against them. They’re definitely a finesse team. They like to throw it around and run the option and sweeps outside. The don’t make their money in between the tackles. They’re not afraid to do that, but their game is more throwing it around so we’ll have to defend the whole field.”
Winamac’s first-team defense allowed just its second score of the season in last week’s win over Lake Station. At the same time, the Warriors are averaging 52.7 points per game, which is fifth in the state. Their average margin of plus-44.5 ppg is third behind only New Prairie and Eastern Hancock.
The Warriors are led by senior fullback Tyler Katschke, who has rushed for 1,547 yards and 25 TDs and is averaging 11.1 yards per carry. Levi Schultz adds 349 yards and 4 TDs, and Keegan Kasten adds 220 yards and 5 TDs.
J.T. Garnett has filled in at quarterback for the injured Parker Fox the last four games and has passed for 450 yards and 10 TDs with just one interception on the season. Sean Lynch is the leading receiver with 12 catches for 301 yards and 7 TDs, and Schultz adds 10 catches for 234 yards and 4 TDs.
Mitch Reed leads the defense with 82 tackles, 63 assists and 12 tackles for a loss. Katschke has 15 tackles for a loss and Dalton Button adds 14. Schultz, Fox and Brandon DeGroot each have two interceptions on the year.
Fox, who also started on defense before his broken collarbone injury, could be cleared to play as soon as next week if the Warriors can advance, Roth said.
Winamac has outgained opponents 3,169-687 in yardage on the ground and 993-667 through the air this season. The Warriors have outscored opponents 527-82 on the season including 181-0 in the first quarter.
Roth is hoping for a big home crowd on what is expected to be a chilly night.
“Whiting follows their team well. Against West Central and in the ’90s when they played in the regional their fans followed them,” he said. “I hope our fans come out and fill the stands.”