On Friday, regular season records will be thrown out the window and all teams will be 0-0 entering the IHSAA football state tournament.
A fresh slate is a good place to start for all three Montgomery County teams, with each finishing under .500 on the season.
The sectional draw can really dictate how far you go in the state tournament, and that appears to be especially the case this season.
Of the eight teams in 3A Sectional No. 26, only three–Indianapolis Brebeuf (7-2), Blackford (6-3), and Guerin Catholic (5-4)–have winning records.
Southmont (4-5) drew the toughest task with a trip to No. 6 Brebeuf.
The Mounties made it all the way to the sectional final last year, before falling to the Braves 48-14. Brebeuf worked its way through the north bracket and to Lucas Oil Stadium Thanksgiving weekend, losing to Evansville Memorial 29-17 in the state finals.
It will take a special effort for the Mounties to upset the Braves, but Southmont is more than capable of staying in the game with offensive firepower from senior quarterback Hunter Chadwick and tailback Cameron Giles. Two-way starter Peyton Wininger will play a big factor on both sides of the ball if the Mounties want a chance.
Predictor: Brebeuf 35, Southmont 21
On Friday, Crawfordsville (1-8) picked up its first win since beating Southmont in 2016, with a 50-8 thumping of Frankfort.
The Athenians dominated every facet of the game from start to finish, but will face a much tougher opponent in Guerin Catholic, Friday night.
The Golden Eagles have limped to the finish line due to injuries, dropping back-to-back games to Brebeuf and Roncalli, but have impressive wins over Columbus North and Heritage Christian earlier in the season.
Nonetheless, it will take a near perfect game for the Athenians to pull off the upset, including the defense forcing key turnovers.
Predictor: Guerin Catholic 42, Crawfordsville 20
The winners of the two aforementioned games will play each other in the semi-final round.
North Montgomery by far got the best draw of any Montgomery County team.
The Chargers (3-6) will host Hamilton Heights (1-8). North Montgomery defeated the Huskies 19-7 in week two of the season.
One of Hamilton Heights’ two wins this season came against Northwestern (1-8). The other came over Twin Lakes (4-5).
Northwestern plays Blackford (6-3) in the other quarterfinal matchup.
North Montgomery has proven to be a much improved team on both sides of the ball since week two, while Hamilton Heights struggled all season long, with the exception of their week nine victory over the Indians of Twin Lakes.
The Chargers have an advantage playing at home, and led by Kade Kobel and Bryce Claycomb on the offensive side, and Daniel Fritzen defensively, this seems like an easily winnable ball game for the Chargers.
Predictor: North Montgomery 35, Hamilton Heights 24
Elsewhere in Montgomery County sports, only a few fall athletes still remain.
Southmont soccer dropped a regional game to Covenant Christian 5-1, while the Mounties’ volleyball squad fell in the sectional championship 3-1 to Greencastle, after defeating North Montgomery and Crawfordsville.
North Montgomery’s Matt Jackman and Jaxon Plant saw their tennis seasons come to a close with a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Leo in the Kokomo Regional last Saturday.
That leaves just three Athenian cross country runners as the only fall athletes still alive, with the exception of the football teams.
Madison Fry, Riley Fyffe and Eli Widmer will compete at the Shelbyville.