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Class 2A, No. 11 Speedway presents challenge for Triton Central in regular season finale

Triton Central football coach Tim Able believes there is plenty at stake for his Tigers Friday night in the regular season finale at Class 2A, No. 11 Speedway.

With a victory, Triton Central can potentially finish in a three-way tie for third place in the Indiana Crossroads Conference. The higher the finish in a conference with four state-ranked teams, the more postseason honors Triton Central players can receive.

A win over a state-ranked opponent like the Sparkplugs also would give the Tigers two road victories in a row ahead of the Sectional 39 tournament.

That momentum would propel Triton Central into the postseason for a quarterfinal round matchup with Eastern (Pekin) – the only winless team in Sectional 39.

“It would be nice to have a couple of notches on our belts against good teams,” said Able. “We’re not thinking about next week. We need to finish the conference (schedule) strong and more wins gets us more kids on the all-conference team.”

At 5-3 following a 28-13 win at Beech Grove, Triton Central can finish in a three-way tie for third with Speedway (6-2, 4-2 ICC) and 2A No. 11 Scecina (5-3, 4-2 ICC), who faces 2A No. 12 Monrovia (6-2, 5-1 ICC) Friday.

The Tigers are getting healthy at the right time and seeking a strong four-quarter performance to finish out the regular season against a resurgent Sparkplugs program that has never beaten Triton Central in a ICC game.

Speedway is 0-9 over the last nine seasons against Triton Central, who shut out the Sparkplugs in the last two meetings. Able labeled Speedway a “young” team in 2020 which has matured under first-year head coach Shane Clampitt.

Sophomore quarterback Carter Watson has completed 53% of his pass attempts this season for 1,336 yards and 19 touchdowns.

The running game features junior Deejay McFerson (108 carries, 639 yards, 9 TDs).

Watson’s top targets are seniors Reis Walker (27 receptions, 441 yards, 6 TDs) and Jackson Golden (18 receptions, 270 yards, 5 TDs) and McFerson (21 receptions, 231 yards, 3 TDs).

“I really like (Watson). He throws a nice ball,” said Able. “And their running backs are very solid.

“I am more impressed with their line of scrimmage on both sides. They are strong and quick. They present a lot of challenges for us.”

Triton Central counters with sophomore quarterback Jace Stuckey (54% completion rate, 796 yards, 7 TDs).

Four Tigers have combined for 64 receptions this season led by senior Devon Emberton (22 receptions, 273 yards, 3 TDs). Junior Brad Schultz and sophomores Ray Crawford and Anthony Dunville each have 14 receptions and have combined to catch five touchdowns.

Crawford leads the team in rushing at 869 yards on 124 carries.

“We are starting to peak a little bit here at the right time,” said Able. “We should be ready to roll Friday.”

Class A, No. 1 Lutheran (8-0, 7-0) is the ICC champion. The Saints host Traders Point Christian (4-4) Friday.

Beech Grove (3-5, 2-5 ICC) is at Franklin County (5-3). And Ritter (0-8, 0-6 ICC) is at Cascade (2-6, 0-6 ICC).

The Sectional 39 draw potentially sets up two more weeks of road games for Triton Central.

The Tigers open the sectional on Oct. 22 at Eastern (Pekin) (0-5). The Musketeers have won one game in the last three seasons and are on a 15-game losing streak.

The other quarterfinal game in the bottom half of the eight-team bracket has Mitchell (3-4) at Clarksville (1-7).

If Triton Central and Mitchell win, the Tigers would have a fourth-straight road game at Mitchell, located south of Bedford. If Clarksville wins, Triton Central would host the semifinal game.

In the top half of the bracket, Providence (4-4) starts at Switzerland County (2-5) while Union County (4-3) travels to Paoli (5-1).