Southsider Voice correspondent
Southport goes into the final weekend of the regular football season with a share of the Conference Indiana championship at stake.
The Cardinals won the title outright last year but could share it with Bloomington South and/or Terre Haute South. Each team has 5-1 conference records and is 7-1 overall. Southport visits potential spoiler Columbus North (2-4, 3-5) on Friday. A Southport win guarantees the Cardinals a co-championship.
The Cardinals defeated Bloomington North 21-15 Friday to remain in title contention.
Southport sophomore running back Andrew Mappes gained 233 yards on 30 carries and scored two touchdowns. The Cards piled up 401 yards of offense even though quarterback Luke Johnston failed to throw a TD pass for the first time this season.
Elsewhere, Beech Grove saw its Indiana Crossroads co-title hopes dashed at Triton Central, where the Tigers won the title outright with a 27-6 victory. The Hornets cuts the Tigers’ lead to 14-6 on a 5-yard TD pass from Chase Andries to Matt Baughman in the third quarter.
Lutheran defeated Speedway 35-20 to lock down at least a tie for second place in the Indiana Crossroads Conference. The Saints put up five unanswered touchdowns after the host Sparkplugs scored first. Dylen Goodard and Dalton Nidey scored twice for the Saints.
Visiting Franklin made Greenwood’s Mid-State title hopes look dim. The Grizzly Cups stunned Greenwood 35-14 at the Woodshed. Greenwood scored on runs of 60 and 5 yards by Tanner Skeel. To earn a share of the title, Greenwood must defeat Whiteland while league-leading Decatur Central would have to fall to underdog Plainfield to force a three-way title.
Host Roncalli found out how much Decatur Central’s defense has improved as the Hawks spoiled the Rebels’ senior night 22-12. The Hawks scored all their points in the second quarter. The Rebels lost two fumbles and had two passes intercepted.
Center Grove continued its late-season roll with a 55-14 Metropolitan Interscholastic League win over visiting Lawrence North. Max Norris scored three touchdowns; Titus McCoy added two. Center Grove raced to 350 yards on the ground.
The Trojans have won four straight en route to outscoring their foes 203-51. Their only losses were against the top three teams in Class 6A: Carmel, Ben Davis and Warren Central.
The 42nd annual state tournament opens Oct. 24.
Defending sectional champions Southport and Center Grove are favored to repeat in Class 6A. The Cardinals (7-1) and Perry Meridian (2-6) collide in a Battle of Perry Township at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Perry Stadium. Franklin Central (2-6) stays at home at Ray Skillman Stadium to face Tech (4-2).
Center Grove (6-3) also remains at home against New Albany (1-7).
In 4A, Mount Vernon (6-2) visits Beech Grove (5-3); Roncalli (4-4) goes to Northwest (0-8); and East Central (5-3) travels to Greenwood (4-4). Roncalli is in the same bracket as Sectional 22 favorite Chatard (6-2).
Winless Manual is at Ray Schultz Field to face Indiana Crossroads champion Triton Central (7-1).
In Class A, favored Lutheran (5-3) faces visiting and rival Edinburgh.
All winners advance to the second round of sectionals Oct. 31.