By KEVIN HARRIS
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
FRIDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
CLASS 5A SECTIONAL 8
JEFFERSONVILLE AT CASTLE
• TIME: 8 p.m.
• PLACE: Castle Stadium.
• RECORDS: Jeff 8-3, Castle 11-0.
• SERIES RECORD: Castle leads 10-3.
• SERIES LAST 10 YEARS: Castle leads 4-1.
• LAST MEETING: Oct. 23, 2009 at Blair Field — Castle 21, Jeff 14, Class 5A Sectional 8 first round.
• KEY FACTS: The teams have met nine times in the postseason, with Castle winning six of those meetings. The Red Devils’ last victory over the Knights came in the 2007 Sectional 8 semifinals at Castle Stadium, 40-21. Jeff proceeded to win its fourth sectional championship that season. … After two receptions for 23 yards last week in Jeff‘s 37-27 first-round sectional win over Evansville North, Red Devil wide receiver Ricky Embry broke the school’s single-season record for receiving yards with 804. Current teammate Dionte Allen set the previous mark last season with 790 yards.
• MATCHUP TO WATCH: Jeff’s offense vs. Castle’s defense — The Red Devils have the highest-scoring offense in Class 5A and the 10th-best offense in the state, averaging 44.4 points per game. (By the way, Castle is second in 5A and 11th in the state in scoring offense at 43.5 points per contest.) But the Class 5A No. 3 Knights have had one of the stingiest defenses in Indiana all season. They are ninth in 5A and 37th in the state in scoring defense, allowing 13.8 points a game. Jeff will face a huge challenge trying to get the ball in the end zone versus the Castle defense.
• NEXT: Center Grove at Jeffersonville or Jeffersonville at Columbus North; Castle at Columbus North or Center Grove.
CLASS 3A SECTIONAL 23
CHARLESTOWN AT BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL
• TIME: 7 p.m.
• PLACE: Blevins Stadium.
• RECORDS: Charlestown 11-0, Brownstown 10-1.
• SERIES RECORD: Tied 22-22.
• SERIES LAST 10 YEARS: Brownstown leads 10-4.
• LAST MEETING: Aug. 24, 2012 at Dutch Reis Field - Charlestown 41, Brownstown 3.
• KEY FACTS: Friday’s contest will mark the sixth time the Mid-Southern Conference rivals have met in the postseason. The Braves have won three of the previous five postseason matchups. They prevailed 41-9 in the last state tournament meeting with the Pirates, which took place in the first round of Class 2A Sectional 31 in 2004. … Charlestown’s 38-point victory over Brownstown in the regular season was its largest winning margin in the series since a 41-0 win against the Braves in 1989. Also, the three points the Pirates surrendered were the fewest points they have given up in the rivalry since that 1989 triumph.
• MATCHUP TO WATCH: Charlestown’s offensive duo of Aaron Daniel and Seth McCutchen vs. Brownstown’s defense — In the regular-season matchup, Daniel and McCutchen had big games against the Braves’ defense. The two combined for 387 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. McCutchen — Charlestown’s No. 1 running back — ran for 202 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. Daniel, the Pirates’ quarterback, scampered for 185 yards and three touchdowns along with 139 passing yards and two TD passes. But Brownstown’s defense has vastly improved since losing to the Class 3A No. 2 Pirates. The Braves have given up 8.3 points per contest in the last nine games, which includes holding six opponents to single digits and posting two shutouts. Brownstown ranks sixth in Class 3A and 19th in the state in scoring defense at 11.1 points a game. (By the way, Charlestown’s defense ranks third in 3A and fourth in the state at 6.3 points per game.) The Braves’ defense will find out how much it has improved against Daniel, McCutchen and the Pirates’ No. 1 offense.
• NEXT: Gibson Southern or Evansville Memorial at Charlestown; Memorial at Brownstown or Brownstown at Gibson Southern.