For the fourth time in five years, the New Prairie football program will play for a Sectional Championship.
The Cougars overpowered Mishawaka, 42-21, last Friday night at Amzie Miller Field to advance to the title game.
Behind a dominant offensive line, New Prairie racked up over 400 yards rushing. Sophomore Chase Ketterer rushed for three touchdowns, while senior quarterback Nick Wilson ran for two more scores.
Wilson also accounted for the other New Prairie touchdown, a 25-yard pass to tight end Jacob Tuttle.
The incredible catch was ultimately the dagger for the Cavemen. Facing a 4th-and-13, Wilson scrambled and found Tuttle, who hauled it in with one hand. That made the score 35-7 with just over three minutes left in the first half, and the outcome was no longer in doubt.
Homecoming for Curtis
The game marked the return of former New Prairie coach Bart Curtis. The Indiana Football Hall of Famer spent 11 seasons roaming the south sideline of Amzie Miller Field from 1997 through 2007.
Curtis rebuilt the Cougar football program, and his 84 wins still ranks first in program history.
A (Near) Perfect Ten
The victory was New Prairie’s tenth straight since the season opening loss at LaPorte. It was also the tenth consecutive game the high-powered New Prairie offense put up at least 42 points.
Eclipsing the ten-win mark has only happened in four other seasons in school history (2014, 2013, 2006, and 2004). The Cougars won a sectional title in each of those years.
Sectional 18 Championship
New Prairie (10-1) will host South Bend St. Joseph (5-6) tonight at 7:30pm ET for a trip to the Regional Championship.
Tonight’s match-up will be the eighth meeting all-time between the two schools. St. Joseph leads the series, 4-3, dating back to 1970. However, the Cougars have won the last three meetings, most recently defeating the Indians in the 2013 Sectional 18 Championship Game.
The champion of Sectional 18 will advance to the Regional Championship to play the winner of the Sectional 17 final between Lowell (11-0) and Griffith (10-1).
The Cougars would be on the road regardless of opponent in the Regional round, to be played on Friday, November 10.
New Prairie defeated Lowell in the 2014 Regional, 28-27, on their way to the state title game.
Cougar coach Russ Radtke spent 19 seasons at Griffith before coming to New Prairie in 2012.