Tippecanoe Valley (8-1) at Peru (3-6)

(3A sectional first round)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Bengal Field.

Series: Valley leads 4-3.

Last meeting: Valley won 41-22, Sept. 2, 2022.

Last Peru win: 21-18, Sept. 4, 2020.

John Harrell’s prediction: Valley, 45-14.

About Valley: The Vikings are coming off their first loss, 28-26 at Southwood, which forced them to settle for a three-way Three Rivers Conference title tie with the Knights and Rochester. Freshman Gage Overbey’s 20-yard field goal try for Valley with 14.9 seconds left amid a swirling wind was ruled off the mark. Nate Parker powered for career highs of 40 carries and 240 yards to go with four touchdowns in the loss. … Fellow junior Wade Jones, No. 2 for the Vikings in both ground and receiving yardage on the year, missed a second straight game due to injury and is not expected back this week. … For the season, Parker’s at 1,112 yards on 158 carries with 23 rushing TDs. Junior QB Cody Eastgate is 43-of-56 passing for 729 yards and eight TDs against just one pick. … The Valley defense has racked up 77 tackles for loss, including 22 sacks. Individual TFL leaders are senior Noah Prater (12), junior Dalton Alber (12), sophomore Asher McGriff (10) and senior Karl Parker (7). … The Vikings are seeking to set a school mark by winning a sectional opener for the fifth straight year. … Valley’s facing Peru for the third time in its last six postseason first-round games (the Vikings won 34-7 in 2018 after losing 33-14 the year before). … With a win, Valley would be home for a sectional semifinal against the survivor of No. 9 Guerin Catholic (5-4) at No. 3 Oak Hill (9-0).

About Peru: The Tigers nipped visiting Manchester 19-18 last week to end a four-game losing streak. … Dual-threat junior quarterback Matthew Roettger is 82-of-175 throwing for 1,038 yards and eight touchdowns against seven interceptions to go with 437 ground yards and five TDs. Junior Alex Ross has carried 102 times for 682 yards and nine TDs. Receivers Braxton Strong and Braxten Robbins have combined for 51 catches, 703 yards and six TDs. … On defense, Ross has been in on a team-leading 71 tackles followed by Roettger at 57. … As a relatively new member of the TRC, Peru has faced Valley just seven times overall, yet this will be the teams’ fourth postseason meeting — all of them at Peru and all in the opening round. The Tigers have won two of the previous three, starting with their 21-17 win in 2000. … Peru would be home against Oak Hill or at Guerin Catholic with a victory.

Valley coach Steve Moriarty:

On last week — “Southwood’s a good team that played well. The chips didn’t fall our way. We have a lot of things to fix and improve upon going into the sectional, and hopefully, this gets us refocused going into the tournament.”

On Week 3 vs. Peru — “They had a few kids out injured the first time and those kids are back. They’ve improved since that game and it’s always difficult to play a team twice in a year, so that will be one hurdle. They do a good job of being a balanced offense. Run to pass, it’s pretty equal percentage-wise.”

On bouncing back — “I think (last week’s loss) will lead to a new focus. It helps us realize as players and as coaches that we have to bring our ‘A’ game all the time. We can’t look past any game.”

Class 4A Sectional 18

Wawasee (1-8) at Logansport (7-2)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Berry Stadium, Logansport.

Series (last 35 years): Wawasee, 1-0.

John Harrell’s prediction: Logansport, 42-14.

Last meeting: Nov. 19, 2004, Wawasee, 49-19 (semistate).

About Wawasee: Coach Jon Reutebuch’s Warriors lost 54-21 to Mishawaka in Week 9 … Wawasee took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on 3-yard pass from junior Mason Shoemaker to junior Donovan Blair and senior Timothy Bolt kick. The Warriors’ other TDs came in the second half — 1-yard run by Shoemaker and Bolt kick to cut the gap to 40-14 and 1-yard run by senior Cameron Zimmerman and Bolt kick to make it 54-21 … Shoemaker was 24-of-34 passing for 214 yards. Top receivers were sophomore Bradyn Pike (seven catches for 84 yards), Blair (eight catches for 62 yards) and junior Hunter Tinkey (six catches for 34 yards) … Wawasee has been outscored by foes 322-125 … Since 1985, the Warriors are 21-38 in the playoffs with two sectional crowns — the last in 2004. The last postseason win came in 2012.

About Logansport: Coach Mike Johnson’s Berries beat Anderson 26-21 in Week 9 … Senior Izak Mock threw a 34-yard TD pass to junior Isaac Russell and ran 30 yards for the go-ahead score … The Berries’ two losses are against Kokomo (14-0) in Week 3 and Lafayette Harrison (28-13) in Week 8 … Logansport has outscored opponents 299-135 … The Berries are 23-37 in the playoffs since 1985 with four sectional titles — the last in 2020.

Per Wawasee coach Jon Reutebuch:

On Logansport — Mike Johnson is a veteran coach. He coached at Pioneer for all those years. He had a very successful program. (Logansport) is a team that will play hard. You’re going to have to play well to beat them … They run a “Delaware Wing-T” (similar to the Flexbone but with a quarterback under-center, a fullback and two wingbacks and no wideouts). The quarterback (Izak Mock) is pretty athletic. He does a good job of orchestrating the offense. He’s able to distribute it to where it needs to go. He’s a good passer and has some pretty good targets downfield … There’s a lot of misdirection. You don’t see as much option as you would with the Flexion.

Passing game — We’ve had to adjust offensively so we went to a pass-heavy attack. That was effective so we went with it. It was a positive … That will be part of the game plan going into Logansport.

On Mishawaka game — Our kids — despite the final score — battled well. Even at 14-7, we felt pretty good at where we were. It seems like a pattern with us, but late in the second quarter things just got away from us … The kids competed pretty well against a ranked 5A team. We’re going to use that to springboard into sectional play.

Manchester (1-8) at Whitko (0-9)

(2A sectional first round)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Huff Stadium.

Series: Whitko leads 34-17.

Last meeting: Manchester won 34-12, Sept. 30, 2022.

Last Whitko win: 20-14, Oct. 2, 2020.

John Harrell’s prediction: Manchester, 45-14.

About Manchester: The Squires were edged 19-18 last week at Peru, marking the first time in their 65-year history that they’ve lost twice in the same season by one point. They’ve also fallen three times now by two or fewer points, after previously never dropping even two such contests within the same year. … Freshman Reiss Gaerte caught a pair of touchdown passes against the Tigers and added an interception on the defensive side. … For the season, QB Brock Casper is 112-of-236 throwing for 1,483 yards with 16 TDs and 11 interceptions, while fellow senior Memphis Wood has caught 39 pases for 793 yards and nine scores. … Sophomore running back Mason Rooney is at 572 yards on 124 carries with six TDs. … On the defensive side, senior Jordan Ayres has been in on 83 tackles (including seven for loss), followed by Gaerte at 69 and senior Mavern Smith at 60 (including four sacks among 10 TFLs) . … The Squires are seeking just their second postseason win in the last 11 years, their lone victory in that time being 28-19 over Delphi in 2016. … If Manchester advances, it would host a sectional semifinal against the survivor of Wabash (3-6) at No. 7 Eastside (7-2).

About Whitko: The Wildcats closed their regular season last week with a 49-0 loss at Wabash, their sixth shutout defeat of the year. … Whitko’s 34-12 loss at Manchester in Week 7 marked both the most points the Wildcats have scored and the fewest they’ve allowed this fall. … Junior Dean Boggs returned from injury last week to rush for 51 yards on five carries, pushing his season totals to 425 yards on 49 attempts to go with three touchdowns over six games. On the defensive side for Whitko, junior Skyler Zellers has been in on 62 tackles (including seven for loss), sophomore Isaac Irwin 61 (six TFLs), Boggs 53 and Cody Adkins 50 (to go with two interceptions) … The Wildcats and Squires have met just twice in postseason, with visiting Whitko winning 26-0 in 1986 and host Manchester prevailing 20-0 in 2007. … Whitko’s seeking its first postseason win since 2016 and facing a fellow Three Rivers school in postseason for the first time since 2008. … With a victory, Whitko would play at Eastside or be home to Wabash in the semifinals.

Manchester coach Alyx Brandewie:

On last week — “The kids fought their tails off and came up a hair short, and looking back, everybody was like, ‘if I’d have done this differently,’ or ‘if I’d have done that differently, we would’ve won.’ I appreciate (the accountability), but it’s a four-quarter contest and Peru was a hair better. It’s frustrating, but that’s the way it goes. We’ve just gotta do a better job executing in those moments.”

On meeting Whitko again — “It’s weird (facing the same team twice in four weeks). That stuff always has the chance of happening, but it usually doesn’t. When we saw them last time, they were just a couple weeks in with an interim coach, and you can see on film that they’ve continued to get better under Coach Sprunger. To look at Week 7 as a reference point for what’s going to happen would be a foolish approach for us. The knowledge from that game can have some impact, but the result has zero bearing on this game whatsoever.”

On the close losses — “It’s probably a little bit of both (encouraging and discouraging). One thing you’ll hear from all of us all the time is about finishing, and when you lose a one or two-point game, it means you probably aren’t finishing well. In spite of our record, we’ve put ourselves in some situations to be successful and we’ll keep trying to do that.”

Whitko coach Brad Sprunger:

On last week — “We were on the field a lot, played a lot of defense, only had about 30 plays of offense in the game, so they did a good job of keeping the ball out of our hands. We did average about 5 yards a play on offense, but we gave away three fumbles.”

On meeting Manchester again — “The kids were really hoping to get this game. I think they feel like we played pretty well in some aspects the first time. Practices have been kind of miserable (through Tuesday) with the weather, but we’ll see if they can keep up the excitement. It’s the sectional and everybody’s zero and zero.”

On it being fall break — “Makes it a little tough that it’s a whole week. Families want to go on little day trips here and there, but we also want them to be able to do that. We want that experience for them. I think our kids are still playing pretty well for a lot of sophomores and freshmen in there. You can see in their eyes that they’re hungry to get better in practice, and that’s reassuring with the season we’ve had.”

Class 1A Sectional 41

Triton (6-3) at Pioneer (2-7)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., The Pit, Royal Center.

Series (last 35 years): Pioneer, 8-1.

John Harrell’s prediction: Triton, 42-21.

Last meeting: Sept. 23, 2022, Triton, 35-12.

About Triton: Coach Rodney Younis’ Associated Press No. 11/Indiana Football Coaches Association No. 11 Trojans beat Winamac 42-6 in Week 9 … Triton offensive leaders are junior Cole Shively (31-of-62 for 445 yards and six touchdowns) in passing, junior Anthony Schuh (141 carries for 1,517 yards and 26 TDs), Shively (89 carries for 647 yards and 13 TDs) and freshman Vincent Prater (32 carries for 315 yards and one TD) in rushing and sophomore Dante’ Workman (12 catches for 132 yards and two TDs) and senior Amari Snyder (four catches for 123 yards and two TDs) in receiving … Pacing in total tackles are senior Reilley Wood (69), senior Brayden Cunningham (65), Snyder (52), senior Cam Shivley (52) and sophomore Esai Lemler (51) … In Week 6 against Pioneer, Schuh (24 carries for 175 yards and two TDs), Cole Shively (18 passing yards and one TD) and junior Javan May (eight yards receiving) led on offense. Tops in total tackles were Cole Shively (6.5 with one interception), Wood (5.5) and Esai Lemler (3.5) … Triton has outscored opponents 333-190 … Since 1985, Triton is 24-37 in the playoffs with three sectional titles — the last in 2018. The Trojans have won at least one postseason game in five of the past six seasons.

About Pioneer: Coach Adam Berry’s Panthers lost 55-8 to North Judson in Week 9 … Pioneer offensive leaders were junior Rylahn Toloza (20 carries for 127 yards and one TD), freshman Micah Rans (24 passing yards) and junior Cayden Hill (eight receiving yards) … In Week 6 at Triton, the Panthers produced 138 yards rushing and 99 passing and lost to the Trojans after eight straight wins against them … Pioneer has been outscored for foes 294-164 … Since 1985, the Panthers are 72-33 in the playoffs with 12 sectional, eight regional, five semistate and three state titles. The Panthers have won at least one postseason game in eight of the past nine seasons.

Per Triton coach Rodney Younis:

On Pioneer — The first time we played them it was a tight ball game. We scored right before the half to make it 7-0. We slowly pulled away in the fourth quarter. It is a bit of a dangerous team … Having to beat a quality team twice in one year is a tough challenge.

Defense — Overall, they’ve done really well. We struggled a little bit with the passing game against Winamac, but we cleaned that up.

On Winamac game — We started off a little slow, but we picked it up from the second quarter moving forward. We played a pretty clean game … I’m definitely pleased with our play. It was a great way to end our regular season and send our seniors off with a win.