Bloomington South vs Castle sectional preview

John Kelly, Editor

Bloomington South Panthers (6-4) at Castle Knights (6-4)

When: Friday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. CT)

Where: John Lidy Field, Newburgh, Ind.

Last Meeting: 34-10 (W) 2019

After a dominant 49-20 victory over Evansville North, South will face off with foe Castle for the second time this season. The Panthers had no trouble the first time around, but will now go on the road and play a team that’s made some changes throughout the year. 

Offense: The Panther offense had their best offensive performance of the season, putting up 49 points on the Evansville North defense. The passing game was solid, as junior quarterback D.J. Bull threw for 145 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Senior running back Maveric Thiery was phenomenal, accumulating 175 yards of total offense, as well as four touchdowns. Thiery was limited with an injury in his first meeting with the Knights, so his production should be much better in this game. If Thiery can continue to produce like he did on Friday, the Panthers have a serious shot at semi-state. Not much has changed defensively for Castle, with junior linebacker Nyles Sutton leading the team with 100 tackles this season. Other notable defenders include senior linebacker Andrew Perry, and junior safety Mason Ailstock, who have a combined eight interceptions this season. 

Defense: The Bloomington South defense has proven to be a very solid unit throughout the season. The biggest improvement from last year can be seen in the secondary. Senior cornerbacks John Law and Jayden Blackwell have been much more reliable this season, while classmate Zach Bellini has remained healthy and junior safety Maddix Blackwell continues to have a stellar season. The biggest change for the Knights on offense is the switch to freshman quarterback Cameron Tilly. Castle started out the year with senior Nathan Harpenau, but quickly made the decision that he wasn’t the right man for the job, moving to fellow senior Cameron Justus and eventually Tilly. Tilly has been pretty mediocre as a passer, but he did find a way to win over Bloomington North last Friday, prompting coach Doug Hurt to roll with the freshman for another game. The running game has also been tricky for Castle, with junior Reece Yunker seeing decreased carries in the committee. This years leading rusher is junior Connor McIntire, who has rushed for 493 yards and four touchdowns.

Overview: South will head down to Castle for a tournament game for the third time in five years. Expect Castle to be more competitive than they were at the beginning of the season. The winner of this game will be on the road against either Jeffersonville or Floyd Central. Prediction: BHSS- 35 CHS-21