Five things to know for regional championship game

Ethan Baer, Sports Writer

It has been a season full of ups and downs for the Panthers, but they still found a way to win their fourth consecutive IHSAA Football Sectional Championship.The Panthers are one win away from the State Championship, but they have to get through a very tough opponent in the Cathedral Fighting Irish. Here are five things to know for South’s matchup against Cathedral.

  1. High powered offenses

Both the Fighting Irish and the Panthers have potent offenses this year. Each team averages around 30 points per game on the year. South edges out Cathedral in total yards and passing yards, while the Fighting Irish have the advantage over the Panthers in rushing yards. Look for this game to be a high-scoring affair as both teams have very dangerous and lightning-fast offenses.

  1.  Defense

Defense wins championships. This phrase couldn’t be more relevant for the Panthers than it is right now. South’s defense has been on a tear recently, averaging about two interceptions per game. The Panthers seem to have the dominant defense in this matchup as they easily beat out Cathedral in sacks and tackles per game. Additionally, the Panthers score far more points on the defensive side of the ball than the Fighting Irish. Look for the Panther’s senior-filled defensive corp to step up big time for this game.

  1.  Home-Field Advantage

For the second consecutive season, the Panthers have a home-field advantage for their Regional Championship game. This could be a huge factor for the Panthers as they have been dominant at home with a record of 4-1. In addition, Cathedral is not very good in away games as they have a record of 2-3. Also, the Fighting Irish give up a lot of points to the home team in the games they have played away.

  1. Seniors

As this is potentially the last game for South’s seniors, expect them to leave it all out on the field. The Panthers currently have 32 seniors on their roster, and all have experienced and achieved great success in the past four years. Look for the seniors to play hard, and hopefully, to become Regional Champions.

  1. Weather

South’s Regional matchup will have some pretty chilly weather as temperatures are expected to be in the mid to low 20s. This means that the footballs used in this game will experience lower pressures, so it will be harder for players to catch and hold on to the ball. Expect some unusual bounces to take place.