By Jake Thompson
Hendricks County Flyer
LIZTON — Tri-West football coach Chris Coll understands his Bruins have their hands full this Friday night when they travel to Brebeuf for the Class 3A, Sectional 29 final.
No. 7 Brebeuf (8-3) has signature wins against perennial powerhouses Chatard (8-3) and Ritter (9-2) this season, both of which are also vying for sectional titles.
“They’re very sound and play hard and have been very impressive on film,” Coll said of Brebeuf. “They’ve lived up to what we heard about them. They are a very good team.”
Brebeuf averages 38.7 points per game behind an impressive running game and also can put the ball in the air with great efficiency. Tri-West’s defense gives up an average of 17.5 ppg.
“Offensively they’re very talented and they have a lot of speed,” Coll said. “Obviously (Levante) Bellamy is very good. Their quarterback is extremely dangerous. They have taller wide receivers and their offensive line is very well-coached and fundamentally sound.”
Bellamy has carried 187 times for 1,671 yards this season, a whopping 8.94 average to go along with 26 touchdowns. Brebeuf quarterback Aaron Banks has completed 57.2 percent of his passes for a 13.4 average with 10 TDs. The Braves feature five receivers that all average above 10 yards per catch, each having double-digit receptions on the season.
Brebeuf’s offense, which averages 248.4 rushing yards and 137.9 passing yards per game, will certainly pose problems for Tri-West’s defense.
However, both defenses will have their hands full as Tri-West also brings a potent offense to the contest. Brebeuf’s defense has held its opponents 16.4 ppg while Tri-West’s offense averages 34.1 ppg.
“Defensively, they have an outstanding middle linebacker, one of the best I’ve seen for a while,” Coll said. “They have some talent and the whole thing looks very well-coached to me.”
Led by dual-threat quarterback Jake Hendershot, the Bruins will have to keep pace with Brebeuf in what, on paper, could be a shootout.
Hendershot boasts a 54 percent completion percentage, has thrown for 2,372 yards with 17 TDs. The junior signal caller also leads the team in rushing with 774 yards on 133 carries, a 5.82 per carry average with 16 TDs.
Wes Cook (563 yards, 10 TD) and Colton Jobe (578 yards, 9 TD) both average above five yards per carry for the Bruins.
Jobe leads all receivers with 675 yards while Casey Coll has 590 and Cook has 469, while leading all receivers with six TDs.
No. 11 Tri-West (9-2), who averages 186.8 yards per game on the ground and 215.6 through the air, has made a living all season adjusting its offensive in-game strategy.
“It’s a philosophy that goes back a long way here,” Coll said. “We have to take advantage of what they give and we will have to figure out what that is in the game when we get going.”
This is the Bruins’ first sectional title game since a 42-21 win against South Putnam in 2005, and is Coll’s first in his eighth season at Tri-West. Brebeuf coach Ryan Gallogly is also looking for his first sectional title win when the teams kickoff at 7 p.m.
— Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @JacobEThompson.