By Ben Sieck
The Cathedral Irish may have had a turbulent regular season, but they are back to their winning ways this postseason. Following two sectional blowout victories, the Irish (5-5) are preparing for another state title run.
Standing in their way are the Decatur Central Hawks (8-2). After defeating Zionsville 24-20 last week, the Hawks face the defending four-time state champs in the sectional championship.
Cathedral entered the playoffs with just a 3-5 record. However, the 5A Irish played some of the state’s top teams.
Cathedral did not play an Indiana school in class 5A during the regular season. Instead, the school played four 6A teams — all on the road — two 4A teams and two out-of-state schools.
The Irish defeated 6A Hamilton Southeastern 31-17, and fell three points short of upsetting Warren Central — the third ranked team in 6A.
Center Jared Thomas anchors the Cathedral offensive line. Thomas is a Northwestern recruit.
Cathedral head coach Rick Streiff told 247 Sports junior quarterback Max Bortenschlager has a good chance to play at the next level.
“As of right now, he has all those qualities you like to see in a good young quarterback,” he said. “I’d say he’s a guy that’s going to play Division I football down the road if everything continues to progress.”
Decatur Central is led by quarterback Tommy Stevens. Stevens is committed to play football for Indiana next season. He is a three-star recruit, and the 15th-best quarterback in the nation, according to Rivals.com.
Decatur Central head coach Justin Dixson told the Indianapolis Star the team has a lot of talent around Stevens, but he’s the driving force.
“There’s no doubt we win a lot of games because he’s our quarterback,” he said.
Stevens is protected by another college prospect, junior offensive tackle Trent Maynard. 247 Sports ranks Maynard the third best offensive lineman in Indiana.
The Hawks come into the game riding a five-game winning streak, and are ranked eighth in 5A. Cathedral is ranked seventh.
The winner of this game will take on the winner of the Whiteland-Floyd Central matchup in the regional championship.
Kickoff is set for Friday at 7 p.m. at Arsenal Tech High School.