Panthers look for sectional win


Isaiah Rosner, Reporter

After finishing the season 6-3, North Central will host Warren Central in the first round of the state tournament. This one is a rematch of their week three matchup, a game that the Panthers won 10-0.

Warren Central’s first two games of the season were cancelled due to positive tests for COVID-19. Because of this, they have a unique record of 2-5, having competed in just seven games instead of the standard nine.

Once they were able to play, they got off to a rough start, with the team failing to put up points in the first two matchups. Offense has not been a problem since then, however, as they averaged 22 points per game after that.

Senior Prince Powell, the starting quarterback, has been one of the team’s strongest offensive weapons. He has 887 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions.

The best part of his game is on the ground. Powell leads the team in rush yards with 230, as well as rushing touchdowns with six.

Another notable offensive player is sophomore running back Rodney Johnson. He has amassed 239 yards from scrimmage, as well as two scores.

The team also has a duo of reliable wide receivers: senior Mikal Clarke and junior Quintin Delgado Prado. Each player has over 20 receptions and 220 receiving yards.

One of the engines of the Warriors defense is senior Andrew Nelson. With 48 tackles and 7 tackles for loss, the linebacker leads the team in both categories.

In the trenches, the most accomplished player this season is junior Dejuan Echoles. He is responsible for 4 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss in just six games thus far.

On offense, the Panthers will look to do what they do best: Get the ball in the hands of the playmakers. One of these such players is senior David Smith, who has tallied 1,128 yards and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage. However, he struggled in their regular season finale, going for just 59 yards in the ground in 15 carries.

Senior Theran Johnson will no doubt be a huge part of the game plan as well. The starting wideout and cornerback is by far the team’s leading wide receiver with 679 yards and 10 total scores.

The defense, which was dominant the last time the teams met, struggled in the back half of the season. They gave up 38 or more points in three of the final five games, and 21 in each of the other two.

As the front four have been consistently disruptive, they will likely be relied on to make plays. Senior Micah Green, Josiah Green, and Eugene Cooper have combined for 13.5 sacks, 26.5 tackles for loss, and 59 quarterback hurries.

Whichever team comes out on top will face either Lawrence North or Lawrence Central in the sectional championship. LN is the more likely opponent, as LC has yet to win a game this season.

— by Isaiah Rosner