TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — For the first time since 1992, Harrison and McCutcheon will meet for a sectional title.
In more recent history, Terry Peeble's Raiders topped McCutcheon 42-14 October 4th. Since that match up, Harrison has won three straight by an average margin of 31 points per game.
McCutcheon has enjoyed similar success since losing the 2019 Sword Game. Ken Frauhiger's program has since handled Muncie Central, Anderson and Kokomo. The Mavericks are one step closer to the program's first sectional title since 1999. It's only fitting that the Mavs get another shot at the Raiders.
"You know they kind of handled us, and then we went through a period where we kind of handled them," said Frauhiger.
"Now they have won the last two, and we'd like to break that a little bit. I mean it's a lot of fun. It's why you coach. It's why you get up in the summer, it's why you get up in the morning and go do the things you need to do. It's just fun."
On the other side of the football, Harrison is looking for its second straight sectional crown. The Raiders topped Kokomo in last year's title game, the program's first sectional championship since the 1994 season. Perhaps the most intriguing part of this match up? These two teams have film on each other from this season's game.
"I think it's always difficult when you play a team for a second time. It's probably a little easier when you're playing against your arch rivals because you know you're kids are going to be up for it," said Peebles.
"Obviously there's a lot at stake. But we know they are good. They've won six out of their last seven games. In that span they're averaging over 38 points a game and giving up less than 14. Our kids know what we're getting into, they've watched the film. They know it's going to be a fight, and hopefully we are prepared."
The importance spans beyond coaching. Many of these players have grown up around each other or playing against each other.
"For the program (Harrison) it's a big game every year because if we beat them, we have bragging rights for a whole year," said Harrison junior Marcel Atisso.
"It's just a big thing when every time I came here to watch them play, there was just a big crowd every time. And it was just exciting to watch, especially when they won."
"This week the amplitutde definitely went up. Like in practice if you didn't watch out here, like everything is faster, quicker, people want to hit each other harder," said McCutcheon senior Mason Douglas.
We just know we have to do more to beat them. We have to be more physcial, and we have to be more sound, fudamentally sound."