Tonight, the Martinsville Artesians will travel 1 hour and 45 minutes to St. Leon, Indiana to face the East Central Trojans in the IHSAA 4A Sectional 23 Championship. This is a showdown that we have been waiting on all year, and it’ll be a great game to watch for those able to make the drive to Cincinnati. The Artesians come into the game as the slight underdog but have been known to rise above what others think of them.
East Central is rated 23 in the state, according to Jeff Sagarin ratings. The Artesians aren’t far behind them, ranked 33. Martinsville also boasts the stronger strength of record at 47th in the state, where as East Central’s SoS is 106.
The drive is what’s going hamper Martinsville just a little bit but seeing that its mostly interstate cruising the whole way, that shouldn’t be too bad.
Both teams are good, and the whole state knows that. We were ranking Martinsville high early in the season. They had a small drought, losing a couple of games late. Martinsville win over Whiteland, 21 to 35 on September 23rd sent a message to the state that Martinsville could play some football.
Not to mention, the Artesians are playing the best football they have played all season in the post season.
Whiteland is playing tonight in their own 5A sectional championship, with only that one loss to Martinsville.
This game will feature everything. Both teams can throw, run, and have stellar offensives.
The Artesians have thrown more with 2,401 yards and 29 touchdowns. They’ve rushed for 1,317 yards and 16 TDs. Martinsville will be led by Senior QB Tyler Adkins, JR RB Brayden Shrake, SR WR Garret Skaggs and SR MLB Devon Brenner.
All season the readers have told us that East Central was the best team in IHSAA Sectional 23. We have been flip flopping the two teams all season. We knew more about Martinsville because we’re closer, but we had an inkling that East Central was great.
The Trojans will rely more on their run game and stellar defense. They’ve accumulated 2,600 yards and 37 rushing touchdowns. They also capably of throwing, with 1,723 yards on 89 completions and 20 touchdowns. Looks like they’re pretty efficient at throwing the ball.
East Central will be led by Junior RB Josh Ringer, JR QB Cole Burton, JR WR Ryan Brotherton, and JR Brayden Rouse. That’s a lot of Juniors leading the stat lines for this East Central team, which means we’ll be seeing them ranked high again next season.
Martinsville vs East Central Sectional Championship Football Prediction
The entire time I’ve been writing this article, I’ve been going back and forth on who I really think would win this game. I think Martinsville is ready to surprise anyone, and if it were at their home I think they would win this game.
And just because of location bias I want to see Martinsville win, but I’m trying to be partial here.
The doubt lies in the drive and the home field and advantage for East Central. The Trojans may be a little better on paper. This is a hard choice. I think the Trojans will use their run game to control the time. Their ability to throw effectively will give them the edge.
East Central will win this one after a huge defensive battle, 24-14.