Gibson Southern football enters sectional play as well-rounded group

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 11:54 PM CDT
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FORT BRANCH, Ind. (WFIE) - As the IHSAA playoffs make their way to the Pocket Athletic Conference, the Gibson Southern football team has started preparations for its postseason journey as the Titans open sectional play against an evenly matched opponent.

Gibson Southern (8-1) enters Class 3A sectionals as slight favorites over Mount Vernon (8-1) in this week’s matchup.

The last time these two teams met on the gridiron, the Titans ended the Wildcats’ undefeated run in dominating fashion, winning 54-6.

[HIGHLIGHTS: Gibson So. vs. Mt. Vernon]

“We’re expecting a four-quarter battle on Friday night,” Gibson Southern head coach Nick Hart said. “It’s the playoffs, that’s what it’s supposed to be about.”

The Titans have many weapons, including Purdue quarterback commit Brady Allen, who threw over 2,300 yards and 35 touchdowns.

“He’s had a great year, his numbers are silly, but we got a lot of good guys around him,” Hart said. “Our offensive line has been great all year, and obviously if you’re throwing the ball well, you got good receivers and our defense is playing at a really high level right now. So I’m really excited about what we’ve done in all three phases of the game.”

Widely viewed as Allen’s favorite target, senior wide receiver Rory Heltsley has totaled 16 touchdowns and slightly under 900 receiving yards this season. Meanwhile, Sean DeLong leads the team in rushing with 538 yards and seven touchdowns.

“Good combination of backs with Sean and Lukeman - I think they do a great job,” Allen said. “And the offensive line upfront - they’re real physical. It allows us to open the run game up when the passing game shuts down. So we gotta have both if we want to make a run.”

On the other side of the ball, Gibson Southern’s defense has been stout, only allowing 13 points per game. Plus, the first-string defense didn’t allow a single touchdown in conference play.

“That’s really what’s helped us on offense - those guys shutting it down,” Allen said. “They haven’t put any pressure on us to score or respond. That’s been a big thing off our shoulders.”

“We’ve played great at all three levels,” Hart said. “Teams that have thrown it against us, teams that have tried to run it. We got a lot of seniors that’ll run that side of the ball, and they’ve done a great job.”

The Titans are scheduled to head over to Mount Vernon on Friday night.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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