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Friday’s ‘Classic’ sets stage for tourney

With the Mid-Southern Conference decided, and the Indiana High School Athletic Association state tournament still a couple of weeks away, the biggest game in Harrison County takes place this Friday night at 7 p.m. as the 29th annual Big Cat Classic is played out at the football complex at Corydon Central High School.
The host Panthers come into the game sporting a record of 3-4, while North Harrison, ranked No. 13 in Class 3A, enters the ring at 5-1.
In terms of the overall series, the Cougars dominate with a record of 21-10 against Corydon, and 18-10 in the Big Cat Classic.
Few pigskin pundits would bet against the Cougars, who come into the frey having let the league title slip through their paws with a 40-20 bombing at the hands of Clarksville last week.
‘The kids want bragging rights for the year,’ North coach Jason Mullis said. ‘This is a rivalry game so you never know what’s going to happen, but I know our guys are going to be fired up.’
Corydon Central skipper Jason Timberlake, whose own team is still smarting from a 40-6 beatdown at the hands of West Washington, said what happened last week will have little to do with what takes place on the gridiron this week.
‘Coming off a win or a loss, I don’t think really matters. They are a good football team, and will be ready to play regardless,’ Timberlake said. ‘It is obvious what we have to do to beat them. Offensively, we must play much better.’
The Cougars have won six of the past nine meetings, including last year’s 20-7 victory in the sectional semifinal.
Pairings announced for state tournament
The IHSAA conducted its draw for the state football tournament last night in Indianapolis.
In Class 3A Sectional 23, action begins Oct. 20 as Salem (2-4) travels to Greensburg (7-0), Edgewood (2-5) invades Brown County (2-5), and Batesville (5-2) hosts Corydon Central (3-4).
On Oct. 27, North Harrison (5-1) travels to the winner of the Salem-Greensburg matchup, with winners in the other bracket facing off.
The sectional championship will be played Nov. 3.
At the regional level on Nov. 10, the team that hosts will be the sectional final non-host (if applicable), or the winner of Sectional 23.
Tickets for each round of the sectional are $5.
With North Harrison taking on Salem in the final regular-season game of the year, the Cougars have a full two weeks to focus on Greensburg.
‘We’ll have practiced for a week on Salem, then have a week off, and then almost another full week before playing our first sectional game,’ Mullis said. ‘We’re happy about it because Greensburg runs a very good option offense that we don’t see every year. What they run, they do very well.
‘We’re excited about it. Before the draw, the kids were saying they wanted a chance to place either Greensburg or Batesville.’
Mullis said despite the loss of the MSC title, his team still has a chance to hoist a trophy.
‘Every one of us knows we had a letdown against Clarksville and the best way to come back from that is to do something in the state tournament,’ he said. ‘Good ball teams bounce back from a letdown.’
Batesville has won the previous five sectional championships, with Whiteland winning in 2000, and Indianapolis Chatard winning in both 1999 and 1998. Whiteland is now a Class 4A school.
2005 ‘ North Harrison 55, Corydon 26
Sectional: N.H. 20, Corydon 7
2004 ‘ Corydon 30, North Harrison 6
2003 ‘ Corydon 64, North Harrison 0
2002 ‘ Corydon 40, North Harrison 0
2001 ‘ North Harrison 13, Corydon 6
2000 ‘ North Harrison 27, Corydon 0
1999 ‘ North Harrison 27, Corydon 0
Sectional: N.H. 46, Corydon 6
1998 ‘ Corydon 31, North Harrison 8
1997 ‘ Corydon 39, North Harrison 12*
1996 ‘ North Harrison 20, Corydon 8
1995 ‘ Corydon 32, North Harrison 26
Sectional: N.H. 22, Corydon 8
1994 ‘ North Harrison 21, Corydon 18
1993 ‘ North Harrison 18, Corydon 13
1992 ‘ Corydon 21, North Harrison 0
1991 ‘ North Harrison 33, Corydon 20
1990 ‘ North Harrison 41, Corydon 6
1989 ‘ North Harrison 26, Corydon 8
1988 ‘ North Harrison 38, Corydon 20
1987 ‘ North Harrison 15, Corydon 7
1986 ‘ North Harrison 33, Corydon 16
1985 ‘ North Harrison 23, Corydon 0
1984 ‘ Corydon 46, North Harrison 20
1983 ‘ Corydon 23, North Harrison 6
1982 ‘ Corydon 36, North Harrison 28
1981 ‘ North Harrison 28, Corydon 17
1980 ‘ North Harrison 20, Corydon 8
1979 ‘ North Harrison 6, Corydon 0
1978 ‘ Corydon 22, North Harrison 13
* Corydon would later have to forfeit the game for using an ineligible player.