By GREG MENGELT
From all accounts, Gibson Southern quarterback Jordan Scheller is really good.
In fact, Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins compared the Titan senior to his own quarterback, All-State candidate Aaron Daniel.
“It’s going to be like playing against Aaron,” Hawkins said. “Their quarterback is fast and he can throw, and they have some receivers who can catch the ball.”
Through 12 games, Scheller has thrown for 2,357 yards, 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions. In leading the Titans to their first sectional championship ever, Scheller ran for 311 yards and three touchdowns in three games.
Those numbers do compare to Daniel’s. Unfortunately for Gibson Southern, he’ll be going against a defense that sees those quarterback traits every day in practice.
“They run basically the same offense as ours and we’ve seen that,” Charlestown junior linebacker Matt Myers said.
Scheller isn’t the only weapon for the Titans (10-2). David Anguish has 1,115 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground and has caught 33 Scheller passes for 411 yards and five more scores.
Spencer Schmitt and Josh Elpers gives Scheller two big targets in the passing game. Elpers has caught 31 passes for 602 yards and eight scores. Schmitt has 51 receptions for 622 yards and a pair of scores.
“Their receivers are pretty big,” Pirate junior Darren Taylor said. “Our defense is going to have to fly to the ball.”
Defensively, Gibson Southern has had some outstanding performances, including holding Heritage Hills to 10 points in a four-point victory. The Titans also have been gashed at times, surrendering 31 points to Boonville and 35 points to Southridge on Oct. 12 in one of their two losses.
“We’re going to try to come out and run the ball. If that stop that, we’ll try to throw it,” Hawkins said. “We don’t know what they’re going to do to us. If we play well and don’t turn the ball over, like I’ve said all year long, I think we can move the football.”
All season, Hawkins has said that his team’s goal was to win its first sectional title since 1996. Even with that goal completed, the Pirates’ sixth-year coach doesn’t expect his team to get complacent.
“I think they realize that the sectional was the first goal, but it wasn’t our final, major goal,” Hawkins said. “Every week we’re just trying to get as good as we can.”
On the other side of the coin is the possibility of overconfidence. The Class 3A No. 2 Pirates (12-0) outscored their opponents, including 8-3 Corydon Central and 10-2 Brownstown Central, by a combined 193-16 during their three-game sectional run.
Hawkins said the Pirates haven’t taken a team lightly all season and he certainly doesn’t expect them to start doing so in the regional.
“I think we’ll be ready to play. They are every Friday night when the lights come on,” he said. “They’ll be fired up. When they walk out on the field in front of that crowd, I think they’ll be even more ready.”
Myers knows that at this point in the tournament, there are no more easy wins.
“The teams are going to keep getting tougher,” he said.