Time for some notes along the football trail:

And then there were two!

Already on the sidelines and probably already thinking about 2020 are Hamilton County schools Fishers (7-3), Guerin Catholic (6-5), Hamilton Heights (2-8), Hamilton Southeastern (5-5), Noblesville (1-9) and Sheridan (6-4).

Westfield visits Carmel this evening to determine the Class 6A Sectional 4 championship.

Westfield was particularly impressive last week while defeating Fishers 42-14, and avenging a 19-14 regular-season loss.

As good as Westfield looked against Fishers, can the Rocks (6-4) handle Carmel (7-3), the largest enrollment school (5,286) in the state?

Carmel was ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll. Westfield won its first four games and earned a top-10 ranking.

The Greyhounds seek their seventh straight sectional title. They have made it to state in four of the past 6, years.

Ironically, the last time Carmel won state was 2016, Coach John Hebert’s second season calling the shots for the Greyhounds. Former Carmel coach Kevin Wright won state in 2011 and led the Hounds to back-to-back state runner-up finishes before moving on to coach IMG Academy in Florida in April 2015.

Hebert also guided the Hounds to a state runner-up finish in 2018 and reached the semistate in 2015 and 2017.

As you can see, the Hounds are a pretty tough out in the postseason.

The Rocks were a Class 5A school when they posted a 12-2 record en route to the state championship in 2016. They’ve also won sectionals in 2013 (state runner-up season), 2014 and 2015 since Coach Jake Gilbert took over the school’s football reins.

So their history of late is pretty impressive.

But the Rocks have not had much luck against Carmel in two previous first-round sectionals, losing 28-7 in 2018 at Carmel, and 21-7 at Westfield in 2009.

On paper, you have to figure that the Rocks will be facing a huge task, and will need a monumental effort.

Westfield averages 29.9 points and allows 22.2. Carmel averages 22.9 points and gives up 15.7 per game.
But nothing is Impossible.

I recall 2010 when Fishers defeated the Hounds at Carmel 17-14 and then went on to bring home the Class 5A state championship plaque. The Tigers also lost only one game that year, going 14-1. 

Still, going into that game I’m not real sure that many would have given the Tigers much of a chance against Carmel, which had lost only once going into that second-round sectional matchup. 

Fishers, a re-established high school in 2006, pulled off a trick play and caught Carmel off guard late in the second half The Tigers then avenged a 40-17 regular-season loss, hammering Hamilton Southeastern 28-0 in the sectional finale.

So the stage is set. Something has to give.

Can’t help but wonder if the Rocks might follow the Fishers script and have something up their sleeve.

Stay tuned.

*—Mark Morrow, a Hall of Fame Indiana sportswriter, has resided in Hamilton County since 1989. You can follow him in The Times, and on Twitter at mmediamarko12. He can be reached at mediamarko5@gmail.com or by calling 317 460-8018.