With Sectional 15 only having four teams, Seymour got to rest last week along with Bloomington North, Bloomington South and Columbus East.
Head coach Tyson Moore said the Owls used it to their advantage, mainly getting guys back to being game ready to play.
“The off week helped us out tremendously because we had a lot of guys that were banged up and several guys coming off of injury. It allowed us to heal, which is great because we’re going into this Friday healthy for the most part,” Moore said. “It gave us an extra week of preparation and more so mental preparation more than anything. We wanted to make sure everyone really understood the game plan on both sides of the ball.”
The Owls, 6-3 this season, will play at Bloomington North this Friday at Martin Field. The Cougars are 5-4 this season and have played three similar opponents as Seymour — Bloomington South, Columbus East and Bedford North Lawrence.
The Owls and Cougars both lost to the Panthers, both defeated the Stars and Seymour fell to the Olympians while North beat them.
Moore said North runs the same 3-4 scheme as Seymour on defense, and both teams do similar things on offense.
“They’ve got a really good quarterback. He can sling the ball around. He’s mobile and can move on his feet,” Moore said. “They have a good group of receivers, they have a really good tight end and they have a running back than can tote the football, as well. They’re very explosive. They have that one-play capability.”
On defense, Moore expects the Cougars to use a lot of movement up front to try to confuse Seymour’s offense.
“We have to be really composed,” Moore said. “Some of the difficulties that we have is when teams move up front against us. I wouldn’t be surprised if they move a lot of up front with stunts and slants to try to confuse us.”
The last time Seymour took the field, the Owls suffered a 42-13 loss to Bloomington South. The Panthers will be at Columbus East on Friday, and the winner of Seymour/North will play the winner of that game for the sectional championship on Nov. 4.
“Our confidence has been great,” Moore said. “We really didn’t lose any confidence after South.”
The week before playing South, Seymour clinched a share of the Hoosier Hills Conference title for the first time since 2001. It has been a positive year for the Owls, and even though they’ve lost both games to the two teams on the other side of the sectional bracket, Moore and the team feel like Seymour is closer than the final score suggests.
But the focus this week is on Bloomington North. The last meeting between the Owls and Cougars was Oct. 4, 1996, and Seymour won 24-14. The Owls own a 5-1 record over the Cougars over the last 35 years.
North is projected to beat Seymour this Friday, but Moore has no issue being counted out.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say we’re the underdog in the sectional, and that’s OK to me,” he said. “We know who we are. We know what we’re capable of. We’ve had a great two weeks of preparation, and we’re going to take this into Friday. There’s a reason we’re 6-3 right now. There’s a reason we won the conference.
“If anybody is writing us off, that’s on them, and that’s probably actually better for us. We feel like we have a lot to prove. I think our guys, just from the last week and a half, our confidence has been great, our composure has been great. I’m really hoping that we can keep this going into Friday.”