A year ago, South Bend Washington played for a state championship.
This year, they entered the postseason with just one win.
Now they have three and are just one win away from repeating as 4A Sectional Champions. The Panthers will face Mishawaka at 7pm Friday night at School Field in the 4A title game.
"It would be more special because we don't have a big 4-star wideout or 5-star, 5-star running back," quarterback Daigen Morgan says, referring to the departure of Gehrig Dieter (SMU) and David Perkins (Ohio State).
"We have kids that fight, kids that want it. This year is a better year for us for the simple fact that we just came together at the last minute. People are like 'wow, what happened?' So I'm just telling people, don't sleep on us. We are coming."
Jay Johnson is in his first year as the Panthers head coach, taking over for Antwon Jones. Johnson says it took longer than expected to get his team to where he wants it but he knew this team was capable of doing special things.
"There were definitely plenty of times and opportunities for us to pack it up and give up but a great showing of the pride we have here on the West Side," Johnson said. "The kids have a great attitude and we've had that all season."
Mishawaka and Washington played in the final game of the regular season with the Cavemen winning 44-30. The 8-3 Cavemen have won six games in a row after a a 2-3 start.