MILAN — Party like it’s 1998.
For the first time since 1998, the North Decatur Chargers (11-1) are sectional champions in football.
The Chargers came from behind, then held off the Milan Indians (9-3) on the road for a 21-20 win.
Eyes throughout the entire state were on Milan Friday night as people expected one of the best sectional championship games in the entire state to occur there.
The entire state was not disappointed.
On the second play of the game, the Indians landed a haymaker to the Chargers. A 55 yard touchdown run put the Indians ahead just 26 seconds into the game.
The Chargers took the shot on the chin and pushed forward as Noah Howell scored on a 34 yard pass from Alex Stirn.
Both teams made defensive stops, but a delayed handoff by the Indians caught the Chargers off guard in the second quarter to set themselves up with a chance to jump ahead.
After being pushed back to the 31 yard line, the Indians delivered a strike on a slant route to lead the game at the halftime break 14-7.
The Chargers proved to themselves and others that they were not afraid of a challenge on their opening drive of the second half.
Facing a fourth down, Stirn delivered a 51 yard strike to Logan Koehne to even the score with 6:11 remaining in the third quarter.
A strong punt return by Reid Messer set the Chargers up well to begin the fourth quarter.
From the 27 yard line, but he Chargers drove to the end zone to take their first lead of the game 21-14.
Again, it was Koehne that reached the end zone.
The Milan Indians were not prepared to lay down and let the Chargers have their big night at the Teepee. With 3:52 remaining in the game the Indians scored for the first time in the second half.
The Indians were unable to tie the game however, as their extra point kick clanked off of the upright and back into the field of play.
The Chargers, with less than four minutes to go was tasked with playing keep away to clinch the sectional title.
Milan’s defense needed just three stops to get the Chargers off the field and put the game in their hands.
In the final minute of the game, the Indians turned to their kicker for the ultimate redemption. His field goal attempt was blocked by junior Connor Messer and the Chargers were set for their first regional game since 1998.
In the regional game, the Chargers will travel 91 miles southwest to Campbellsburg to meet the West Washington Senators.