By Paul Condry and Matt Kopsea – Indiana Football Digest
ANDREAN (4-2) AT KANKAKEE VALLEY (6-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm CT, Fred Jones Field.
COACHES: Phil Mason, 37-18 in 5th year at Andrean, 70-55 in 12th year overall. Brad Stewart, 8-8 in 2nd year at Kankakee Valley.
LAST OUTING: Andrean beat Highland, 62-13, Sep. 21. Kankakee Valley beat North Judson, 49-18, Sep. 21.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Andrean 17-19, Kankakee Valley 16-20.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Andrean, 9-1.
LAST MEETING: Andrean, 46-0, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "It's going to be a great game. We believe we keep getting better on defense and our offense is clicking. KV has done a great job with their kids. Iif we can stop their stud running back (Tyler Birky), things will go well for us." – Andrean coach Phil Mason.
"For the Kankakee Valley football team to be successful against Andrean, we will need to take care of the football, execute our assignments, and especially not let the big night for the Kankakee Valley football transform into internal pressure. Defensively, we will need to play disciplined football and keep our focus for four quarters." – Kankakee Valley coach Brad Stewart.
MATT KOPSEA'S PICK: Kankakee Valley 27, Andrean 24.
CENTER GROVE (5-1) AT BEN DAVIS (6-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Giants Stadium.
COACHES: Eric Moore, 121-48 in 14th year at Center Grove, 169-53 in 18th year overall. Mike Kirschner, 44-20, in 6th year at Ben Davis, 58-46 in 10th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Center Grove beat Lawrence North, 77-0, Sep. 22. Ben Davis beat Terre Haute South, 30-13, Sep. 22.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Center Grove 17-19, Ben Davis 15-21.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Ben Davis, 10-7.
LAST MEETING: Ben Davis, 42-14, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We are banged up and are going to have to rely on some players that are not very experienced this week. It will be interesting to see how they play. We will have to continue to play well on defense to slow down a great offense." – Ben Davis coach Mike Kirschner.
MATT'S PICK: Ben Davis 20, Center Grove 17.
CHARLESTOWN (6-0) AT CORYDON CENTRAL (6-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Corydon Central Field.
COACHES: Jason Hawkins, 46-15 in 6th year at Charlestown, 48-23 in 7th year overall. Darin Ward, 52-20 in 7th year at Corydon Central.
LAST OUTING: Charlestown beat Salem, 48-0, Sep. 21. Corydon Central beat Paoli, 24-16, Sep. 21.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Charlestown 15-21, Corydon Central 15-21.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Tied, 8-8.
LAST MEETING: Corydon Central, 33-28, sectional, Oct. 28, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "To win the game Friday, we will have to play great defense and get pressure on the quarterback. We cannot turn the ball over and we have to be able to run the football. It should be a great game and a good quarterback battle between (Chase) Burton and (Aaron) Daniel." – Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins.
"For us to beat Charlestown on Friday night, we must win third down and minimize Aaron Daniel's big play capabilities." – Corydon Central coach Darin Ward.
MATT'S PICK: Charlestown 35, Corydon Central 27.
CHESTERTON (6-0) AT LAKE CENTRAL (5-1)
GAME TIME: 7 pm CT, Burial Grounds.
COACHES: John Snyder, 71-54 in 12th year at Chesterton, 73-61 in 13th year overall. Brett St. Germain, 15-11 in 3rd year at Lake Central, 65-23 in 8th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Chesterton beat Portage, 24-17, Sep. 21. Lake Central lost to Michigan City, 20-16, Sep. 21.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Chesterton 11-25, Lake Central 14-22.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Chesterton, 8-1.
LAST MEETING: Lake Central, 38-7, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We will have to contain David Yancey. He will get his yards, but we can't let him run wild and break big plays. He has done it in every game, except last week. We struggled to contain him late last year. Their defensive front seven are outstanding. We'll really have to mix it up offensively and just hope to keep them off our quarterback. We will have to find a way to move the ball and keep Yancey off the field. Our special teams will have to help us win the game again this week. They will have to help us in the field position battle. Lake Central is the best team I've seen on film. They have several (NCAA) Division I prospects and many Division II type of players." – Chesterton coach John Snyder.
"We have to rebound from a disappointing loss last week against Michigan City. Our team needs to understand that there are no 'off' weeks in the Duneland Conference. Our mental toughness will be put the test this Friday against a Chesterton team that is ranked No. 1 in our area and No. 7 in the state." – Lake Central coach Brett St. Germain.
MATT'S PICK: Chesterton 30, Lake Central 23.
CHURUBUSCO (6-0) AT CULVER MILITARY ACADEMY (4-2)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Oliver Field.
COACHES: Lee Etzler, 81-38 in 11th year at Churubusco. Andy Dorrel, 83-75 in 15th year at Culver Military Academy.
LAST OUTING: Churubusco beat West Noble, 60-0, Sep. 21. Culver Military Academy beat John Glenn, 20-7, Sep. 21.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Churubusco 7-29, Culver Military Academy 25-11.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Churubusco, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Churubusco, 18-14, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Our biggest concern going into the game is dealing with their athleticism. They are very talented and do a great job of getting the ball to each of their athletes. For us to be successful, we need keep them in front of us and limit the number of big plays from them offensively. They have had significant success so far this year against a very good schedule of opponents. We have yet to play a four quarter football game, so there are a lot of questions about our football team that we expect to figure out on Friday." – Churubusco coach Lee Etzler.
"This is going to be an extremely competitive game. In the three years we have played 'Busco', it appears this may be their best team yet. We are struggling with some critical injuries at key positions, especially on the defensive side of the football, and have just not been able to get the ball in the end zone with enough consistency. With that being said, we have a very opportunistic group and they just figure out a way to win. We are currently undefeated at home, a fact that is very important to our team. In order for the CMA Eagles to earn a victory this Friday, we must control the tempo of the game with long, sustained offensive drives that result in touchdowns. 'Busco's offense is very explosive, and they do a tremendous job running their Wing-T attack. Defensively 'Busco' is extremely aggressive and present numerous challenges for their opponents. We expect this to be a game decided by two or three plays. We have played a very competitive schedule, and we hope that our big game experience will provide us a decided advantage as this game reaches the fourth quarter. The last two years we were in position to win this game late, but were unable to capitalize. This year, we hope to dictate the outcome with the CMA Eagles' earning their fifth victory." CMA coach Andy Dorrel.
MATT'S PICK: Churubusco 21, CMA 20.
EAST CENTRAL (5-1) AT LAWRENCEBURG (6-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Neary Memorial Field.
COACHES: Tim Behlmer, 14-3 in 2nd year at East Central, 39-12 in 5th year overall. Ryan Knigga, 11-6 in 2nd year at Lawrenceburg.
LAST OUTING: East Central beat South Dearborn, 57-0, Sep. 21. Lawrenceburg beat Batesville, 40-0, Sep. 21.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: East Central 10-14, Lawrenceburg 14-16.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: East Central, 15-0.
LAST MEETING: East Central, 53-7, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We must contain Lawrenceburg's big play people. (Chad) Banschbach is as good a running back as we will face this year. We must make sure we team tackle him as he is very tough in a one-on-one situation. On offense, we must control the line of scrimmage and execute each and every assignment." – East Central coach Tim Behlmer.
"The East Central Trojans have set the bar in the EIAC. They are the team to beat every year until someone knocks them off. What the Tigers will need to do is control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We must score when we get an opportunity, as we cannot have any empty trips. We must put points on the board. Our defense must stop the run game, and defend the play action pass. And last, our special teams units must be 'special'. This is a huge test for our program as EC is the measuring stick for us. Playing a team like EC always prepares you for the tournament." – Lawrenceburg coach Ryan Knigga.
MATT'S PICK: East Central 28, Lawrenceburg 27.
FAIRFIELD (6-0) AT LAKELAND (6-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Lakeland Field.
COACHES: Bob Miller, 71-44 in 11th year at Fairfield. Keith Thompson, 48-29 in 8th year at Lakeland.
LAST OUTING: Fairfield beat Angola, 34-14, Sep. 21. Lakeland beat Eastside, 37-21, Sep. 21.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Fairfield 7-29, Lakeland 7-29.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Fairfield, 9-6.
LAST MEETING: Lakeland, 28-0, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "It should be a great game. Coach Thompson and his staff do a great job every year reloading the Lakers. They have an outstanding defense that is very aggressive, and a very strong running game that makes their passing game very efficient. They remind me of the Boys from Baugo (Jimtown). We need to put a complete game together. We have shown flashes on both offense and defense. As our injured kids continue to return, we get better each week. We want to focus on stopping their Jet Sweep. It is their bread and butter and they are very good at it. Offensively, we need to widen them out inside a hit them with quick plays." – Fairfield coach Bob Miller.
"Fairfield is a track team in pads. They have great speed on the outside with Caleb Noble and Brett Baumgartner. Both of those kids can stretch the field vertically. Cameron Kitson at tailback averages over 10 yards a carry and also has very good speed. Garrett Scott has a nice arm at quarterback and is a real concern running the option. They have a 240-pound fullback that runs real hard inside the tackles, so obviously they will be a real challenge for us defensively. We will need to prevent the big play and make them work for everything they get. Coach Miller does a great job every year coaching up his 5-2 defense. They are not very big, but have good speed and run to the ball well. Their quickness up front is a concern. To win this game, we will need to control the line of scrimmage and control the clock with our ground game. We cannot allow this game to become a track meet. If we do, it will be a long night in LaGrange." – Lakeland coach Keith Thompson.
MATT'S PICK: Lakeland 39, Fairfield 35.
FORT WAYNE NORTH (5-1) AT FORT WAYNE LUERS (4-2)
GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, Luers Field.
COACHES: Ryan Hall, 18-10 in 3rd year at Fort Wayne North. Steven Keefer, 65-26 in 9th year at Fort Wayne Luers.
LAST OUTING: Fort Wayne North lost to Fort Wayne Snider, 17-6, Sep. 21. Fort Wayne Luers beat Fort Wayne Concordia, 27-0, Sep. 21.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Fort Wayne North 17-19, Fort Wayne Luers 12-18.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Fort Wayne Luers, 12-3.
LAST MEETING: Fort Wayne Luers, 56-28, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We have to find a way to move the ball on their defense. Their defense is tremendous. We also must contain their running attack since they have different players carrying the ball for them." F.W. North coach Ryan Hall.
MATT'S PICK: F.W. Luers 23, F.W. North 21.
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (5-1) AT HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (5-1)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Heritage Christian Field.
COACHES: Kevin O'Shea, 59-3 in 5th year at Lafayette Central Catholic, 159-66 in 20th year overall. Ron Qualls, 69-49 in 11th year at Heritage Christian.
LAST OUTING: Lafayette Central Catholic beat Tipton, 24-13, Sep. 21. Heritage Christian beat Beech Grove, 41-0, Sep. 22.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Lafayette Central Catholic 18-18, Heritage Christian 21-15.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Lafayette Central Catholic, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Lafayette Central Catholic, 55-0, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "To have a chance to defeat Heritage Christian, we'll have to have an outstanding defensive effort from our kids. HC is an outstanding passing team. Matt Hunt, their QB, runs the show and beats you with his arm, feet, and mind. Offensively, we'll have to take care of the football and make first downs to limit HC's offensive touches." – Lafayette Central Catholic coach Kevin O'Shea.
"In order to find success on the scoreboard against LCC, we must continue to play disciplined football. Our opponent is a very well coached team with tremendous discipline as well as a mammoth history of success. We must remain focused in this major contest amidst the week's distraction of homecoming and senior night. A mark of success for our team has been to play disciplined football while capitalizing upon on our opponent's mistakes. Our quarterback, Matt Hunt, is a tremendous leader and will take his 28-2 touchdown to interception ratio into the game against a team that is 77-5 over the past seven years and has allowed less than seven points per game for the past three seasons. Point production is important for our squad and finding a way to put points on the board is paramount to our success." – Heritage Christian coach Ron Qualls.
MATT'S PICK: Heritage Christian 42, LCC 35.
NORTHWESTERN (5-1) AT HAMILTON HEIGHTS (5-1)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Huskie Stadium.
COACHES: John Hendryx, 46-20 in 6th year at Northwestern, 159-66 in 20th year overall. Mitch Street, 14-4 in 2nd year at Hamilton Heights.
LAST OUTING: Northwestern beat Maconaquah, 41-12, Sep. 21. Hamilton Heights beat Taylor, 54-0, Sep. 21.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Northwestern 15-21, Hamilton Heights 15-21.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Hamilton Heights, 9-3.
LAST MEETING: Northwestern, 33-27, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "For us to have success with Hamilton Heights, we are going to have to play a perfect game. They are a team with no weaknesses. They are physical defensively. Offensively they have five great skill players and a quarterback who is very good at spreading the ball around and using everyone. They have very solid special teams with great return people. We cannot turn the ball over and have penalties that stop any of our drives and change field position. We have to try to eliminate the big play offensively, make them drive the football, and hope to come up with a big play defensively somewhere along the drive." - Northwestern coach John Hendryx.
"I think in order to beat the Tigers we are going to have to play a full 48 minutes of football. Offensively, we must take care of the football and be willing to take what they give us. Defensively, we have to be smart with our keys and rally to the football. We must come out focused and ready to win in the special team game as well. They are talented football team, and we must be focused and ready for the task at hand." – Hamilton Heights coach Mitch Street.
MATT'S PICK: Hamilton Heights 33, Northwestern 24.
SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH (4-2) AT PENN (5-1)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Freed Field (WGCS, 91.1 FM, WTRC, 1340 AM).
COACHES: Ben Downey, 26-10 in 3rd year at South Bend St. Joseph. Cory Yeoman, 102-24 in 10th year at Penn.
LAST OUTING: South Bend St. Joseph beat Mishawaka Marian, 35-21, Sep. 21. Penn beat South Bend Washington, 43-15, Sep. 21.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: South Bend St. Joseph 23-13, Penn 19-17.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Penn, 7-0.
LAST MEETING: Penn, 28-6, Sep. 30, 2011.
MATT'S PICK: Penn 31, St. Joe 17.
TIPTON (5-1) AT SHERIDAN (4-2)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Blackhawk Field.
COACHES: Aaron Tolle, 56-30 in 8th year at Tipton. Larry Wright, 374-160 in 47th year at Sheridan, 375-163 in 48th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Tipton lost to Lafayette Central Catholic, 24-13, Sep. 21. Sheridan beat Monrovia, 25-8, Sep. 22.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Tipton 22-14, Sheridan 17-19.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Sheridan, 9-5.
LAST MEETING: Sheridan, 42-27, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "The Blue Devils need to put the tough loss to LCC behind them and begin building for a long tournament run. Sheridan always has an excellent team and is even better coached by Bud Wright, so we will certainly have our hands full. The keys to the game for us are to win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, be balanced between run and pass on offense, and we contain No. 30 (Tyler) Callahan from his fullback position. If we do these things, then the Blue Devils should be successful this Friday." – Tipton coach Aaron Tolle.
"In order to beat the Blue Devils, we must stop the passing game and then be able to stop the run. Their quarterback (Austin Hooker) is very good. He is a run threat as well as the pass. They have a very good receiver in the Hoover kid, who is related to the Hoover boys' on our team. He was the one that caught the main passes that beat Hamilton Heights. They also have a big fullback or tailback that is a load. We must play our best game of the year. We have beaten Tipton five out of the last 6 times we have played, so they will be sky high against us." – Sheridan coach Bud Wright.
MATT'S PICK: Tipton 34, Sheridan 28.
WESTERN BOONE (6-0) AT TRI-WEST (5-1)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Tri-West Field.
COACHES: Jed Richman, 22-7 in 3rd year at Western Boone. Chris Coll, 36-31 in 7th year at Tri-West.
LAST OUTING: Western Boone beat North Montgomery, 14-13, Sep. 22. Tri-West beat Crawfordsville, 37-14, Sep. 22.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Western Boone 17-19, Tri-West 18-18.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Tri-West, 8-5.
LAST MEETING: Western Boone, 41-0, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We need to continue and improve to be successful this week. Tri-West is a very talented team with a lot of speed, so we have to figure out a way to contain their athletes. Their quarterback (Jake Hendershot) is very tough and is having a good season." – Western Boone coach Jed Richmond.
"Western Boone is an outstanding team with talent and experience. We will have to play a very good game in all three phases. Offensively, they have an outstanding quarterback that can hurt you with his arm or his feet. They also possess a very good run game with their running back and offensive line. We will have to play very good team defense. On offense, we will need to be consistent and possess the ball as much as possible. We also have to take advantage of any field position we get or scoring opportunities that we have. Against a team as good as Western Boone, we cannot leave points on the field. We must score when opportunities present themselves." - Tri-West coach Chris Coll.
MATT'S PICK: Western Boone 26, Tri-West 23.
ZIONSVILLE (5-1) AT FISHERS (5-1)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Clarian Field.
COACHES: Larry McWhorter, 144-52 in 17th year at Zionsville. Rick Wimmer, 50-26 in 7th year at Fishers, 214-109 in 30th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Zionsville beat Harrison (West Lafayette), 55-14, Sep. 22. Fishers beat McCutcheon, 34-6, Sep. 21.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Zionsville 10-26, Fishers 12-24.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Fishers, 4-2.
LAST MEETING: Fishers, 38-14, Sep. 30, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "One thing we must do is force them to make some mistakes. It is rare when this happens to them. I do not think that I have seen one turnover in four games. They have the best defense we have seen this year" – Zionsville coach Larry McWhorter.
"For us to get a win against Zionsville this Friday, we will need to protect the football on offense. They have intercepted 14 passes this season, so it will be important that we make good decisions and not give them extra opportunities. Along with that, we will need to run the football well against a traditionally stout defense. These two factors will be important, so not to give the ball to their explosive offense. This is the most balanced Zionsville team we have seen since being at Fishers. They have some big play potential in wide receiver (John) Naumcheff, tight end (Carson) Kennedy, as well as with the quarterback (Parker) Dunshee who not only is very accurate, but is very dangerous when he scrambles and runs the ball himself. Their running game is always strong, and this year is no exception, so our thoughts are still that we will need to stop the run first and then play hard corner coverage with deep safety help by getting them in passing situations. Not giving up a big play to their offense will be a challenge, but it is important that we limit them as much as possible. They have good return units in the kicking game, so we must be solid there and not give up a big play." – Fishers coach Rick Wimmer.
MATT'S PICK: Fishers 24, Zionsville 20.
CARMEL (6-0) VS WARREN CENTRAL (3-3)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Saturday, Lucas Oil Stadium.
COACHES: Kevin Wright, 29-3 in 3rd year at Carmel, 163-57 in 19th year overall. Steve Tutsie, 26-7 in 3rd year at Warren Central.
LAST OUTING: Carmel beat North Central (Indianapolis), 24-0, Sep. 22. Warren Central lost to Terre Haute North, 14-10, Sep. 22.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Carmel 11-25, Warren Central 17-19.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Warren Central, 11-7.
LAST MEETING: Carmel, 34-30, sectional, Nov. 4, 2011.
COACHES COMMENTS: "To win Friday night, we must start fast and play well in all three phases of the game. Defensively, we must limit their big plays. On offense, we must be efficient and take care of the football against a team that hasn't given up more than two offensive touchdowns in a game this year. Both teams seem to bring out the best in each other, so it should be another great match-up Saturday night in Lucas Oil Stadium." – Carmel coach Kevin Wright.
"We need to reestablish consistency on offense by being effective in the 'Red Zone' – Warren Central coach Steve Tutsie.
MATT'S PICK: Carmel 35, Warren Central 31.