Indiana Football Digest's Top Games - 2016 Week Two

By Paul Condry and Matt Kopsea

BEN DAVIS (1-0) AT AVON (1-0)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Friday, Oriole Stadium.

COACHES: Mike Kirschner, 73-32 in 10th season at Ben Davis, 87-58 in 14th season overall. Mark Bless, 51-21 in seventh season at Avon, 200-88 in 27th season overall.

LAST WEEK: Ben Davis beat Indianapolis Tech, 70-0. Avon beat Plainfield, 35-31.

PREVOUS MEETING: Avon, 27-22, October 30, 2015, Class 6A sectional.

UP NEXT: Ben Davis travels to Indianapolis Pike and Avon hosts Hamilton Southeastern.

GAME PLAN: "This will be a big test for us to see if we can match us with their size and speed on the field. We have to contain possible Mr. Football candidate Bryant Fitzgerald in order to be successful on Friday." – Ben Davis coach Mike Kirschner.

"In order to beat Ben Davis, we will have to play with a greater amount of intensity and focus than we did last week. That being said, our inexperienced players gained valuable reps last week. We will need to build upon how we finished that game and learn how to start a game stronger and more confident." – Avon coach Mark Bless.


KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Friday, Sleighter Field.

COACHES: Eric Moore, 161-55 in 18th season at Center Grove, 209-60 in 22nd season overall. Darrin Fisher, 81-46 in 12th season at Whiteland, 142-118 in 26th season overall.

LAST WEEK: Center Grove lost to Warren Central, 21-16. Whiteland lost to New Palestine, 38-26.

PREVOUS MEETING: Center Grove, 37-0, August 28, 2015.

UP NEXT: Center Grove hosts Carmel and Whiteland plays at Decatur Central.

GAME PLAN: "As we go into this huge county rival game, the Trojans are injured unlike any year I have coached. We must overcome those injured players with solid play by subs whom have not been able to get on the field. We must contain Whiteland's big play run game, play solid on offense by scoring on every opportunity, and eliminating penalties. We also must continue to be successful on our special teams." – Center Grove coach Eric Moore.

"We have to start faster out of the locker room. Getting behind by 14 (points) as we did week one is a recipe for disaster. Each team has its own personality from year to year. This group is working on being ready to get after it at the start of each day. We have to win the big play battle (plays over 20 yards) and win the turnover ratio this Friday for sure. Drives that end in kicks are key. Improving our pad level and leg drive seem simple, but mean so much. Good teams improve the most between weeks one and two because practice focus sharpens and speed increases. We plan for that to be us." – Whiteland coach Darrin Fisher.


KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Friday, Andress Field.

COACHES: Bob Gaddis, 160-31 in 16th season at Columbus East, 278-131 in 38th season overall. Tim Bless, 105-77 in 17th season at Columbus North, 117-86 in 19th season overall.

LAST WEEK: Columbus East beat Bloomington North, 62-7. Columbus North beat Franklin, 52-7.

PREVOUS MEETING: Columbus East, 28-21, Aug. 28, 2015.

UP NEXT: Columbus East plays host to Seymour and Columbus North travels to Bloomington North.

GAME PLAN: "Defensively, we will need to limit their big plays. Offensively, we will need to control the ball and make the most of each possession. The kicking game, turnovers, and penalties will also be huge factors." – Columbus East coach Bob Gaddis.

"To win Friday's game, we will have to play with great effort and discipline. They have great team speed on defense. Thus, our offense will have to be patient and take what's earned. They have a powerful offensive line along with dynamic athletes. Defensively, we must tackle well all night long and not give up explosives. Finally, we must play a clean special teams game. This battle often comes down to a momentum-swing play from special teams." – Columbus North coach Tim Bless.


KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Charger Field.

COACHES: Kurt Tippmann, 75-19 in eighth season at Fort Wayne Snider. Doug Dinan, 51-21 in seventh season at Carroll (Fort Wayne).

LAST WEEK: Fort Wayne Snider beat Fort Wayne North, 56-0. Carroll (Fort Wayne) beat Fort Wayne Luers, 38-27.

PREVOUS MEETING: Fort Wayne Snider, 21-7, September 19, 2015.

UP NEXT: Snider hosts Fort Wayne Concordia and Carroll plays host to Fort Wayne North.

GAME PLAN: "Carroll is a top program in this area. They are well-coached and their players play extremely hard.  For us to win, we will have to block their disruptive defensive line. We need to run the ball effectively and can't do it if their defensive linemen are unblocked and causing havoc. We need to give our quarterback time to throw it. Defensively, their run game is very good. We will have to be gap sound, physical, and have good eyes for play-action passing. We have a speed advantage, but that speed is negated if our eyes are not in the right place. Special teams will be pivotal. Both teams have good kickers, so the returners and coverage teams will be the key." – F.W. Snider coach Kurt Tippmann.


KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Friday, LaRocca Field.

COACHES: Tom Dilley, 18-7 in third season at Guerin Catholic, 98-84 in 17th season overall. Kevin O'Shea, 103-9 in ninth season at Lafayette Central Catholic, 203-72 in 24th season overall.

LAST WEEK: Guerin Catholic beat Martinsville, 42-22. Lafayette Central Catholic beat Indianapolis Marshall, 70-0.

PREVOUS MEETING: Lafayette Central Catholic, 34-0, August 28, 2015.

UP NEXT: Guerin Catholic plays host to Heritage Christian and Lafayette Central Catholic hosts Tipton.

GAME PLAN: "LCC is obviously one of the top teams in the state.  We have a tremendous amount of respect for their program. With that said, we must focus on daily improvement as we prepare this and every week. Our team goal is to play our best this Friday. We are excited about the opportunity to compete against this great program." – Guerin Catholic coach Tom Dilley.

"They have a great running back (Carter McGinnis), so we'll have to contain their running game if that's possible. Secondly, we'll need to move the ball consistently through the air and keep their running game off of the field." – Lafayette Central Catholic coach Kevin O'Shea.


KICKOFF: 8:30 p.m. EDT, Friday, Lucas Oil Stadium.

COACHES: Mitch Street, 47-15 in sixth season at Hamilton Heights. Brett Colby, 73-24 in 10th season at Kokomo, 188-91 in 27th season overall.

LAST WEEK: Hamilton Heights beat Mount Vernon (Fortville), 34-27. Kokomo lost to Chesterton, 14-7.

PREVIOUS MEETING: First meeting.

UP NEXT: Hamilton Heights hosts Lewis Cass and Kokomo plays host to Marion.

GAME PLAN: "Kokomo is a team that challenges you in all three phases of the game. They bring a physical brand of football that you must stand up to. In order for us to win, we have to limit their big plays, make them grind out yards, and we have to take care of the football offensively. If we turn the ball over to them, they will capitalize on those mistakes. We must win the special team game as well." – Hamilton Heights coach Mitch Street.

"They have some real athletes. For us to be able to play in this game, we have to tackle in space and control the line of scrimmage.  We played well against Chesterton on defense, but we need to get better this week on offense, not turn the ball over, and eliminate drive-killing penalties." – Kokomo coach Brett Colby.


KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Friday, Smysor Field.

COACHES: Vince Lorenzano, 152-33 in 14th season at Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, 212-102 in 26th season overall. Bill Peebles, 1-0 in first season at Lawrence Central, 63-56 in 12th season overall.

LAST WEEK: Indianapolis Bishop Chatard beat Brebeuf Jesuit, 23-3. Lawrence Central beat McCutcheon, 35-0.

PREVOUS MEETING: Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, 17-10, August 28, 2015.

UP NEXT: Bishop Chatard travels to Indianapolis Roncalli and Lawrence Central plays Lawrence North at Lucas Oil Stadium.

GAME PLAN: "Winning is not the goal Friday night. We want to improve and play to our God-given unique potential. Offensively, we want to show them some new looks and hold on to the football. We also want to find some unique scoring opportunities. Defensively, we don't want give up big plays. We also need to tackle better and control the tempo. On special teams, we want to develop great field position, recover all fumbles as they occur, and allow no big plays." – Bishop Chatard coach Vince Lorenzano.


KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Friday, Indianapolis Lutheran Field.

COACHES: Ty Hunt, 106-27 in 11th season at Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter. Dave Pasch, 55-40 in ninth season at Indianapolis Lutheran, 120-97 in 20th season overall.

LAST WEEK: Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter lost to Monrovia, 18-17. Indianapolis Lutheran lost to Beech Grove, 34-7.

PREVOUS MEETING: Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter, 31-20, August 28, 2015.

UP NEXT: Cardinal Ritter travels to Brebeuf Jesuit and Lutheran plays at Triton Central.

GAME PLAN: "We will need to finish on every play. We look forward to getting back out on the field again to prove some things!" – Cardinal Ritter coach Ty Hunt.

"We have to continue to grow and mature.  Decision making has to become second nature. Quit thinking, and react to and trust what you see.  If we play fast and show discipline in our effort, we will compete with a great team." – Lutheran coach Dave Pasch.


KICKOFF: 6:30 p.m. CDT, Friday, Demaree Stadium.

COACHES: Cory Yeoman, 143-29 in 14th season at Penn. Brad Seiss, 8-5 in second season at Merrillville, 21-22 in fifth season overall.

LAST WEEK: Penn beat Valparaiso, 27-7. Merrillville beat Andrean, 35-7.

PREVOUS MEETING: Penn, 56-38, November 6, 2015, Class 6A regional.

UP NEXT: Penn hosts Birmingham Brother Rice (Michigan) and Merrillville plays host to Crown Point.

GAME PLAN: "Our defense and coverage teams need to limit big plays. Our offense needs find ways to make first downs and our return teams needs to help give our offense a shorter field." Penn coach Cory Yeoman.

"We have to be solid in all three phases of the game Friday night. Penn is extremely well-coached across the board. They thrive off other team's mistakes. To beat them, you have to limit mistakes and make them play a game where they have to earn everything without giving them the gift of penalties, turnovers, and mental mistakes." – Merrillville coach Brad Seiss.


KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Friday, Stanley Stadium.

COACHES: Brandon Winters, 0-1 in first season at Southport. Jake Gilbert, 35-25 in sixth season at Westfield, 65-61 in 12th season overall.

LAST WEEK: Southport lost to Indianapolis Roncalli, 25-21. Westfield beat Harrison (West Lafayette), 38-17.

PREVOUS MEETING: Westfield, 40-36, August 28, 2015.

UP NEXT: Southport plays at Perry Meridian and Westfield hosts Zionsville.

GAME PLAN: "This has been an extremely close series with two evenly matched teams. I think we have to win the explosive play battle. Their offense can slice and dice you. They can score from anywhere and in a hurry. They always have tremendous skill players and I love their running back (Blake Evans). Obviously, Evans is one of the best players in the state., so we have to keep the ball in front of us. At the same time, we have to get lucky a time or two, which is hard to do against their stack defense." – Westfield coach Jake Gilbert.


KICKOFF: 1:00 p.m. CDT, Saturday, Reitz Bowl.

COACHES: Chris Coll, 70-42 in 11th season at Tri-West. Mike Goebel, 197-52 in 20th season at Evansville Mater Dei.

LAST WEEK: Tri-West lost to West Lafayette, 55-27. Evansville Mater Dei beat Owensboro Catholic (Ky.), 54-29.

PREVOUS MEETING: Evansville Mater Dei, 35-28, August 29, 2015.

UP NEXT: Tri-West hosts Frankfort and Evansville Mater Dei travels to Evansville Harrison.

GAME PLAN: "Coach Coll and his staff always field disciplined, aggressive, and fundamentally sound Tri-West teams.  We have to be at our very best in every phase of the game to stay with the Bruins. Our hope and expectation is for a highly-competitive contest with the realization that our young squad must grow up and attempt to meet the challenges presented by their hard-hitting defense and versatile offense." – Evansville Mater Dei coach Mike Goebel.

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