Indiana Football Digest Top Games - 2019 Week Eight

The Indiana Football Digest Top Games is a weekly preview of the top contests around Indiana high school football.

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ADAMS CENTRAL (6-1) AT BLUFFTON (6-1)

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

COACHES: Michael Mosser, 86-41 in 11th season at Adams Central. Brent Kunkel, 18-12 in third season at Bluffton.

LAST CONTEST: Adams Central beat Southern Wells, 49-0. Bluffton beat Heritage, 48-22.

TOP PERFORMERS: Blake Heyerly ran five times for 108 yards and two touchdowns for the No. 4 (Class 1A) Flying Jets against Southern Wells. Hayden Nern completed 13-of-16 for 308 yards and five touchdowns for the Tigers against Heritage.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Adams Central, 44-13, on October 5, 2018.

CHALK TALK: "If we are going to win, we must be able to stop their offense. We have to provide pressure to their (Hayden Nern), shore up our secondary coverage, and stop their run game. Offensively, we are going to have move the ball, drain the clock, and score points. This is a big game with a lot of implications. The winner potentially could earn the second top spot in the conference and for us, Bluffton, is very similar to the teams we will be playing in the post-season. It's a big game for both teams." – Adams Central's Michael Mosser.

"For us to have success against a great program like Adams Central, we first need to come into the game believing that we can win. It has been 10 years since we have defeated Adams Central and over the last 35 years, the series is 4-29. They have a tremendous program. They are well-coached, and they won't beat themselves. For us to have a chance, our guys have to believe. Secondly, it is going to be important for us to protect our quarterback, Hayden Nern. We have had success throwing the football over the last few weeks, so for that to continue our offensive line is going to have to step up and give Hayden time to deliver the football. Finally, our defense is going to have to show up in a big way. Adams Central doesn't do anything real flashy, but what they do, they do extremely well. They won't beat themselves. Our ability to slow them down defensively is going to be big." – Bluffton's Brent Kunkel.

EASTERN HANCOCK (6-1) AT SHENANDOAH (5-2)

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

COACHES: Doug Armstrong, 9-8 in second season at Eastern Hancock, 106-87 in 18th season overall. Jordan McCaslin, 24-7 in third season at Shenandoah.

LAST CONTEST: Eastern Hancock beat Monroe Central, 48-29. Shenandoah beat Northeastern, 30-18.

TOP PERFORMERS: Cole Rainbolt had six catches for 132 yards and two scores for the Royals against Monroe Central. Tanner Goff was 3-of-5 for 65 yards with two touchdowns and rushed 13 times for 76 yards and a score for the Raiders against Northeastern.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Shenandoah, 47-8, on October 5, 2018.

CHALK TALK: "We need to be able to continue to protect our quarterback (Houston Swan) and pressure the other team with our passing game threats. Defensively, we must continue to improve and follow our Wing-T keys. We also must win the turnover and field position battles." – Eastern Hancock's Doug Armstrong.

"To be successful against Eastern Hancock, we have to be able to slow them down offensively and control the clock on offense. They are a very explosive team with multiple receivers and backs who could break a big one. We must wrap up and tackle to limit their big play capability while creating big plays of our own. We must be able to take care of the football and win the field position battle." – Shenandoah's Jordan McCaslin.  

EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (5-2) AT EVANSVILLE CENTRAL (6-1)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, Bear Den.

COACHES: Mike Goebel, 222-70 in 23rd season at Evansville Mater Dei. Sean Coultis, 6-1 in first season at Evansville Central, 15-12 in third season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Evansville Mater Dei beat Evansville Bosse, 35-0. Evansville Central beat Evansville Memorial, 23-20 (2OT).

TOP PERFORMERS: John McGrew scampered 19 times for 123 yards and four scores for the No. 4 (Class 2A) Wildcats against Evansville Bosse. Brennan Schutte ran 25 times for 85 yards and two touchdowns for the No. 6 (Class 4A) bears against No. 7 (Class 4A) Evansville Memorial.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Central, 42-7, on October 5, 2018.

CHALK TALK: "Central is playing at the top of its game now. They are coming off a great victory over Evansville Memorial last weekend to take charge in the Evansville city and Southern Indiana Athletic Conference races. Central has a wealth of talent and with their speed and athleticism, they can score on any given play. Our defense must try to limit the number of times their great skill players get into open spaces. Rather unsung, but probably better than their offense, Central's first unit has limited every team since game one (when they were a different makeup) to one touchdown until the Memorial game. Our offense must try to play error-free. We have had our issues, injuries, and great defenses that have taken a toll. We must correct mistakes, turnovers, and penalties because Central always takes advantage of those opportunities." – Evansville Mater Dei's Mike Goebel.

"Mater Dei is an outstanding football program (great coaching staff and players). To win the game, we have to create big plays on offense and stop big plays on defense. The turnover battle will also be key to victory. Our offense needs to take care of the football and our defense must take the ball away." – Evansville Central's Sean Coultis. 

FORT WAYNE BISHOP DWENGER (6-1) AT FORT WAYNE SNIDER (6-1)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Spuller Stadium.

COACHES: Jason Garrett, 20-2 in second season at Bishop Dwenger. Kurt Tippmann, 112-25 in 11th season at Snider.

LAST CONTEST: Bishop Dwenger beat Fort Wayne Bishop Luers, 47-0. Snider beat Fort Wayne Northrop, 48-21.

TOP PERFORMERS: Tobe Eke had eight carries for 60 yards and a score for the No. 4 (Class 5A) Saints against Bishop Luers. Lenny Bennett scampered 13 times for 102 yards and two scores for the No. 6 (Class 6A) Panthers against Fort Wayne Northrop.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Snider, 21-13, on October 5, 2018.

CHALK TALK: "Snider is an outstanding opponent and will be a tremendous test for our team in all three facets. Being successful will require winning the battle in the trenches and executing at a very high level while limiting turnovers and penalties." – Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger's Jason Garrett.

"We will have to make very few mistakes as Bishop Dwenger is a sound and well-coached team. They are extremely big and physical, run the ball well, and are diverse in their offensive approach. We have to defend a very good quarterback (Brenden Lytle) in the pass game and a good scrambler. Defensively, they are aggressive and blitz from many positions to cause havoc. The game will be decided in the trenches." – Fort Wayne Snider's Kurt Tippmann.

INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (5-2) AT BREBEUF JESUIT (6-1)

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

COACHES: Bill Peebles, 11-8 in second season at Cathedral, 85-73 in 15th season overall. Mic Roessler, 53-28 in seventh season at Brebeuf Jesuit.

LAST CONTEST: Cathedral beat Louisville Trinity (Ky.), 28-7. Brebeuf Jesuit beat Terre Haute South, 21-14.

TOP PERFORMERS: Daylen Hall rambled 18 times for 61 yards for the No. 3 (Class 5A) Irish against Louisville Trinity. Isaiah Martin carried the ball 18 times for 45 yards and a score for the No. 6 (Class 3A) braves against Terre Haute South.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Brebeuf Jesuit, 24-17, on October 7, 2016.

CHALK TALK: "It should be a great game. Brebeuf has been playing great since game one. They are an explosive team with excellent athletes. We will have to limit the big play and keep their athletes in front of us. On offense, we have to control the line of scrimmage and we will have to get bodies on their Iowa-bound middle linebacker (Jay Higgins)." – Cathedral's Bill Peebles. 

"We need to play relaxed and confident tonight to win this game. It sounds easy enough, but almost impossible when you face a talented team like Cathedral. We all need to remain on point, skillful, and together to win this game." – Brebeuf's Mic Roessler.

MISHAWAKA (5-2) AT MISHAWAKA MARIAN (7-0)

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

COACHES: Keith Kinder, 17-4 in second season at Mishawaka. Mike Davidson, 15-5 in second season at Marian.

LAST CONTEST: Mishawaka beat South Bend St. Joseph, 42-21. Marian beat Culver Academy, 32-7.

TOP PERFORMERS: Justin Fisher tallied 13 rushes for 130 yards and two touchdowns for the No. 7 (Class 5A) Cavemen against Saint Joseph. Tyler DeBoe accounted for 59 yards on the ground for the No. 4 (Class 3A) Knights against Culver Academy.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Mishawaka, 35-17, on October 5, 2018.

CHALK TALK: "Marian has been impressive in their 7-0 start. They are solid on offense and are big, fast, and physical on defense. They are very good on special teams and have changed several games with great play in that area. We must play well in all three phases and take care of the football to have a chance against a very good, unbeaten team." – Mishawaka's Keith Kinder.

"To be successful Friday, we have to play a physical, disciplined brand of football on the defensive side of the ball. Their offense is going to challenge us more so than anyone yet this year and we've got to play disciplined in our assignments and physically aggressive in executing those assignments. We have to win the kick game in both field position and get a score. Offensively, we can't waste any possessions. This means taking care of the football, no penalties, moving the chains, and score." - Marian's Mick Davidson.

NORTHWOOD (5-2) AT WARSAW (6-1)

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

COACHES: Nate Andrews, 51-17 in sixth season at NorthWood, 91-56 in 13th season overall. Bart Curtis, 13-4 in second season at Warsaw, 214-106 in 29th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: NorthWood beat Elkhart Memorial, 47-34. Warsaw beat Wawasee, 42-18.

TOP PERFORMERS: Nate Newcomer went 10-of-16 for 197 yards with two touchdowns and ran 17 times for 190 yards and two scores for the Panthers against Elkhart Memorial. Wyatt Amiss registered 10 rushes for 105 yards and three touchdowns for the No. 8 (Class 6A) Tigers against Wawasee.

PREVIOUS MEETING: NorthWood, 14-13, on October 5, 2018.

CHALK TALK: "We will need to be patient both offensively and defensively. We must cause some turnovers and capitalize on our possessions. The team that is the toughest the longest should prevail." – NorthWood's Nate Andrews.

"To have success against NorthWood will be a very tough task. We must make them snap the ball one more time. This means no stupid, easy, or long touchdown runs or passes. We have to tackle their tremendous athletes out in the open space. This means we have to be gap sound and play the game in their backyard. We also must take far better care of the football than we did in 2018 against NorthWood because they managed to capitalize off our misfortunes. We also have to match NorthWood's enthusiasm and energy because they play every snap with great passion and purpose. Most importantly, we must take care of Warsaw first and not worry about the rest of the Northern Lakes Conference." – Warsaw's Bart Curtis.

SALEM (5-2) AT CHARLESTOWN (5-2)

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

COACHES: R.J. Hartsfield, 35-34 in seventh season at Salem. Jason Hawkins, 92-36 in 12th season at Charlestown, 98-49 in 14th season overall.

LAST CONTEST: Salem beat Eastern (Pekin), 44-6. Charlestown beat Corydon Central, 41-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brandon Corbin accounted for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries for the Lions against Eastern (Pekin). Marion Lukes rumbled 14 times for 249 yards and four scores for the Pirates against Corydon Central.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Salem, 27-20, on October 19, 2018 in Class 3A sectional opener.

CHALK TALK: "Charlestown has great team speed. They have four or five dudes that would play on any team in the state. One of is Marion Lukes, who is one of the top backs in the state. To be successful, we will have to limit the big plays and create turnovers by getting 11 black hats to the ball. On offense, we will have to control the line of scrimmage and take care of the football. Special teams' will also play a huge role in the game's outcome." – Salem's R.J. Hartsfield.

"Salem is a very good team, offensively and defensively. R.J. does a great job coaching them and has them playing with a ton of emotion and energy. If we plan on winning, we will have to match their intensity. We plan on trying to get (running back Marion) Lukes going early and often and then relying on our defense to slow them down." – Charlestown's Jason Hawkins.

SILVER CREEK (7-0) AT BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (7-0)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Blevins Stadium.

COACHES: David Papenhaus, 7-0 in first season at Silver Creek. Reed May, 266-52 in 27th season at Brownstown.

LAST CONTEST: Silver Creek beat North Harrison, 40-7. Brownstown beat Clarksville, 76-32.

TOP PERFORMERS: Easton Messer scored three touchdowns for the No. 9 (Class 4A) Dragons against North Harrison. Braeden Walker had nine carries for 133 yards and three scores for the No. 5 (Class 3A) Braves against Clarksville.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Brownstown, 33-21, on October 5, 2018.

CHALK TALK: "We are excited about the opportunity that this game presents us. In the short history of Silver Creek football, this is probably one of the most important games that we have played. We have a great amount of respect for Coach May and the Brownstown program. Offensively, we have to sustain drives and be efficient. We cannot put ourselves in bad situations due to penalties or missed assignments. We also have to be patient and stick with the game plan. Defensively, we must stay patient and read our keys. All 11 guys have to handle their responsibility and then fly to the football." – Silver Creek's David Papenhaus.

"Silver Creek is an outstanding team. Defensively, they are only allowing eight points per game, so we will need a great game from our offense. It's the best defense we have faced all year Offensively, they do a lot of different formations and they run a lot of option football. We must play assignment football on defense to be successful. As in any game, we must play great on special teams and not turn the ball over." – Brownstown Central's Reed May.

SOUTHPORT (5-2) AT TERRE HAUTE SOUTH (5-2)

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

COACHES: Brandon Winters, 23-15 in fourth season at Southport. Tim Herrin, 26-45 in seventh season at Terre Haute South.

LAST CONTEST: Southport beat Terre Haute North, 40-14. Terre Haute South lost to Brebeuf Jesuit, 21-14.

TOP PERFORMERS: Gage Nelson recorded 16 rushes for 62 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals against Terre Haute North. Caleb Stultz was 10-of-20 for 100 yards with a score for the Braves against Brebeuf.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Southport, 35-34, on October 5, 2018.

CHALK TALK: "Terre Haute South has been able to run the ball on every team they have played. We need to control the line of scrimmage and force them to beat us throwing the ball. Offensively, we need to be balanced. They are good at taking away things from teams that are one dimensional. We have to be able to throw the ball and run the ball. It will also be important for us to spread the ball around to different players." – Southport's Brandon Winters.

"We will need to be able to run the football and control the line of scrimmage. We also need to win the special teams' battle to put us in a position to win the game." – Terre Haute South's Tim Herrin.

WARREN CENTRAL (5-2) AT CARMEL (4-3)

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Greyhound Stadium.

COACHES: Jayson West, 64-18 in seventh season at Warren Central, 116-30 in 12th season overall. John Hebert, 43-18 in fifth season at Carmel.

LAST CONTEST: Warren Central beat Lawrence North, 24-23. Carmel lost to Ben Davis, 27-14.

TOP PERFORMERS: Randy Wells ran 13 times for 68 yards for the No. 4 (Class 6A) Warriors against Lawrence North. Garrett Sharp came up with 14 tackles for the Greyhounds against No. 9 (Class 6A) Ben Davis.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Warren Central, 27-7, on November 23, 2018 in Class 6A state championship.

CHALK TALK: "This is always a close game that comes down to the end and who makes the big play or big mistake, so we are assuming that will again be the case. So, we have to play really well to get a win at Carmel." – Warren Central's Jayson West.

"We have to limit the impact of Randy Wells (No. 10, running back, safety, wildcat quarterback, and punter). He is a great player and team leader. We also need better ball security because we have fumbled in the red zone each of the past two weeks. Finally, we must play four quarters of football because we are still searching for a strong start and finish on both sides of the ball." – Carmel's John Hebert.

WEST NOBLE (7-0) AT CHURUBUSCO (6-1)

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

COACHES: Monte Mawhorter, 90-116 in 21st season at West Noble. Paul Sade, 53-20 in seventh season at Churubusco.

LAST CONTEST: West Noble beat Lakeland, 54-12. Churubusco beat Central Noble, 38-7.

TOP PERFORMERS: Kyle Mawhorter went 4-of-6 for 83 yards with three touchdowns and ran for another score for the No. 9 (Class 3A) Chargers against Lakeland. Sam Wood rumbled seven times for 108 yards with a score for the No. 8 (Class 1A) Eagles against Central Noble.

PREVIOUS MEETING: West Noble, 17-14, on October 5, 2018.

CHALK TALK: "We have to match their intensity and remain calm throughout the game no matter what happens." – West Noble's Monte Mawhorter.

"West Noble is the best team on our schedule and very deserving of their top 10 state ranking. If we are going to be competitive in this game, we will need to have answers for (quarterback) Kyle Mawhorter, (running backs) Josh Gross, Raven Slone and Brandon Pruitt. That caliber of talent on one team is not something we are used to seeing at the same time. We will need to try to find a way to slow their offense down because stopping it completely will be impossible. Our offense needs to have patience and take our opportunities when we get them against a very aggressive and stingy defense. We need to play fast and physical and win the turnover battle." – Churubusco's Paul Sade.

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