THE INDIANA FOOTBALL DIGEST'S TOP GAMES – 2014 WEEK ONE
BY PAUL CONDRY AND MATT KOPSEA
BREMEN (0-0) AT PLYMOUTH (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, The Rock Pile.
COACHES: Bob Holmes, 37-13 in 5th year at Bremen, 103-84 in 19th year overall. John Barron, 77-33 in 11th year at Plymouth.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Plymouth, 15-2.
LAST MEETING: Plymouth, 34-13, Aug. 23, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "To compete with the Rockies tonight, we are going to have to play disciplined assignment football against a very good option team and not give up the big play. We must manage the heat and hope we have conditioned well enough in the preseason to have something left to finish the game in the fourth quarter. As always in the beginning of the year, we must execute all three phases of our game offense, defense, and special teams and limit turnovers." – Bremen coach Bob Holmes.
"We need to be ready for a well-coached team that throws a lot at you in terms of formations and schemes offensively. We need to be physical on defense and create some field position with special teams." Plymouth coach John Barron.
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (0-0) AT PAOLI (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Cook Field.
COACHES: Reed May, 208-42 in 22nd year at Brownstown Central. Brian Balsmeyer, 67-30 in 9th year at Paoli.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Brownstown Central, 14-3.
LAST MEETING: Brownstown Central, 45-6, sectional, Nov. 5, 2010.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Paoli does a great job with their midline/triple option schemes. We need to play assignment football on defense to be successful, and we need to execute our offense against their always great defense." – Brownstown Central coach Reed May.
"Brownstown Central is a well-coached team with a tremendous amount of talent. We must execute at a high level in all three phases of the game." – Paoli coach Brian Balsmeyer.
FORT WAYNE BISHOP LUERS (0-0) AT FORT WAYNE SNIDER (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Spuller Stadium.
COACHES: Kyle Lindsay, 2-11 in 2nd year at Fort Wayne Luers. Kurt Tippmann, 51-15 in 6th year at Fort Wayne Snider.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Fort Wayne Snider, 16-4.
LAST MEETING: Fort Wayne Snider, 34-12, Aug. 23, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "To win Friday, we must take care of the ball (we had seven turnovers in last year's game. We have to establish a run game to keep the defense honest (we averaged 3.3 yards per rush last year on the season). We must contain Snider's running game as well as cover kicks well on special teams (they had one return for a touchdown and a few other long returns last season). If we do all of these, I really like our chances." – F.W. Bishop Luers coach Kyle Lindsay.
"Bishop Luers has a tremendously talented wide receiver and quarterback. We have to find a way to limit their ability to take over the game and keep big plays from happening. Being game one, we have to control our emotions and concentrate on executing fundamental skills at each position and limit the mistakes." – F.W. Snider coach Kurt Tippmann.
HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (0-0) AT CARMEL (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Greyhound Stadium.
COACHES: Scott May, 65-16 in 8th year at Hamilton Southeastern, 68-35 in 10th year overall. Kevin Wright, 41-9 in 5th year at Carmel, 175-63 in 21st year overall.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Carmel, 13-2.
LAST MEETING: Carmel, 40-7, sectional, Oct. 25, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Carmel is loaded on offense and solid as always on defense. For us to beat them, we will need to control the ball and keep it away from (quarterback Isaac) James and their two running backs. We need to play physical and get 11 to the ball on defense. We can't allow no big plays and get them (Carmel) off the field!!!!" – Hamilton Southeastern coach Scott May.
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (0-0) AT BEN DAVIS (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Giants Stadium.
COACHES: Rick Streiff, 190-57 in 20th year at Indianapolis Cathedral, 211-89 in 25th year overall. Mike Kirschner, 54-25 in 8th year at Ben Davis, 68-51 in 12th year overall.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Ben Davis, 7-0.
LAST MEETING: Ben Davis, 26-20, Aug. 23, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "In order for us to beat Ben Davis, we must control the line of scrimmage, minimize penalties/turnovers, and take advantage of all opportunities." – Cathedral coach Rick Streiff.
"Cathedral is the defending 5A state champs and has won four state titles in a row. Our challenge on Friday will be to protect the football and reduce the number on mental errors against the powerhouse Irish." – Ben Davis coach Mike Kirschner.
INDIANAPOLIS BISHOP CHATARD (0-0) VS BREBEUF JESUIT (0-0)
GAME TIME: 6 pm ET, Lucas Oil Stadium.
COACHES: Vince Lorenzano, 132-27 in 12th year at Indianapolis Chatard, 192-96 in 24th year overall. Mic Roessler, 11-4 in 2nd year at Brebeuf Jesuit.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Indianapolis Chatard, 10-1.
LAST MEETING: Brebeuf Jesuit, 22-17, Aug. 23, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "This game is not about winning or losing for us, it is about overall improvement. While we all want to win, we must still adhere to our Mission Statement "Reach your God-Given potential on every play and in every game." Offensively, we have to achieve ball security, clock control, and find yardage. On defense, we can't allow no big plays, control their running game, and create turnovers. On special teams, we must give up no big plays, win the yardage battle, and have superior coverage." – Chatard coach Vince Lorenzano.
"This is a great test for our team. In order for us win, we need to limit our drive stoppers and giving up big plays. This game is going to come down to turnovers and untimely penalties." – Brebeuf coach Mic Roessler
LAWRENCE CENTRAL (0-0) VS AVON (0-0)
GAME TIME: 8:30 pm ET, Lucas Oil Stadium.
COACHES: Jed Richman, 3-7 in 2nd year at Lawrence Central, 28-16 in 5th year overall. Mark Bless, 32-15 in 5th year at Avon, 181-82 in 25th year overall.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Lawrence Central, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Lawrence Central, 46-39, regional, Nov. 12, 2010.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We must be able to execute our offense at a high level, eliminate the 'drive stoppers', and get points in the 'Red Zone'. Defensively, we have to limit the big plays and keep pressure on their offense to create turnovers." – Avon coach Mark Bless.
NORTHEASTERN (0-0) AT EASTERN HANCOCK (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Ed Knarr Field.
COACHES: Mike Roeder, 78-105 in 18th year at Northeastern. Jim O'Hara, 0-0 in 1st year at Eastern Hancock, 87-48 in 13th year overall.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Eastern Hancock, 4-1.
LAST MEETING: Eastern Hancock, 57-36, sectional, Nov. 8, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We have to execute the fundamentals, display discipline, and show some team spirit in order to have success." – Eastern Hancock coach Jim O'Hara.
NORTHWOOD (0-0) AT JIMTOWN (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Knepp Field.
COACHES: Nate Andrews, 0-0 in 1st year at NorthWood, 40-39 in 8th year overall. Mike. Campbell, 63-15 in 7th year at Jimtown.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Jimtown, 13-6.
LAST MEETING: NorthWood, 21-20, Aug. 23, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We have to be a complete team. We must battle through the adversities, stand toe to toe, match blow for blow, play with confidence, always believe, and have fun!" – NorthWood coach Nate Andrews.
"NorthWood is an explosive and scary team to play. We need to win the turnover battle, tackle in the open field, and play physical Jimtown Football. If we can accomplish those things, good things will happen for the Jimmies." – Jimtown coach Mike Campbell.
NORWELL (0-0) AT LEO (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Lion Field.
COACHES: Jeff Miller, 82-77 in 15th year at Norwell. Jared Sauder, 68-22 in 9th year at Leo.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Leo, 7-5.
LAST MEETING: Leo, 42-6, Aug. 23, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Norwell is a very good football team, led by one of the best players in northeast Indiana. Defensively, we must run to the ball and tackle well if we hope to stop Piercen Harnish. We will also have to be fundamentally sound on offense and do a good job of eliminating turnovers and ignorant penalties. Special teams will also play a huge role in this game, and we need to have a solid kicking game to control field position." – Leo coach Jared Sauder.
"Leo is a much bigger and physical opponent than us. We will need to be efficient on offense and bend, but don't break on defense. Turnovers will be huge in this contest. If we can create a few turnovers and limit our turnovers, we might be able to pull off the upset. Week one usually has some 'ugliness' to it for both teams. I just hope our 'ugly' doesn't result in points for the Lions." – Norwell coach Jeff Miller.
PIONEER (0-0) AT LEWIS CASS (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Owens Field.
COACHES: Mike Johnson, 189-75 in 24th year at Pioneer. Scott Mannering, 205-103 in 29th year at Lewis Cass.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Lewis Cass, 5-2.
LAST MEETING: Lewis Cass, 29-0, Aug. 23, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Cass is always a well-coached, well-conditioned, and well organized team. We will have to play extremely well in all phases of the game which can be difficult during the opening game of the season. We will have to find a way to move the ball against them as last year we didn't score. We will have to be mentally tough and know our assignments. We will have to match or surpass their physical play on both offense and defense." – Pioneer coach Mike Johnson.
"Pioneer returns almost everyone from a sectional championship team that won 10 games. We return four starters total. To beat Pioneer, we will have to play an outstanding game, especially defensively. This will be a great challenge for us." – Lewis Cass coach Scott Mannering.
TRI-WEST (0-0) AT WEST LAFAYETTE (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Gordon Straley Field.
COACHES: Chris Coll, 48-36 in 9th year at Tri-West. Shane Fry, 12-2 in 2nd year at West Lafayette.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: West Lafayette, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: West Lafayette, 26-15, Aug. 23, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "As I think is typical of Week one games, I think the team that can open up and execute their schemes on both sides of the ball the best come out successful. From our side, we are still learning and evolving. If we can come out Week one and minimize mistakes and breakdowns, we feel we have a chance. There are so many unknowns going into an opening game. Obviously, West Lafayette has very good personnel and they are traditionally one of the top teams in the 3A North, so we will need to play very well in all phases to compete and have a chance to win." – Tri-West coach Chris Coll.
"We need to take care of the ball on offense, and we need to be at our best up front. They have a great defensive line and a middle linebacker in (Nick) Sprecher that gets to the ball. Defensively, we need to be able to tackle their quarterback (Jake Hendershot) when he runs, and try to slow down their many weapons in the pass game." – West Lafayette coach Shane Fry.
WARREN CENTRAL (0-0) AT CENTER GROVE (0-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Center Grove Field.
COACHES: Jayson West, 11-3 in 2nd year at Warren Central, 63-15 in 7th year overall. Eric Moore, 138-50 in 16th year at Center Grove, 187-56 in 20th year overall.
SERIES LAST 20 YEARS: Warren Central, 14-6.
LAST MEETING: Warren Central, 12-7, semistate, Nov. 15, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We have to handle a tremendous atmosphere at Center Grove! We cannot lose the big play battle with them like we did in last year's opener (21-10 loss)!" – Warren Central coach Jayson West.
"The Trojans will have to come up with the game of their young lives to start the season. No time to get better with Warren Central coming to town! The Trojans must slow the game down and keep the mighty Warren Central offense on the sideline. Center Grove can't give up big plays defensively and must make a big play in all three phases at some point. It's just going to take the best effort we have to make this a game! Mistakes must be only physical and not mental, plus we have to use our deception to keep the Warren Central defense from making all the correct reads. This will be a very physical contest for such an early event. Hope we can come out standing somehow." – Center Grove coach Eric Moore.