The Indiana Football Digest's Top Games – 2015 Week Nine
By Paul Condry And Matt Kopsea
ANDREAN (6-2) AT LOWELL (8-0)
KICKOFF: 7 pm CT, The Inferno.
COACHES: Phil Mason, 79-22 in eighth season at Andrean, 112-59 in 15th season overall. Keith Kilmer, 38-23 in sixth season at Lowell.
LAST WEEK: Andrean beat Griffith, 53-31. Lowell beat Munster, 20-17, overtime.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Andrean 28-36, Lowell 23-41.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Andrean, 13-6.
LAST MEETING: Andrean, 26-14, Oct. 17, 2014.
UP NEXT: Andrean hosts New Prairie in Class 4A opener. Lowell travels to Munster in Class 4A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Unfortunately this has become somewhat of a meaningless game. It has no bearing on anything for the rest of the season (Lowell has already clinched the Northwest Crossroads Conference title). Therefore, both teams I'm sure will be cautious in their approach." – Andrean coach Phil Mason.
"Andrean is a big physical team up front that will give our offensive and defensive lines an opportunity to show if we have improved over the last nine weeks. It's our senior night and a chance for our young men to finish the regular season undefeated. To do that, we are going to have to play good old fashioned Red Devil football; control the line of scrimmage, move the chains, and play solid defense and special teams." – Lowell coach Keith Kilmer.
BELLMONT (7-1) AT EAST NOBLE (7-1)
KICKOFF: 7 pm ET, East Noble Field.
COACHES: Larry Getts, 28-25 in fifth season at Bellmont, 47-61 in 10th season overall. Luke Amstutz, 30-11 in fourth season at East Noble, 56-26 in eighth season overall.
LAST WEEK: Bellmont beat DeKalb, 28-6. East Noble beat New Haven, 54-20.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Bellmont 29-35, East Noble 28-36.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: East Noble, 18-9.
LAST MEETING: Bellmont, 24-21, Oct. 17, 2014.
UP NEXT: Bellmont goes to Maconaquah in Class 3A opener. East Noble travels to NorthWood in Class 4A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We have our share of the Northeast8 title, so now we can go in relaxed, play Bellmont Brave football, and go after becoming the outright conference champion." – Bellmont coach Larry Getts.
"We will be successful if we stop the run game and don't turn the ball over." – East Noble coach Luke Amstutz.
CHESTERTON (6-2) AT MERRILLVILLE (5-3)
KICKOFF: 7 pm CT, Demaree Stadium.
COACHES: Mark Peterson, 16-14 in third season at Chesterton, 51-43 in ninth season overall. Brad Seiss, 5-3 in first season at Merrillville, 18-20 in fourth season overall.
LAST WEEK: Chesterton beat Crown Point, 14-0. Merrillville beat Lake Central, 40-17.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Chesterton 30-33, Merrillville 31-32.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Merrillville, 31-7.
LAST MEETING: Chesterton, 7-0, Oct. 17, 2014.
UP NEXT: Chesterton plays at Valparaiso in Class 6A semifinal. Merrillville hosts Crown Point in Class 6A semifinal.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Our defense will need to maintain its high level of competitiveness like it has had all season long. Offensively, we need to take care of the football. If our offensive unit can maintain drives, we will have an opportunity to win the game. (Quarterback) DJ (Wilkins) has continued to do a great job with the offense, and I believe they have multiple weapons for him to share the ball with, which will be primary component in the outcome of the game!" – Chesterton coach Mark Peterson.
"Offensively, for us to win, we have to stay patient and not have penalties and turnovers. Chesterton is very talented defensively so we will have to earn everything we get. It'll be important for us to establish the run to help our passing game. Defensively, knowing that Chesterton has a strong defense, it is very important for our defense to limit them. This isn't the type of team that you get into a shootout with. We need to force turnovers and give our offense plenty of opportunities with a short field. Limiting their quarterback (Garritt Slatcoff) in the running game and also forcing pressure in the passing game will be very important. On special teams, we had too many penalties last week in the kicking game. We need to make Chesterton have to drive the full length of the film offensively. We need to get good returns to help shorten the field for us offensively knowing how talented they are on defense. In games like these, special teams can be the difference." – Merrillville coach Brad Seiss.
COLUMBUS NORTH (6-2) AT SOUTHPORT (6-2)
KICKOFF: 7 pm ET, Perry Stadium.
COACHES: Tim Bless, 104-75 in 16th season at Columbus North, 116-84 in 18th season overall. Bill Peebles, 60-55 in 11th season at Southport.
LAST WEEK: Columbus North lost to Bloomington South, 22-17. Southport beat Bloomington North, 56-29.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Columbus North 29-35, Southport 28-36.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Columbus North, 11-7.
LAST MEETING: Columbus North, 31-28, Oct. 17, 2014.
UP NEXT: Columbus North hosts Center Grove in Class 6A semifinal. Southport hosts Franklin Central in Class 6A semifinal.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Southport is a great football team led by one of Indiana's best quarterbacks (Luke Johnston). In order to be successful, we must limit the damage of their high-octane offense. We must also be very efficient on our offense and score as much as possible, knowing Southport's offense will score points. As always, the battle of field position, via special teams will play a huge role." – Columbus North coach Tim Bless.
"This should be an interesting game. It's their stellar running game against our passing game. We will have to win the one on one battles up front to win. They are the bigger and stronger team. Our offensive line needs to do a great job in pass protection and our defensive line has to keep our linebackers free to run." – Southport coach Bill Peebles.
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (8-0) AT EVANSVILLE REITZ (8-0)
KICKOFF: 7 pm CT, Reitz Bowl.
COACHES: Mike Goebel, 192-51 in 19th season at Evansville Mater Dei. Andy Hape, 27-6 in third season at Evansville Reitz.
LAST WEEK: Evansville Mater Dei beat Evansville Central, 35-20. Evansville Reitz beat Evansville Bosse, 55-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Evansville Mater Dei 29-35, Evansville Reitz 20-36.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Evansville Reitz, 16-14.
LAST MEETING: Evansville Mater Dei, 28-21, Oct. 17, 2014.
UP NEXT: Mater Dei hosts South Spencer in Class 4A opener. Reitz travels to Evansville Central in Class 4A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Our defensive focus has been on formulating a plan to slow down the diverse offensive attack of the Panthers. Their quarterback Evan Deig is a master at recognizing defensive coverages and attacking with either quick short passes or he can throw the long ball accurately as well. Deig is also an excellent runner and will keep the ball on zone reads or tuck and run when his receivers are covered. Running back Kerrion Ringo is an exceptional back who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Ringo will also run as a receiver and is second in that category to outstanding receiver Tristen Clark. Offensively, the Reitz defense has been very stingy this year and has shut down offensive powers Central and Harrison. So, we must figure a way to gain some yardage and keep the ball out of Deig's hands or it will be a long night. As in any game at this point of the season, we need to cut down on careless mistakes, penalties and turnovers (Reitz specializes in forcing turnovers). Crowd noise is a huge factor as the Reitz Bowl will be filled to capacity. The last three games in this series have been decided by a touchdown or less and, if both teams play well, this could be another strongly contested game." – Mater Dei coach Mike Goebel.
"I feel both teams are very evenly matched and in order for us to be able to get the win, it is going to come down to executing and taking care of the details. There is no doubt both teams will play hard, but it is going to come down to playing smart!" – Evansville Reitz coach Andy Hape.
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (6-2) AT CENTER GROVE (8-0)
KICKOFF: 7 pm ET, Center Grove Field.
COACHES: Rick Streiff, 205-64 in 21st season at Indianapolis Cathedral, 226-96 in 26th season overall. Eric Moore, 155-54 in 17th season at Center Grove, 203-59 in 21st season overall.
LAST WEEK: Indianapolis Cathedral beat Brebeuf Jesuit, 51-21. Center Grove beat Lawrence North, 17-7.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Indianapolis Cathedral 24-16, Center Grove 29-35.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Indianapolis Cathedral, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Center Grove, 44-38, Oct. 17, 2014.
UP NEXT: Cathedral goes to Lawrence Central for Class 6A semifinal. Center Grove travels to Columbus North for Class 6A semifinal.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We will need to control the line of scrimmage, play physical, tackle well, and eliminate mental mistakes." – Cathedral coach Rick Streiff.
"The Cathedral game will be the toughest match up of our 2015 season. The Trojans will have to play an almost perfect game to beat the Irish. We will have to prevent the big play runs and passes by the Irish because falling behind will be a tough hole to climb out of. Penalties or turnovers will not be acceptable play if we have any chance to beat the Irish. First down will be a huge play for both the offense and defense, as well as getting them off the field in three plays on defense. Moving the chains on offense will be vital for the Trojans. As always, we must block and tackle to perfection to be in the game. Being lucky will be accepted as well." – Center Grove coach Eric Moore.
JIMTOWN (6-2) AT NEW PRAIRIE (5-3)
KICKOFF: 6 pm CT, Amzie Miller Field.
COACHES: Mike. Campbell, 78-21 in eighth season at Jimtown. Russ Radtke, 39-8 in fourth season at New Prairie, 329-128 in 39th season overall.
LAST WEEK: Jimtown beat Bremen, 35-14. New Prairie beat John Glenn, 64-7.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Jimtown 28-35, New Prairie 28-35.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Jimtown, 24-6.
LAST MEETING: New Prairie, 35-33, Sep. 19, 2014.
UP NEXT: Jimtown hosts Tippecanoe Valley in Class 3A opener. New Prairie travels to Andrean for Class 4A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: "I believe that New Prairie is one of the best teams not only in the NIC, but in Northern Indiana. They are aggressive, well coached, and hitting their stride at the right time. We will have our hands full Friday. We need to win the turnover battle, get the ball to our playmakers, and limit the number of big plays. Hopefully we can match their physicality and have a chance to win in the fourth quarter." – Jimtown coach Mike Campbell.
"Obviously both teams have a share of the first NIC South championship at stake. We expect Jimtown to bring everything they have to Amzie Miller Field. For New Prairie to have success, we must continue to control the football on offense, minimize our mistakes, make great reads, and limit any costly penalties. Defensively, we must match Jimtown's physicality and force them to punt the ball. No doubt that Coach Campbell will have the Jimmies ready and we look forward to a great game." – New Prairie assistant coach Bill Gumm.
NEW PALESTINE (8-0) AT DELTA (6-2)
KICKOFF: 7:30 pm ET, Delta Stadium.
COACHES: Kyle Ralph, 36-1 in third season at New Palestine. Grant Zgunda, 164-47 in 18th season at Delta, 201-59 in 23rd season overall.
LAST WEEK: New Palestine beat New Castle, 72-0. Delta beat Greenfield-Central, 33-14.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: New Palestine 30-34, Delta 31-33.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Delta, 14-7.
LAST MEETING: New Palestine, 54-0, Oct. 17, 2014.
UP NEXT: New Palestine hosts Martinsville in Class 5A semifinal on October 30. Delta goes to Greenfield-Central for Class 4A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Defensively, we must be able to handle their size and physicality and stop their rushing attack. They have one of the most productive rushing offenses in the state. On offense, we need to continue our efficiency, protect the football, and have sustained drives ending in scores. Our special teams must continue to be excellent and make big plays." – New Palestine coach Kyle Ralph.
"We will have to play a near-perfect game to beat New Palestine. They are one of the top five teams in all of Indiana in any class." – Delta coach Grant Zgunda.
NORTH JUDSON (7-1) AT PIONEER (8-0)
KICKOFF: 7:30 pm ET, The Pit.
COACHES: Ted White, 10-8 in second season at North Judson. Mike Johnson, 210-77 in 25th season at Pioneer.
LAST WEEK: North Judson beat LaVille, 36-28. Pioneer beat Culver, 49-14.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: North Judson 24-40, Pioneer 26-38.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Pioneer, 7-1.
LAST MEETING: Pioneer, 49-14, Sep. 19, 2014.
UP NEXT: North Judson hosts Tri-County in Class 1A opener. Pioneer travels to North White in Class 1A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: North Judson is an outstanding ball club and is extremely well-coached. They have great size and speed and they are very physical. It will be a real battle on Friday night to determine the winner of the HNAC championship." – Pioneer coach Mike Johnson.
NORTH WHITE (8-0) AT TRI-CENTRAL (8-0)
KICKOFF: 7 pm ET, Tri-Central Field.
COACHES: Jim Davis, 208-176 in 37th season at North White. George Gilbert, 51-26 in seventh season at Tri-Central, 212-162 in 35th season overall.
LAST WEEK: North White beat Clinton Prairie, 75-21. Tri-Central beat Eastern (Greentown), 41-6.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: North White 23-40, Tri-Central 27-37.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: No meetings.
UP NEXT: North White hosts Pioneer in Class 1A opener. Tri-Central welcomes Shenandoah in Class 1A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We must be able to get some three and outs on defense. We can't let them control the ball with their running game. Our ability to get first downs will also be a key." – North White coach Jim Davis.
"I feel field position will be a major factor. North White has played on a short field throughout the season due to their aggressive opportunistic defense. We cannot fumble, throw interceptions, or have penalties. North White has an outstanding quarterback (Luke Diener) who can run and throw well. We need to control the line of scrimmage and keep our offense on the field to have a chance to be in the game." – Tri-Central coach George Gilbert.
NORTHVIEW (8-0) AT OWEN VALLEY (7-1)
KICKOFF: 7 pm ET, Patriot Field.
COACHES: Mark Raetz, 23-6 in third season at Northview, 38-51 in ninth season overall. Duane Potts, 71-69 in 14th season at Owen Valley.
LAST WEEK: Northview beat South Putnam, 59-0. Owen Valley beat Brown County, 49-7.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Northview 30-34, Owen Valley 31-33.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Northview, 12-6.
LAST MEETING: Northview, 34-0, Sep. 18, 2015.
UP NEXT: Northview travels to Mooresville for Class 4A opener. Owen Valley plays at Jasper in Class 4A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: "For us to beat Owen Valley, we need to have a great week of focus and preparation. We have to play physical football, not turn the ball over, and execute at a high level in all three phases. Coach Potts does a great job preparing his team each week. We will have a huge challenge to win at their home stadium on their senior night." – Northview coach Mark Raetz.
"For Owen Valley to compete and win against a very talented Northview team, we must control the line of scrimmage, eliminate turnovers, and continue to control the football." – Owen Valley coach Duane Potts.
PENN (7-1) AT MISHAWAKA (6-2)
KICKOFF: 7 pm ET, Steele Stadium.
COACHES: Cory Yeoman, 137-28 in 13th season at Penn. Bart Curtis, 72-25 in eighth season at Mishawaka, 183-92 in 25th season overall.
LAST WEEK: Penn beat Elkhart Central, 56-0. Mishawaka beat Mishawaka Marian, 19-14.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Penn 22-26, Mishawaka 24-40.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Penn, 35-4.
LAST MEETING: Penn, 21-12, Oct. 17, 2014.
UP NEXT: Penn hosts LaPorte in Class 6A semifinal. Mishawaka plays host to Elkhart Central in Class 5A semifinal on October 30.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Field position, turnovers, and special teams will be very big in this game." – Penn coach Cory Yeoman.
"We need to keep their quarterback (Camden Bohn) from breaking long touchdown runs. We have to minimize and eliminate Penn plays of 20 or more yards and make them earn everything with long drives. We have to move the sticks when we have the ball and have no drives ending with anything but a kick, either a punt or extra-point. We also can't allow no big plays or turnovers in the kicking game. Penn is a well-coached team that executes at a high level each week. They are not going to beat themselves. To win, you must beat them because they are not going to lose the game themselves." – Mishawaka coach Bart Curtis.
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON (5-2) AT MISHAWAKA MARIAN (6-2)
KICKOFF: 7 pm ET, Otolski Field.
COACHES: Jay Johnson, 12-28 in fourth season at South Bend Washington. Reggie Glon, 141-94 in 22nd season at Mishawaka Marian.
LAST WEEK: South Bend Washington lost to South Bend Adams, 42-14. Mishawaka Marian lost to Mishawaka, 19-14.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: South Bend Washington 22-34, Mishawaka Marian 27-37.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Mishawaka Marian, 17-2.
LAST MEETING: Mishawaka Marian, 28-6, Sep. 19, 2014.
UP NEXT: Washington plays at South Bend Clay in Class 4A opener. Marian hosts John Glenn in Class 3A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We have to play our best football! Marian is a great team and we have to be very disciplined and execute at a very high level this week. We have to get back to playing our brand of football!" – S.B. Washington coach Jay Johnson.
"It is back into the meat grinder as another great challenge awaits the Knights. Washington is a big play team and we will need to come ready to play if we would like a chance at winning. This is for the NIC Conference co-championship, so our kids are focused and working hard to achieve one of their goals they set out at the beginning of the year. We will need to have long sustained drives on offense to keep their playmakers off the field. Execution and limiting mistakes will be the key to victory." – Marian coach Reggie Glon.
WEST LAFAYETTE (8-0) AT LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (8-0)
KICKOFF: 7 pm ET, LaRocca Field.
COACHES: Shane Fry, 27-5 in third season at West Lafayette. Kevin O'Shea, 95-9 in eighth season at Lafayette Central Catholic, 195-72 in 23rd season overall.
LAST WEEK: West Lafayette beat Twin Lakes, 56-6. Lafayette Central Catholic beat Rensselaer Central, 59-6.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: West Lafayette 28-36, Lafayette Central Catholic 30-34.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: West Lafayette, 11-7.
LAST MEETING: West Lafayette, 21-17, Oct. 17, 2014.
UP NEXT: West Lafayette plays at Western Boone in Class 3A opener. Lafayette Central Catholic goes to Clinton Central for Class 1A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: "On defense, we need to be able to slowdown Jackson Anthrop. He is an outstanding running back and also does a great job catching passes out of the backfield. On offense, we need to be able to move the ball consistently and convert in the red zone. Also, as with any game, we need to win the turnover battle and be great on special teams." – West Lafayette coach Shane Fry.
"The keys to beating West Lafayette are on defense we must control the quarterback (Mikey Kidwell) and read our keys to get run/pass reads. On offense, we have to handle their pressure packages and we must be able to run the football." – Lafayette Central Catholic coach Kevin O'Shea.
WOODLAN (8-0) AT ADAMS CENTRAL (8-0)
KICKOFF: 7 pm ET, Jets Stadium.
COACHES: Sherwood Haydock, 28-24 in fifth season at Woodlan, 161-143 in 28th season overall. Michael Mosser, 43-32 in seventh season at Adams Central.
LAST WEEK: Woodlan beat South Adams, 37-0. Adams Central beat Bluffton, 23-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Woodlan 22-34, Adams Central 30-34.
SERIES LAST 30 SEASONS: Woodlan, 17-13.
LAST MEETING: Woodlan, 33-32, Oct. 17, 2014.
UP NEXT: Woodlan plays at Central Noble in Class 2A opener. Adams Central goes to Wes-Del for Class 1A opener.
COACHES COMMENTS: "It is going to take everything we got. We are dealing with the loss of some key players this week, so our number two guys really have to step up! Defensively, we have to stop both their passing and power game, both of which they do really well. We must play smart, physical, aggressive, and stick to our keys. Offensively, we must not make mistakes, something we have been prone to do over the last of couple of games. We must control the ball, drain the clock as much as possible, and score points. We want to keep the ball out of their hands. Lastly, we have to play together as a total team if we are going to win. We have to eliminate mistakes and turnovers. We have to play as tough as we did game one vs. Bellmont (a 21-20 victory). I believe it will be a game very similar to that one." – Adams Central coach Michael Mosser.