THE INDIANA FOOTBALL DIGEST'S 2014 TOP GAMES WEEK EIGHT
BY PAUL CONDRY AND MATT KOPSEA
BEECH GROVE (5-2) AT TRITON CENTRAL (6-1)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Triton Central Field.
COACHES: Mark Weller, 12-26 in 4th year at Beech Grove, 25-47 in 7th year overall. Tim Able, 15-4 in 2nd year at Triton Central, 140-102 in 22nd year overall.
LAST OUTING: Beech Grove lost to Indianapolis Ritter, 21-18. Triton Central beat Indianapolis Scecina, 29-14.
VS. COMMON FOES: Beech Grove 3-2, Triton Central 4-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Beech Grove 22-27, Triton Central 23-26.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Beech Grove, 7-2.
LAST MEETING: Triton Central, 49-27, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Our defense needs to slow down the Tiger power run game down and get five to six three-and-outs. Offensively, we need to be able to throw the ball much more efficiently." – Beech Grove coach Mark Weller.
"Beech Grove is the most talented team we have faced this season and creates numerous obstacles. They have great team speed, a quarterback that can run and pass equally well, and running backs and wide receivers that are game breakers. We must set play at our tempo offensively, win the kicking game, eliminate big chunk plays on the defensive side, and handle adversity with maturity. We are as healthy now as we have been in weeks. We hope some of our intangibles can give us a slight edge. With a great week of practice, we feel we can play with anyone." – Triton Central coach Tim Able.
CARMEL (7-0) AT WARREN CENTRAL (7-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Warren Central Field.
COACHES: Kevin Wright, 48-9 in 5th year at Carmel, 182-63 in 21st year overall. Jayson West, 18-3 in 2nd year at Warren Central, 70-15 in 7th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Carmel beat Ben Davis, 37-14. Warren Central beat Lawrence North, 31-7.
VS. COMMON FOES: Carmel 5-0. Warren Central 5-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Carmel 15-27, Warren Central 17-31.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Carmel, 20-18.
LAST MEETING: Warren Central, 7-6, Nov. 30, 2013, state.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We must not give them short fields to work with or have turnovers. We then must win the big play battle to have a chance against a very good football team." – Warren Central coach Jayson West.
CONCORD (6-1) AT NORTHRIDGE (5-2)
GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Northridge Field.
COACHES: Tim Dawson, 182-108 in 26th year at Concord. Tom Wogomon, 12-5 in 2nd year at Northridge, 37-42 in 8th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Concord lost to Plymouth, 48-20. Northridge beat Goshen, 42-0.
VS. COMMON FOES: Concord 3-1. Northridge 3-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Concord 22-27, Northridge 23-26.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Concord, 24-5.
LAST MEETING: Concord, 35-7, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "One big key for us is how we will respond as a team after a tough loss to a great Plymouth team. Northridge is going to do the same thing in their game plan and run the ball. Our quarterback Cullen Fisher is probably out still this week, so Jason Grooms has to play better in the pocket as Northridge's defense is just as quick at getting people to the ball as Plymouth." – Concord coach Tim Dawson.
"We don't have to play perfect in order to be successful against Concord. We do, however, need to play more physical than Concord. The biggest key Friday will be for us to play fast. If we can keep worrying, over-thinking, and fear of mistakes from entering our minds, we will have a great night. We just got to go out and have great time playing Concord at home in October." – Northridge coach Tom Wogomon.
EAST NOBLE (5-2) AT NEW HAVEN (6-1)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, John Young Field.
COACHES: Luke Amstutz, 21-8 in 3rd year at East Noble, 47-23 in 7th year overall. Jim Rowland, 86-70 in 14th year at New Haven.
LAST OUTING: East Noble beat Columbia City, 49-35. New Haven beat Bellmont, 21-15.
VS. COMMON FOES: East Noble 3-1. New Haven 3-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: East Noble 26-23, New Haven 24-25.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: East Noble, 16-14.
LAST MEETING: East Noble, 30-6, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: East Noble is a very balanced, well-coached football team. They've had our number the past few years. They are explosive offensively and very aggressive on defense. We will have to execute offensively and keep their offense off the field. We will need a big play on special teams, and our defense will have to play responsibility, hard-nosed defense to come away with a victory on Friday." – New Haven coach Jim Rowland.
FORT WAYNE SNIDER (6-1) AT FORT WAYNE BISHOP DWENGER (4-3)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Zollner Stadium.
COACHES: Kurt Tippmann, 57-16 in 6th year at Fort Wayne Snider. Chris Svarczkopf, 131-38 in 13th year at Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger.
LAST OUTING: Fort Wayne Snider beat Elkhart Central, 41-13. Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger lost to Indianapolis Cathedral, 24-9.
VS. COMMON FOES: Fort Wayne Snider 4-0. Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger 4-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Fort Wayne Snider 23-26, Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger 15-26.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Fort Wayne Snider, 20-10.
LAST MEETING: Fort Wayne Snider, 38-35, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Bishop Dwenger is very good upfront on both the offensive and defensive lines. We will have to play very physical upfront to be successful. They run option on offense, so we will have to play good disciplined defense to be effective. We always want to be able to run the ball, but I think we will have to be successful throwing it on offense to be productive. Special teams will be huge. We cannot give up big plays or field position in special teams." – Snider coach Kurt Tippmann.
"Snider is a great team, as well coached, in all phases as any we see. We must stop the run, play well in the kicking game, and score four times to have a chance." – Bishop Dwenger coach Chris Svarczkopf.
FOUNTAIN CENTRAL (6-1) AT NORTH VERMILLION (7-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Gibson Field.
COACHES: Brian Moore, 25-5 in 3rd year at Fountain Central, 176-38 in 19th year overall. Brian Crabtree, 29-2 in 3rd year at North Vermillion, 64-41 in 10th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Fountain Central beat Benton Central, 20-6. North Vermillion beat Rockville, 41-7.
VS. COMMON FOES: Fountain Central 3-1, North Vermillion 4-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Fountain Central 15-34, North Vermillion 22-27.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Fountain Central, 24-11.
LAST MEETING: North Vermillion, 42-35, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "To win this game, the Mustangs will have to play an almost perfect game defensively. We cannot miss tackles against a much faster Falcon team. Offensively, we will have to execute to near perfection as well. We will need long drives that require third down conversions. We have to catch the ball in the passing game and make good decisions at quarterback." – Fountain Central coach Brian Moore.
"To beat Fountain Central, we must slow down their no-huddle offense and control the tempo of the game with our no-huddle offense." – North Vermillion coach Brian Crabtree.
GUERIN CATHOLIC (5-2) AT INDIANAPOLIS BISHOP CHATARD (5-2)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Lawrence Central H.S.
COACHES: Tom Dilley, 5-2 in 1st year at Guerin Catholic, 85-79 in 15th year overall. Vince Lorenzano, 137-29 in 12th year at Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, 197-98 in 24th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Guerin Catholic beat Brebeuf Jesuit, 25-3. Indianapolis Bishop Chatard lost to Cincinnati Winton Woods (Ohio), 20-18.
VS. COMMON FOES: Guerin Catholic 2-0, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard 2-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Guerin Catholic 28-21, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard 18-23.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, 4-0.
LAST MEETING: Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, 24-0, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We are excited to compete against an outstanding program like Bishop Chatard this week. With that said, we believe that our keys to success are no different than they are every week. We will focus on controlling what we can control. Our priorities on offense are always taking care of the football and execution. Defensively, we must play with great leverage, run to the ball, and tackle." – Guerin Catholic coach Tom Dilley.
For us to play to our potential Friday we must run the football, take care of the football, block number 25 Trace Bulger and number 32 Evan Hansen, and take advantage of short fields. Defensively, we must not let their quarterback scramble, we must tackle, decrease yardage after contact play, and not give up big plays. On special teams, we must be perfect in our kicking game, secure our punt team, tackle, and allow no big plays." – Bishop Chatard coach Vince Lorenzano.
JEFFERSONVILLE (7-0) AT COLUMBUS EAST (7-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Columbus East Field.
COACHES: Lonnie Oldham, 26-14 in 4th year at Jeffersonville, 64-65 in 12th year overall. Bob Gaddis, 142-29 in 14th year at Columbus East, 260-129 in 36th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Jeffersonville beat New Albany, 48-13. Columbus East beat Madison, 62-7.
VS. COMMON FOES: Jeffersonville 4-0, Columbus East 4-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Jeffersonville 17-32, Columbus East 17-32.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Columbus East, 20-10.
LAST MEETING: Columbus East, 41-0, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We will need to control the line of scrimmage. They are big, fast, and physical. Defensively, we will need to control their big plays and pressure their quarterback. Offensively, we will need to run the ball, but mix in enough pass to keep them from loading the box. On special teams, we need to execute and cover their fast returners." – Columbus East coach Bob Gaddis.
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (6-1) AT RENSSELAER CENTRAL (7-0)
GAME TIME: 7 pm CT, Harrison Field.
COACHES: Kevin O'Shea, 83-6 in 7th year at Lafayette Central Catholic, 183-69 in 22nd year overall. Chris Meeks, 126-64 in 16th year at Rensselaer Central.
LAST OUTING: Lafayette Central Catholic beat Indianapolis Broad Ripple, 57-0. Rensselaer Central beat Delphi, 49-14.
VS. COMMON FOES: Lafayette Central Catholic 3-0, Rensselaer Central 3-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Lafayette Central Catholic 19-30, Rensselaer Central 23-26.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Lafayette Central Catholic, 7-2.
LAST MEETING: Lafayette Central Catholic, 28-27, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We'll need to play a near-perfect game and hope that Rensselaer makes some mistakes. They are a very difficult team to defend. The Bombers are fast, athletic, and well-coached." - Lafayette Catholic coach Kevin O'Shea.
"Lafayette Central Catholic is 22-0 since entering the Hoosier Conference. They have one of the best defenses in the state, only giving up five points a game. Offensively, they average 45 points a game. They have great tradition to go along with the tremendous football team they have. Offensively, we will need to be able to run the football and mix in the play-action pass. Defensively, we need to be solid and limit the big play. We will need to play mistake-free football." – Rensselaer coach Chris Meeks.
LEWIS CASS (6-1) AT MACONAQUAH (5-2)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Maconaquah Field.
COACHES: Scott Mannering, 211-104 in 29th year at Lewis Cass. Mark Hartman, 20-37 in 6th year at Maconaquah, 21-56 in 8th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Lewis Cass beat Taylor, 21-0. Maconaquah beat Peru, 20-0.
VS. COMMON FOES: Lewis Cass 4-0, Maconaquah 3-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Lewis Cass 24-25, Maconaquah 21-28.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Lewis Cass, 26-7.
LAST MEETING: Lewis Cass, 36-14, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Maconaquah has a truly outstanding tailback in Cody Hicks. This kid has carried the ball over 60 times the past two weeks. He is quick, physical, and hard to tackle. They have a huge offensive line and a very good fullback and other skilled players to go with him. For us to beat Maconaquah, we will have to somehow slow this boy down. Their defense is equally stout and is playing their best football right now. We must control time of possession and the line of scrimmage to be in this one." – Lewis Cass coach Scott Mannering.
"Cass is a well-coached, very-disciplined football team. They run their Wing-T offense to perfection. In order to be successful, we need to play disciplined defensive football because they're counting on us making mistakes. Offensively, we have to play strong up front. Cass gives you nothing, so you have to earn every single yard." – Maconaquah coach Mark Hartman.
MISHAWAKA MARIAN (6-1) AT MISHAWAKA (6-1)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Steele Stadium.
COACHES: Reggie Glon, 133-90 in 21st year at Mishawaka Marian. Bart Curtis, 63-21 in 7th year at Mishawaka, 174-88 in 24th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Mishawaka Marian beat South Bend Riley, 60-7. Mishawaka beat South Bend Adams, 37-0.
VS. COMMON FOES: Mishawaka Marian 3-0, Mishawaka 3-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Mishawaka Marian 20-28, Mishawaka 16-33.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Mishawaka, 11-7.
LAST MEETING: Mishawaka, 28-14, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "This will be a game of about five possessions for each team. We must take advantage of every one of them to put us in a position to win. We must play error-free football in all three phases of the game. Coach Curtis and his staff will not beat themselves. They will play a fundamentally intense game for 48 minutes, so we must match that effort. To win, we must score on every one of our possessions and not make any mistakes." – Marian coach Reggie Glon.
"All of our offensive possessions must end with a kick, either an extra-point or punt. We can't afford to turn the ball over." – Mishawaka coach Bart Curtis.
OAK HILL (5-2) AT MISSISSINEWA (5-2)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Fisher Field.
COACHES: Bud Ozmun, 102-65 in 16th year at Oak Hill. Curt Funk, 28-22 in 5th year at Mississinewa.
LAST OUTING: Oak Hill beat Eastbrook, 27-23. Mississinewa beat Madison-Grant, 27-8.
VS. COMMON FOES: Oak Hill 3-1. Mississinewa 3-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Oak Hill 21-28, Mississinewa 24-25.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Oak Hill, 6-2.
LAST MEETING: Mississinewa, 62-27, Oct. 18, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We have to slow down Mississinewa's running game and their tailback Blake Dailey, who is going to carry the ball 25-30 times. In the last two games, he has run for over 450 yards, so we must do our best to slow him down, not let him loose in the secondary, and complete the tackle when we have him because a broken tackle can be costly. We must control the ball and the clock offensively and complete our drives with touchdowns." – Oak Hill coach Bud Ozmun.
"We have to play great assignment defense vs. Oak Hill's high-powered offense. We can't give up a big play on special teams. Finally, we must have success running the football and have no turnovers on offense." – Mississinewa coach Curt Funk.
SHENANDOAH (6-1) AT EASTERN HANCOCK (5-2)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Ed Knarr Field.
COACHES: Scott Widner, 62-15 in 7th year at Shenandoah, 62-25 in 8th year overall. Jim O'Hara, 5-2 in 1st year at Eastern Hancock, 92-50 in 13th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Shenandoah beat Monroe Central, 12-7. Eastern Hancock beat Wes-Del, 47-20.
VS. COMMON FOES: Shenandoah 1-0, Eastern Hancock 1-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Shenandoah 26-23, Eastern Hancock 28-21.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Shenandoah, 21-14.
LAST MEETING: Eastern Hancock, 68-19, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "In order to beat Eastern Hancock this Friday, we must try to stay on schedule on offense. We can't afford to have any negative plays or turnovers. Defensively, we will attempt to eliminate big plays and force long sustained drives. Eastern Hancock is an extremely talented and well coached football team. We will have to be our very best in order to compete." – Shenandoah coach Scott Widner.
WESTFIELD (4-3) AT FISHERS (5-2)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Clarian Field.
COACHES: Jake Gilbert, 24-18 in 4th year at Westfield, 54-54 in 10th year overall. Rick Wimmer, 68-33 in 9th year at Fishers, 232-116 in 32nd year overall.
LAST OUTING: Westfield lost to Avon, 23-6. Fishers beat Indianapolis Tech, 28-7.
VS. COMMON FOES: Westfield 2-2, Fishers 3-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Westfield 27-22, Fishers 20-27.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Fishers, 8-1.
LAST MEETING: Fishers, 48-45, 3 overtimes, Sep. 7, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "For us to beat Fishers, we have to win the turnover battle and keep Maurice Campbell from running wild. We also have to do a better job of finishing drives and not stalling or settling for field goals. Ultimately, we have to play with the grit needed to beat a tough opponent on the road." – Westfield coach Jake Gilbert.
"Westfield is a team that gives you a lot to prepare for. They are very multiple in their defensive fronts, coverages, stunts, and blitzes. Offensively, they have good balance with their play-calling, a hard-nosed running back who can be difficult to tackle, and a multitude of receivers they do a good job of spreading the ball around to. Their quarterback is a first-year starter who is completing about 58 percent of his passes and is leading our conference in passing yards. Their kicker is also certainly one of the best kickers in our league. Our last three games with them have been very competitive games, including last year's three-overtime game. We will need to play nearly mistake free and with great effort to get the win. It is an HCC game that will have a great effect on our hopes to win a conference title and to keep their hopes for a share of the title alive. It will be important that we run the ball effectively and use the play-action pass off the running game. We will need to protect the football. Defensively, we will need to handle their fast-paced no-huddle offense and tackle well against their fine tailback (Evan) Caldwell. We have struggled with keeping quarterbacks in the pocket and preventing third-down conversions. These are areas on our defense that we must improve." – Fishers coach Rick Wimmer.
WHITKO (5-2) AT ROCHESTER (6-1)
GAME TIME: 7 pm ET, Barnhart Field.
COACHES: Josh Mohr, 11-6 in 2nd year at Whitko. Mike Zehner, 21-8 in 3rd year at Rochester.
LAST OUTING: Whitko beat North Miami, 28-0. Rochester beat Tippecanoe Valley, 35-8.
VS. COMMON FOES: Whitko 4-0. Rochester 4-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Whitko 20-29, Rochester 25-24.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Rochester, 19-9.
LAST MEETING: Rochester, 26-9, Oct. 11, 2013.
COACHES COMMENTS: "Rochester is a well-coached, physical team. We must be fundamentally sound, take care of the ball, and play with determination for 48 minutes." – Whitko coach Josh Mohr.
"In order for the Zebras to win this game, we have to win the battle upfront, the turnover battle, and slow down Whitko's running game. The (Tanner) Hughes kid from Whitko is the leading rusher in the conference with (Jacob) Howdeshell being second. We have to establish our running game and not shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties and finish drives when we get in the red zone." – Rochester coach Michael Zehner.