BY PAUL CONDRY AND MATT KOPSEA
BEECH GROVE (6-1) AT TRITON CENTRAL (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Mendenhall Stadium.
COACHES: Mark Weller, 37-43 in eighth season at Beech Grove, 50-64 in 11th season overall. Tim Able, 48-20 in sixth season at Triton Central, 173-118 in 26th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Beech Grove beat Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter, 49-28. Triton Central lost to Indianapolis Scecina, 20-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Beech Grove, 22-15, on October 6, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Terrice Pope ran for 104 yards and a touchdown for the Hornets against Cardinal Ritter. Hayden Kermode recorded seven tackles for the Tigers against Scecina.
COACH TALK: “To be successful against Triton Central, we have to be able to control the ball, minimize penalties, and do not give up the big plays.” – Beech Grove’s Mark Weller.
BLACKFORD (6-1) AT EASTBROOK (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Freck Field.
COACHES: Randy Sehy, 12-17 in third season at Blackford, 73-71 in 14th season overall. Jeff Adamson, 261-85 in 30th season at Eastbrook.
LAST CONTEST: Blackford beat Elwood, 57-6. Eastbrook beat Alexandria, 54-13.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Eastbrook, 63-0, on October 13, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Melvin Hernandez had nine carries for 80 yards and a touchdown for the Bruins against Elwood. Edward Keasling had two scores on the ground and also caught an 82-yard touchdown pass for the Panthers against Alexandria.
COACH TALK: “Friday’s game with Eastbrook is a chance for us to test ourselves against one of the great programs and teams in the state of Indiana. They have been successful for a long time and are doing what the rest of us are working to achieve. To be successful against Eastbrook, we will have to limit their big plays by keeping them bottled up and not allowing their speed to come into play. We will have to take care of the football and take the ball away from them a couple of times. And finally, we have to do a better job on special teams than we have at times this season all while playing hard for four quarters.” – Blackford’s Randy Sehy.
“We will need to be incredibly disciplined defensively against their Wing-T offense. Assignment football will be key for us. We will also need to take advantage of every possession offensively to help our defense. Special team play always comes up huge in close games. Hopefully, we can steal some field position through special teams.” – Eastbrook’s Josh Adamson.
CARMEL (6-1) AT WARREN CENTRAL (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Warrior Field.
COACHES: John Hebert, 34-13 in fourth season at Carmel. Jayson West, 52-16 in sixth season at Warren Central, 104-28 in 11th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Carmel beat Ben Davis, 21-7. Warren Central beat Lawrence North, 72-25.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Warren Central, 35-14, on October 6, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Nate Frey came up with a blocked punt for the greyhounds against Ben Davis. Montrez Stanley had four receptions for 92 yards and a score for the Warriors against Lawrence North.
COACH TALK: “We must be very patient on offense as Carmel’s defense is very good and we cannot make mistakes that put our team in bad position. This game is usually a close game and it comes down to who loses the game and not necessarily who wins the game.” – Warren Central’s Jayson West.
COVENANT CHRISTIAN (7-0) AT TRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Traders Point Field.
COACHES: Larry McWhorter, 27-9 in fifth season at Covenant Christian, 178-69 in 23rd season overall. Adam Stevenson, 12-4 in second season at Traders Point Christian.
LAST CONTEST: Covenant Christian beat Indianapolis Shortridge, 42-13. Traders Point Christian beat Rock Creek Academy, 46-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Covenant Christian, 27-12, on October 6, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Austin Frazier threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns for the Warriors against Shortridge. Kye Johnson hauled in two passes for 75 yards and two scores for the Knights Rock Crek Academy.
EASTERN (GREENTOWN) (7-0) AT SHERIDAN (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Wright Stadium.
COACHES: Josh Edwards, 44-74 in 12th season at Eastern (Greentown), 60-138 in 20th season overall. Larry Wright, 415-190 in 53rd season at Sheridan, 416-193 in 54th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Eastern (Greentown) beat Tri-Central, 55-7. Sheridan beat Seeger, 40-7.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Sheridan, 52-16, on October 6, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Greg Black racked up sox receptions for 74 yards for the Comets against Tri-Central. Chris Starks finished with 12 tackles for the Blackhawks against Seeger.
COACH TALK: “In order to defeat a very good Sheridan team Friday, we will need to continue to play our game. We want our kids to treat this like they have the other seven games this year. We must come out and set the tone physically. The key to victory is to not give up big plays on defense. Sheridan has been a big play team this year, so if we can limit their explosive plays, we will give ourselves a good chance.” – Eastern’s Josh Edwards.
“The key to victory Friday is stopping their quarterback (Garrett Hetzner) from passing and running the ball at a high rate of success. He is going to get his yards, but we must be able to cover their receivers. They are very good. Their quarterback’s ability to scramble is a big threat, so we must contain him and would like to force them to run the ball.” – Sheridan’s Larry Wright.
FORT WAYNE SNIDER (5-2) AT FORT WAYNE BISHOP DWENGER (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Zollner Stadium.
COACHES: Kurt Tippmann, 102-23 in 10th season at Snider. Jason Garrett, 7-0 in first season at Bishop Dwenger.
LAST CONTEST: Snider beat Fort Wayne Northrop, 48-21. Bishop Dwenger beat Fort Wayne Bishop Luers, 15-13.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Snider, 34-31, on October 6, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Anyis Lockett scampered 16 times for 96 yards and two scores for the Panthers against F.W. Northrop. Jared Lee tallied six tackles for the Saints against Bishop Luers.
COACH TALK: “To beat Bishop Dwenger, we have to match their physical play on both sides of the ball. They will try and run the ball, so we need to be good and the physical matchup on the line of scrimmage. Defensively, they will bring all kinds of pressures, so we have to identify and block their guys. For us, the key will be no turnovers as well as limited mistakes and missed assignments, etc.” – F.W. Snider’s Kurt Tippmann.
“Snider poses a tremendous challenge in all three facets of the game. We highly respect their program and coaching staff. We will have to play our best football of the season to have success Friday night.” – Bishop Dwenger’s Jason Garrett.
FOUNTAIN CENTRAL (6-1) AT NORTH VERMILLION (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Gibson Field.
COACHES: Ryan Hall, 6-1 in first season at Fountain Central, 41-31 in seventh season overall. Brian Crabtree, 70-12 in seventh season at North Vermillion, 105-51 in 14th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Fountain Central beat South Vermillion, 35-17. North Vermillion beat Parke Heritage, 36-27.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Fountain Central, 20-14, on October 6, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Brad Eades ran five times for 205 yards and three touchdowns for the Mustangs against South Vermillion. Kirk Carron had an interception for the Falcons against Parke Heritage.
COACH TALK: “To beat North Vermillion, we must match their intensity and physicality. They are very well-coached and understand what they need to do at all times. They love to run the football and pass just enough to keep defenses honest. It will be a great challenge for us, but it’s a challenge I feel we need as we are getting ready for the playoffs.” – Fountain Central’s Ryan Hall.
LOWELL (6-1) AT ANDREAN (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, Eckert Field.
COACHES: Keith Kilmer, 71-31 in ninth season at Lowell. Chris Skinner, 19-11 in third season at Andrean.
LAST CONTEST: Lowell beat Munster, 21-12. Andrean beat Kankakee Valley, 52-21.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Lowell, 16-0, on October 6, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Ethan Igras had 13 carries for 67 yards and a score for the Red Devils against Munster. Nick Flesher finished with seven receptions for 80 yards and two scores for the 59ers against Kankakee Valley.
COACH TALK: “We are going to have to continue to play great defense, forcing the 59ers to earn points the hard way with long sustained drives. Offensively, we are going to have to find a bit more physicality to match that of the Andrean defense.” – Lowell’s Keith Kilmer.
“In order for us to win Friday, we must neutralize Lowell’s defensive front. If our offensive line can minimize the disruption, we’ll have more of the playbook available. Defensively, we can’t allow explosive plays. We need to be disciplined and make them sustain drives. Our special teams need to be effective as well. The field position battle may end up playing a decisive role in the outcome of the game.” – Andrean’s Chris Skinner.
MARTINSVILLE (6-1) AT MOORESVILLE (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Coach Joe Popp Stadium.
COACHES: Carter Whitson, 12-6 in second season at Martinsville. Mike Gillin, 9-10 in second season at Mooresville, 314-127 in 40th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Martinsville beat Perry Meridian, 63-22. Mooresville beat Whiteland, 21-17.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Martinsville, 51-30, on October 6, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Isaac Osborne had five rushes for 56 yards and two scores for the Artesians against Perry Meridian. Brayden Evans accounted for 13 tackles for the Pioneers against Whiteland.
SOUTHWOOD (7-0) AT MACONAQUAH (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Maconaquah Stadium.
COACHES: Dave Snyder, 53-35 in eighth season at Southwood. Austin Colby, 6-1 in first season at Maconaquah.
LAST CONTEST: Southwood beat Peru, 55-0. Maconaquah beat Northfield, 37-20.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Southwood, 45-7, on October 6, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Alex Farr was 5-of-12 for 114 yards and two touchdowns for the Knights against Peru. Nolan Kelly went 4-of-4 for 86 yards and two scores for the Braves against Northfield.
COACH TALK: “We set a team goal to defend our conference championship and have to beat Maconaquah on Friday to get into the championship game. They are a team that is well-coached, have good size and speed, and are very physical. Our kids are excited to play in a big game and to get to play on their turf field. For us, I believe we have to continue to play great defense and get people to the ball, while still defending their play action pass. We must pick up their blitz and be able to run inside, throw our quick game, and not turn it over.” – Southwood’s Dave Snyder.
TRI-COUNTY (6-1) AT DELPHI (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Berto Field.
COACHES: Sam Zachery, 14-3 in second season at Tri-County. Josh Strasser, 34-38 in seventh season at Delphi.
LAST CONTEST: Tri-County beat Frontier, 44-20. Delphi beat North Newton, 41-34.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Tri-County, 44-7, on September 15, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Kale Lawson carried the ball 24 times for 322 yards and six touchdowns for the Cavaliers against Frontier. Blake Carroll ran eight times for 90 yards and three scores for the Oracles against North Newton.
COACH TALK: “Tri-County offers a quarterback-running back duo in Kale Lawson and Sam Getz, who are averaging a combined 400 yards per game rushing. Both players are explosive and have great vision of the field, often forcing several missed tackles each time they carry the ball. Tri-County was the aggressor last year (44-7) and our team needs to respect them enough to know that if we don’t play great defense and execute offensively, it could be a long night for us. Defensively, we have to play physical football up front and limit their big play potential. Offensively, we need to continue our efficiency and cut down on the silly penalties.” – Delphi’s Josh Strasser.
WARSAW (6-1) AT NORTHWOOD (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Andrews Field.
COACHES: Bart Curtis, 6-1 in first season at Warsaw, 207-103 in 28th season overall. Nate Andrews, 42-14 in fifth season at NorthWood, 82-53 in 12th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Warsaw beat Wawasee, 49-16. NorthWood beat Elkhart Memorial, 49-6.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Warsaw, 31-28, on October 6, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Caden Silveus recorded an interception for the Tigers against Wawasee. Jaden Miller had a 70-yard interception touchdown return for the Panthers against Elkhart Memorial.
COACH TALK: “It’s an honor and privilege to take our team on the road to Jim Andrews Field to face the undefeated and No. 2-ranked Panther football team. It is an exciting time to be a Tiger football player, coach, and fan. The atmosphere Friday night will be incredible. This may sound trite and simple, but can’t play bad football. What I mean is when we play passionate good football, we are a fun team to watch and coach. When we play uninspired bad football, we are a train wreck literally. NorthWood is too dynamic, and too explosive a juggernaut to boot the ball around. We can’t have foolish penalties, not tackle well, or get ‘fooled’ with who has the football.” – Warsaw’s Bart Curtis.
”Warsaw is a great matchup because both teams love to run the football and play physical defense. We will need to win first down on both sides, capitalize on opportunities, and respond to sudden change.” – NorthWood’s Nate Andrews.
WESTERN (6-1) AT TIPTON (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Tipton Stadium.
COACHES: Alex Stewart, 13-6 in second year at Western, 23-16 in fourth year overall. Aaron Tolle, 102-54 in 14th year at Tipton.
LAST CONTEST: Western beat Northwestern, 62-0. Tipton beat Hamilton Heights, 69-0.
LAST MEETING: Tipton, 38-14, on September 15, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Josh Coleman had four carries for 137 yards and two scores for the Panthers against Northwestern. Sebastian Connor ran four times for 90 yards and a touchdown for the Blue Devils against Hamilton Heights.
COACH TALK: “Tipton is an excellent team in all three dimensions of the game. On the defensive side of the ball, we need to contain their quarterback (K.J. Roudebush). He is one of the best football players that we have seen this season, if not the best. We have to play with discipline, make tackles, and do our assignments. On offense, we have to execute our assignments. Tipton has a lot of speed on the defensive side of the ball. We have to do a good job of maintaining our blocks and taking care of the football with our running backs and quarterback. We are going to have to play a quality game in all three aspects for all four quarters of the game.” – Western’s Alex Stewart.
“We will have to play at a very high level in all three phases of the game to beat a very good Western team. Our fast and aggressive defense must be able to stand up to their big, strong, and physical offense. Offensively, we must be very efficient, consistently put points on the board, and don’t turn the ball over. We must limit their big plays and make them execute multiple plays in order to score. I believe that the most physical team will win the game.” – Tipton’s Aaron Tolle.