BY PAUL CONDRY AND MATT KOPSEA
CASTLE (3-1) AT EVANSVILLE CENTRAL (3-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, Bear Den.
COACHES: Doug Hurt, 101-54 in 14th season at Castle. Sean Coultis, 3-1 in 1st season at Evansville Central.
LAST CONTEST: Castle beat Evansville Bosse, 37-0. Evansville Central beat Evansville Reitz, 42-0.
TOP PERFORMERS: Chase Wilkinson had touchdown catches of 20 and 12 yards for the Knights against Evansville Bosse. Teorien Evans caught four passes for 125 yards and three scores for the No. 10 (Class 4A) Bears against Evansville Reitz.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Central, 41-34, on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “Castle is a great team and program led by an outstanding coaching staff. We will have to play a complete game in all phases (offense, defense, and special teams). As in all games, the key will be making big plays on offense and taking away big plays on defense. We will have to win the turnover battle as well.” – Evansville Central’s Sean Coultis.
FORT WAYNE SNIDER (4-0) AT HOMESTEAD (4-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Walters Stadium.
COACHES: Kurt Tippmann, 110-24 in 11th season at Snider. Chad Zolman, 129-41 in 16th season at Homestead.
LAST CONTEST: Snider beat Fort Wayne South, 44-0. Homestead beat Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger, 17-15.
TOP PERFORMERS: Kameron Trotter scampered 11 times for 174 yards and two scores for the No. 5 (Class 6A) Panthers against Fort Wayne South. Camden Rogers recorded 11 tackles for the No. 8 (Class 6A) Spartans against Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger.
PREVIOUS MEETING: F.W. Snider, 49-35, on November 2, 2018 in Class 6A sectional final.
CHALK TALK: “Homestead is a very good team. Offensively, they possess many weapons which make it hard to defend them. Their wide receivers are very talented and present size matchup issues. They have a very talented running back (Braeden Hardwick) and the quarterback (Luke Goode) is a (NCAA) Division 1 prospect. They have a great scheme that puts our defense in tough positions. We have to start by controlling the line of scrimmage and getting pressure on the quarterback. We have to cover their guys and not leave players open for him to hit. When they catch it, we have to tackle them and make them drive the field. Defensively, they have an aggressive scheme. They will run linebackers through and move their front on every play. We have to identify their movements and pick up the linebacker run schemes to be successful in the run game and pass game. Special teams will be a big determining factor as well. We have to make some plays in special teams to get an edge. We also need to win field position and make some big plays to turn the tide in our favor. It should be a great challenge.” – Fort Wayne Snider’s Kurt Tippmann.
“Snider is a talented team on both sides of the ball. Offensively, we will need to be efficient with the ball and limit mistakes. Defensively, we will need to be assignment sound and get a lot of hats to the football. They are extremely well-coached and very athletic.” – Homestead’s Chad Zolman.
FRANKLIN CENTRAL (3-1) AT AVON (4-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Oriole Stadium.
COACHES: Grant Lewis, 21-24 in fifth season at Franklin Central. Mark Bless, 79-32 in 10th season at Avon, 228-99 in 30th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Franklin Central beat Zionsville, 17-14. Avon beat Brownsburg, 7-3.
TOP PERFORMERS: Josh Ruley had 34 carries for 152 yards and a touchdown for the Flashes against Zionsville. Nathaniel James racked up 11 tackles for the No. 1 (Class 6A) Orioles against Brownsburg.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Avon, 48-0, on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “In order for us to have success on Friday night, the Flashes will have to take care of the football and control the clock while limiting penalties and mental mistakes. Our goal is to stop the run on defense and be balanced on offense in order to perform to the best of our ability. Special teams will be a key factor in this game as field position will play a huge role in the final outcome of the game. We are looking forward to the opportunity to play the No. 1 team in the state.” – Franklin Central’s Grant Lewis.
“We will need to win the battles of the line of scrimmage, take-a-ways, turnovers, and the field position first and foremost. Then, we have to play to the level we are capable of playing at from the start to the finish in order to be successful Friday night.” – Avon’s Mark Bless.
FRANKLIN COUNTY (3-1) AT LAWRENCEBURG (3-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Neary Field.
COACHES: Wes Gillman, 5-9 in second season at Franklin County, 19-32 in sixth season overall. Ryan Knigga, 69-30 in ninth season at Lawrenceburg.
LAST CONTEST: Franklin County lost to East Central, 35-0. Lawrenceburg beat Greensburg, 49-17.
TOP PERFORMERS: Josh Bauman ran 21 times for 75 yards for the Wildcats against East Central. Adam Burd rambled 33 times for 170 yards with a touchdown for the Tigers against Greensburg.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Lawrenceburg, 35-13, on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “We’re a little banged up right now, so there are a lot of question marks going into this game. We may or may not have a few key starters back this week. Regardless, we need to have our younger kids step up and play hard. We have the ability to compete with and win at Lawrenceburg. It’s just going to take kids stepping up and winning their one-on-one battles. We need to have a good week of practice, get healthy, and play mistake free football on Friday. If we can do that, we’ll be in the football game.” – Franklin County’s Wes Gillman.
“Franklin County is a solid team who is playing very well. In order to have success the Tigers will need to take care of the ball. We have had a turnover bug in some games, but we are starting to clean that up. We had zero last week, so we will need to take care of the ball. We must get off the field and not allow them to extend drives. We must win third down, execute in the red zone, and put points on the board. We need long drives and make sure every possession ends in a kick. They make you play in space, so we must tackle. They are also a new sectional opponent so it is important to play well and execute our game plan.” – Lawrenceburg’s Ryan Knigga.
FRONTIER (4-0) AT TRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN (4-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Traders Point Field.
COACHES: Troy Burgess, 4-0 in first season at Frontier, 112-76 in 18th season overall. Adam Stevenson, 19-6 in third season at Traders Point.
LAST CONTEST: Frontier beat Clinton Central, 22-6. Traders Point beat Park Tudor, 42-13.
TOP PERFORMERS: Caleb Atkinson raced 11 times for 156 yards and three touchdowns for the Falcons against Clinton Central. David Hart rumbled 13 times for 172 yards and a score for the Knights against Park Tudor.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Traders Point, 34-14, on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “For Frontier to be successful, we must contain their quarterback (David Hart) and not allow him to make big plays on offense for them. On offense, we must try to control the ball and the time of possession along with playing turnover-free football. We are going to have to play a perfect game if want to compete with them.” – Frontier’s Troy Burgess.
“Frontier is a strong good team with good athletes, and it’s clear from film that they are very well-coached. For us to have success, we need to eliminate mental mistakes, i.e. dropped snapped, penalties, and turnovers. We also have to understand that it’s an extremely hot night, and the preparation of our bodies through conditioning and hydration are going to make a significant difference, particularly in the 4th quarter of the game. We are looking forward to the opportunity.” – Traders Point Christian’s Adam Stevenson.
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (3-1) AT CINCINNATI ST. XAVIER (OHIO) (3-0)
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Ballaban Field.
COACHES: Bill Peebles, 9-7 in second season at Cathedral, 83-72 in 15th season overall. Steve Specht, 138-52 in 16th season at Cincinnati St. Xavier.
LAST CONTEST: Cathedral beat Indianapolis Chatard, 31-21. St. Xavier beat Penn, 37-7.
TOP PERFORMERS: Camden Jordan hauled in four receptions for 109 yards with a score for the No. 3 (Class 5A) Irish against Indianapolis Bishop Chatard. Liam Clifford came up with five catches for 180 yards and a touchdown for the top-ranked Bombers against Penn.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Indianapolis Cathedral, 20-14 (OT), on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “St. X is an outstanding football team. They have beaten two top Indiana programs already this year in Penn and Brownsburg. We are going to have to play exceptionally well in the secondary this week. They have a potent passing game, so our linebackers must get into passing lanes to disrupt their timing and to collision wide receivers. Offensively, we have to handle their aggressive 3-3 stack and multiple blitz schemes, so we will need to be efficient moving the chains.” – Cathedral’s Bill Peebles.
LEO (4-0) AT EAST NOBLE (4-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, East Noble Field.
COACHES: Jared Sauder, 112-37 in 14th season at Leo. Luke Amstutz, 60-20 in eighth season at East Noble, 86-35 in 12th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Leo beat New Haven, 37-14. East Noble beat DeKalb, 35-7.
TOP PERFORMERS: Jackson Barbour was 3-of-3 for 70 yards with two touchdowns for the No. 9 (Class 4A) Lions against New Haven. Hayden Jones registered six catches for 93 yards and two scores for the No. 6 (Class 4A) Knights against DeKalb.
PREVIOUS MEETING: East Noble, 35-28, on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “East Noble is a very good and well-coached football team. They have athletes all over the field in all three phases of the game and are led by their senior quarterback Bailey Parker. He is a dual threat, so we must be able to contain him defensively by playing very good assignment football. East Noble runs a lot of quarterback read plays and if we do not do our jobs defensively they will hurt you. Offensively, this game for us is all about controlling the line scrimmage and taking care of the football. We cannot give the East Noble offense any extra opportunities though turnovers.” – Leo’s Jared Sauder.
“This is a huge opportunity for our program to take a major step towards winning our third straight conference championship. If we can control Peyton Wall and the Leo ground game, we will have an opportunity to be successful.” – East Noble’s Luke Amstutz.
MILAN (3-1) AT NORTH DECATUR (3-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Kaelin Field.
COACHES: Ryan Langferman, 81-50 in 12th season at Milan. Steve Stirn, 28-20 in fifth season at North Decatur, 115-69 in 17th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Milan beat South Decatur, 42-6. North Decatur beat Oldenburg Academy, 39-7.
TOP PERFORMERS: Parker Lewis went 11-of-16 for 180 yards and three touchdowns for the Indians against South Decatur. Logan Koehne hauled in four passes for 117 yards and three scores for the Chargers against Oldenburg Academy.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Milan, 9-0, on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “To be successful against North Decatur, we will need to limit big plays from their offense and win the turnover battle. (Alex) Stirn and (Logan) Koehne are exceptional athletes that we will need to contain on both sides of the ball.” – Milan’s Ryan Langferman.
“The keys to this game for the Chargers will be handling the balanced offense that can attack in the run game and the pass game. Parker Lewis has shown a willingness to sling the ball whenever necessary and his receivers are athletic and willing to fight for the ball. Offensively, the Chargers will need to establish a run game against the Indians strong defensive line and linebackers.” – North Decatur’s Steve Stirn.
NEW PRAIRIE (4-0) AT MISHAWAKA (3-1)
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Steele Stadium.
COACHES: Russ Radtke, 71-18 in eighth season at New Prairie, 361-138 in 43rd season overall. Keith Kinder, 15-3 in second season at Mishawaka.
LAST CONTEST: New Prairie beat South Bend Saint Joseph, 55-28. Mishawaka beat South Bend Adams, 43-7.
TOP PERFORMERS: Ian Skornog caught three passes for 72 yards and a touchdown for the No. 3 (Class 4A) Cougars against Saint Joseph. Drew Mason rambled 15 times for 82 yards and two scores for the No. 9 (Class 5A) Cavemen against Adams.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Mishawaka, 27-21, on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “The Cougars are excited to be traveling to Steele Stadium Friday night. In my 19 years on staff, this will be the second time the Cougars’ varsity team has played in the stadium, but the first time against the Cavemen. We played a sectional game there in 2006 against Saint Joseph. This game is always a lot of fun due to the closeness of both staffs and the amount of respect we have for each other. With that being said, we know that Coach Kinder and his staff will have their team ready to play. Offensively, we know we will face an attacking defense that will have 11 guys flying to the ball. We will need to win the game in the trenches and limit our mistakes. We have to be able to adjust to what they are giving us and get into the right plays. Defensively, we will need to be disciplined against their style of running the option. They have a really big offensive line and skilled kids that run the ball hard. Our secondary will need to be ready against their passing game also. Special teams again will need to be special.” – New Prairie associate head coach Bill Gumm.
“We are excited for the opportunity to compete against such a great New Prairie program. We have a ton of respect for Coach Radtke, their entire staff and players. To be successful Friday, we are going to have to get off to a good start on both sides of the ball. We have to move the chains offensively and can’t afford any negative plays or penalties. Defensively we have to tackle well. (Chase) Ketterer and (Chris) Mays are incredibly skilled backs that are hard to tackle. Our defensive pursuit will be critical to our success.” – Mishawaka’s Keith Kinder.
NORTH DAVIESS (4-0) AT WEST VIGO (3-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Barrett Field.
COACHES: Trent Fine, 6-8 in second season at North Daviess, 23-40 in seventh season overall. Jeff Cobb, 68-80 in 15th season at West Vigo.
LAST CONTEST: North Daviess beat Washington, 26-8. West Vigo lost to Northview, 27-6.
TOP PERFORMERS: Dmitrius Owens ran 24 times for 185 yards and four scores for the No. 9 (Class 1A) Cougars against Washington. Dane Andrews accounted for a 35-yard touchdown run for the Vikings against Northview.
PREVIOUS MEETING: North Daviess, 21-14, on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “This week, we will be facing the best offense that we have seen so far. Our defense is clicking on all cylinders and that needs to continue. We need to sustain some good drives and keep our defense fresh. What we need is to perform well in all three facets of the game in order to be successful.” – North Daviess’ Trent Fine.
“North Daviess will present some difficulty for us as they are an aggressive blitzing defense and have an explosive offense. For us to be successful, we will have to do a better job of blitz pickup and make them drive the length of the field. Our special teams’ coverage needs to be top notch as well.” – West Vigo’s Jeff Cobb.
RENSSELAER CENTRAL (4-0) AT WEST LAFAYETTE (3-1)
KICKOFF: 8 p.m. EDT, Straley Field.
COACHES: Chris Meeks, 163-82 in 21st season at Rensselaer. Shane Fry, 71-13 in seventh season at West Lafayette.
LAST CONTEST: Rensselaer beat Twin Lakes, 35-0. West Lafayette beat Lafayette Central Catholic, 50-0.
TOP PERFORMERS: Noah Bierma tallied eight rushes for 41 yards for the No. 4 (Class 2A) Bombers against Twin Lakes. Kyle Adams went 19-of-25 for 286 yards and four scores for the No. 1 (Class 3A) Red Devils against Lafayette Central Catholic.
PREVIOUS MEETING: West Lafayette, 69-14, on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “West Lafayette is extremely loaded once again and a definite favorite to repeat as Class 3A state champs. They are very well-coached and do not make mistakes. Their quarterback, Kyle Adams, is a candidate for Mr. Football and rightfully so. He is an extremely accurate passer with numerous weapons surrounding him. And defensively, they are anchored by one of the top linebackers in the country, Yanni Karlaftis. Their defense is very athletic and plays downhill. For us to be successful, we need to be able to control the ball and finish drives out with scores. We will also need to execute flawlessly on both sides of the ball and limit their big plays.” – Rensselaer Central’s Chris Meeks.
“We will need to get their offense off the field. Rensselaer runs a unique offense and we need to be disciplined on defense in order to get stops. We also need to win the turnover battle because turnovers always play a huge part in big games. On offense, we really need to protect our quarterback. Rensselaer always has some exotic stunts and blitzes they bring at us, so we need to be ready for anything.” – West Lafayette’s Shane Fry.
SOUTH ADAMS (4-0) AT MONROE CENTRAL (3-1)
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Monroe Central Field.
COACHES: Grant Moser, 27-20 in fifth season at South Adams. John Hochstetler, 59-28 in eighth season at Monroe Central, 146-111 in 23rd season overall.
LAST CONTEST: South Adams beat Heritage, 76-0. Monroe Central beat Southern Wells, 41-6.
TOP PERFORMERS: Nic Stuber carried the ball eight times for 140 yards with three scores for the No. (Class 1A) Starfires against Heritage. Logan Patterson raced nine times for 69 yards and a touchdown for the No. 6 (Class 1A) Golden Bears against Southern Wells.
PREVIOUS MEETING: South Adams, 36-15, on September 14, 2018.
CHALK TALK: “They are big up front and have a great sophomore quarterback (Jackson Ullom) and good wide receivers. They run a lot of formations and are very well coached, so we will have our hands full.” – South Adams’ Grant Moser.
“South Adams is one of the most explosive teams we have ever faced. They have weapons and are very physical. It’s a big challenge for the Golden Bears this week.” – Monroe Central’s John Hochstetler.