BY PAUL CONDRY AND MATT KOPSEA
(ALL GAMES ON FRIDAY)
ALEXANDRIA (6-1) AT EASTBROOK (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Freck Field.
COACHES: Pete Gast, 37-53 in ninth season at Alexandria, 52-88 in 14th season overall. Jeff Adamson, 249-83 in 29th season at Eastbrook.
LAST CONTEST: Alexandria beat Elwood, 14-12. Eastbrook beat Frankton, 56-12.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Eastbrook, 55-7, on October 7, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Alexandria is enjoying its first winning season since 2014. Eastbrook has won 20 straight home games dating back to the 2014 campaign.
COACH TALK: “Eastbrook has a lot of team speed, so we must play fast and attack them. We have to attack them, not play back on our heels. Special teams are always a big part of competing with Eastbrook. They are so well-coached on special teams. We must play smart and take away what they want to do on special teams. Again, their team speed is outstanding. In the past, we have had moments and stretches where we competed well with Eastbrook. We took care of the ball and created turnovers in those instances. To beat them, we must win the turnover battle.” – Alexandria’s Pete Gast.
“We will need to play great defense against Alexandria’s passing game. We don’t see a lot of pass first teams in our conference and they are very good at throwing the ball. This is an important game for us. Winning Friday will allow us to secure at least a share of the Central Indiana Conference championship. Alex is 6-1 and they are coming in with the idea of beating us to gain a share of the conference title. Should be a great game.” – Eastbrook’s Jeff Adamson.
BEN DAVIS (7-0) AT LAWRENCE CENTRAL (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Smysor Field.
COACHES: Mike Kirschner, 88-36 in 11th season at Ben Davis, 102-62 in 15th season overall. Bill Peebles, 12-6 in second season at Lawrence Central, 74-62 in 13th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Ben Davis beat Carmel, 28-10. Lawrence Central beat North Central (Indianapolis), 21-15.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Ben Davis, 33-13, on October 7, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Ben Davis is averaging 46.3 points and allowing 14.6 points per game. Lawrence Central has won five games by nine or fewer points.
COACH TALK: “We have to do a better job of taking care of the football. We turned it over four times last Friday which put our defense in some bad situations. We must also continue to focus for four quarters.” – Ben Davis’ Mike Kirschner.
“This is going to a great challenge. Ben Davis has dominated its competition this year. They have the best collection of talent that I have seen in years. We have to play very smart and sound football. We have a very talented and resilient group of young men at Lawrence Central as well. It will take our best effort.” – Lawrence Central’s Bill Peebles.
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (5-2) AT EVANSVILLE CENTRAL (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, Central Stadium.
COACHES: Mike Goebel, 209-59 in 21st season at Evansville Mater Dei. Andy Owen, 73-44 in 11th season at Evansville Central.
LAST CONTEST: Evansville Mater Dei beat Evansville Bosse, 38-7. Evansville Central beat Evansville Memorial, 35-7.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Central, 56-17, on October 7, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Mater Dei has won six of the previous seven meetings against Evansville Central. Andy Owen is stepping down after this season to become the athletic director for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation.
COACH TALK: “Mater Dei has been playing great football recently. Both Central and Mater Dei are tied for first in the SIAC with two weeks to go. We will have to win the turnover battle and be very sound in the kicking game. They have some great senior players, so this will be a tough match up for the Bears.” – Evansville Central’s Andy Owen.
FORT WAYNE BISHOP DWENGER (5-2) AT FORT WAYNE SNIDER (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Spuller Stadium.
COACHES: Chris Svarczkopf, 144-47 in 15th season at Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger. Kurt Tippmann, 93-20 in ninth season at Fort Wayne Snider.
LAST CONTEST: Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger beat Fort Wayne Luers, 15-14. Fort Wayne Snider beat Fort Wayne Northrop, 49-35.
LAST MEETING: Fort Wayne Snider, 32-25, on October 7, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: On its way to winning the 2015 Class 4A state championship, Bishop Dwenger handed eventual Class 5A state champ Fort Wayne Snider its only loss (20-17). Fort Wayne Snider has won 10 consecutive sectional championships.
COACH TALK: “Bishop Dwenger is always a well-coached and tough team. We know if will be a very physical game. On offense, we have to be able to be more physical and run the ball. The offensive line has to be dominant up front. They will disregard our passing game, so we must be able to throw it against man coverage. Defensively, we have to stop their power-run game. We have hurt ourselves in the past few weeks with a lack of fundamental gap responsibility. We must improve in this area. In addition to having success on special teams, we have to win the battle for field position and have no mistakes that lead to turnovers.” – Snider’s Kurt Tippmann.
INDIANAPOLIS CARDINAL RITTER (6-1) VS. INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA (6-1)
KICKOFF: 5:30 p.m. EDT, Lucas Oil Stadium.
COACHES: Ty Hunt, 123-31 in 12th season at Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter. Ott Hurrle, 175-128 in 26th season at Indianapolis Scecina, 176-137 in 28th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter beat Beech Grove, 28-0. Indianapolis Scecina beat Triton Central, 21-0.
LAST MEETING: Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter, 20-0, on October 28, 2016 in Class 2A sectional semifinal.
DID YOU KNOW: Cardinal Ritter has scored 34 or more points in four of its six wins. Scecina’s last four losses have been two to defending Class 2A state champion Cardinal Ritter and two to reigning Class 4A champ Roncalli.
COACH TALK: “We must work together as a group. We have to play fundamentally-sound football while rallying to the ball as a group. Coach Hurrle always has his group ready. We have to limit turnovers and big plays! It will be a great evening of football in a great stadium!” – Cardinal Ritter’s Ty Hunt.
“To beat Ritter, we will need to play a near perfect game. Their offense is very explosive, so we need to try and keep them off the field and not give up the big play. We will also need to score touchdowns when we get in the red-zone.” – Scecina’s Ott Hurrle.
INDIANAPOLIS RONCALLI (7-0) AT DECATUR CENTRAL (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Devere Stadium.
COACHES: Scott Marsh, 7-0 in first season at Indianapolis Roncalli, 34-55 in ninth season overall. Kyle Enright, 13-4 in second season at Decatur Central.
LAST CONTEST: Indianapolis Roncalli beat Fishers, 28-17. Decatur Central beat Greenwood, 13-12.
LAST MEETING: Indianapolis Roncalli, 43-25, on October 7, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Roncalli has won a school-best 22 straight games and 29 of its last 30 contests. Decatur Central’s last sectional title came in 2005.
LINTON-STOCKTON (5-2) AT EASTERN GREENE (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Thunder Field.
COACHES: Brian Oliver, 57-7 in fifth season at Linton-Stockton. Joey Paridaen, 30-11 in fourth season at Eastern Greene, 32-29 in sixth season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Linton-Stockton beat North Knox, 48-6. Eastern Greene beat Edinburgh, 61-16.
LAST MEETING: Linton-Stockton, 56-7, on November 11, 2016 in Class 1A regional final.
DID YOU KNOW: Linton-Stockton has not lost more than two games in a season since going 9-3 in 2010. Eastern Greene is looking for its first 8-0 start in program history.
COACH TALK: “Plain and simple, to win this game, we have to have the mentality that we can beat a team that we have never beaten before. We must take care of the football and not hurt ourselves with silly mistakes. We must play our best game overall and not beat ourselves. It should be a great game and atmosphere.” – Eastern Greene’s Joey Paridaen.
NEW HAVEN (7-0) AT EAST NOBLE (5-2)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, East Noble Field.
COACHES: Jim Rowland, 112-78 in 17th season at New Haven. Luke Amstutz, 44-17 in sixth season at East Noble, 70-32 in 10th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: New Haven beat Bellmont, 18-13. East Noble beat Columbia City, 42-0.
LAST MEETING: New Haven, 55-21, on October 7, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: New Haven has allowed seven or fewer points four times. East Noble has not experienced a losing season since 2001 when it went 1-9.
COACH TALK: “East Noble is a very good football team. They have a true dual-threat at quarterback in Andrew McCormick. We will have to contain him in the run game and be very disciplined on defense with their run-pass options. Offensively, we have to be sound up front against a very aggressive defensive front. This game could come down to special teams, a troubled area for us so far this season. We will have to play our most complete game to come away from Kendallville with a victory.” – East Noble’s Jim Rowland.
“To beat New Haven, we need to tackle well and not turn the ball over. If we do these things, we will have a great opportunity to win the game.” – East Noble’s Luke Amstutz.
NORTH VERMILLION (5-2) AT FOUNTAIN CENTRAL (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Mustang Stadium.
COACHES: Brian Crabtree, 63-9 in sixth season at North Vermillion, 98-48 in 13th season overall. Raymond Jones, 25-6 in third season at Fountain Central.
LAST CONTEST: North Vermillion beat Rockville, 41-7. Fountain Central lost to South Vermillion, 44-14.
LAST MEETING: Fountain Central, 54-8, on November 4, 2016 in Class 1A sectional final.
DID YOU KNOW: Before coming to North Vermillion in 2012, Brian Crabtree previously coached at North Putnam and North Central (Farmersburg). Fountain Central has dropped five of the last six matchups against North Vermillion.
COACH TALK: “As an offense, we will have to make them pay for bringing pressure. On defense, we will have to play assignment football and not freelance.” – North Vermillion’s Brian Crabtree.
“North Vermillion has had another great season, and like always is a well-coached and disciplined team. We will have to play well up front and take care of the football on offense and not put them in positions with a short field. Defensively, we will have to make sure to contain their skill position athletes who are talented again this season and secure tackles. This game has always been a great atmosphere and tough-nosed game from both sides. Looking forward to having the same game this Friday.” – Fountain Central Raymond Jones.
NORTHRIDGE (7-0) AT CONCORD (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Jake Field.
COACHES: Tom Wogomon, 35-18 in fifth season at Northridge, 60-55 in 11th season overall. Craig Koehler, 21-7 in third season at Concord.
LAST CONTEST: Northridge beat Goshen, 29-26. Concord beat Plymouth, 17-0.
LAST MEETING: Concord, 31-19, on October 7, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Northridge has never won eight games in a row to start the season. Concord has won at least a share of five of the last seven Northern Lakes Conference championships.
COACH TALK: “This game is really gonna be decided in the trenches. Concord is massive upfront and they want to run behind their big boys. We are going to have to be true in our run fits and use our quickness to our advantage because if they lock onto us, it is over. Concord is a team that can just grind on you for 10-12-play drives. That is something we need to avoid. Offensively, we need to hang on to the football and stay away from drive-killing mistakes. It should a great environment at Dunlap this Friday.” – Northridge’s Tom Wogomon.
“We are mirror images of one another on both sides of the ball. It is going to come down to turnover margin, penalties, and special teams. We must win in those areas to have a chance to win the game.” – Concord’s Craig Koehler.
SILVER CREEK (6-1) AT BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Blevins Stadium.
COACHES: John Dablow, 17-11 in third season at Silver Creek, 34-55 in ninth season overall. Reed May, 246-49 in 25th season at Brownstown Central.
LAST CONTEST: Silver Creek lost to North Harrison, 6-0. Brownstown Central beat Clarksville, 48-0.
LAST MEETING: Brownstown Central, 52-14, on October 7, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Silver Creek loss to North Harrison was the first time it was held scoreless since 2013. Brownstown Central is going for its seventh straight victory against Silver Creek.
COACH TALK: “We have another tough one this week. They are so well-coached that we cannot afford to make the same mistakes that we did last week. We need to protect the football and get first downs. Defensively, we need to make them earn every yard, and not give up the big play.” – Silver Creek’s John Dablow.
“Silver Creek has a tremendous team and a great defense that’s only given up 27 points all year. To be successful, we will have to be able to move the ball and score points. Offensively, they run the fly-sweep attack, so we must trust our reads and gang tackle.” – Brownstown Central’s Reed May.
SOUTH ADAMS (6-1) AT WOODLAN (6-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Leland Etzler Field.
COACHES: Grant Moser, 15-15 in third season at South Adams. Sherwood Haydock, 49-27 in seventh season at Woodlan, 182-146 in 30th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: South Adams beat Jay County, 45-28. Woodlan lost to Lima Central Catholic (Ohio), 27-20.
LAST MEETING: South Adams, 20-14, on October 28, 2016 in Class 2A sectional semifinal.
DID YOU KNOW: South Adams is off to its best start since posting a 10-2 record in 2011. Woodlan’s last regular season loss to an Indiana team was a 21-14 setback at South Adams in 2014.
COACH TALK: “We will have to get back to basics in our offense. Even though we average 46 points and almost 500 yards a game, we have been doing too much. It is time to scale back and execute better. This is a big game for us for two reasons. The first is we want to stay undefeated in the (Allen County) conference. This is also a ‘revenge’ game for us. South Adams upset us in the second round (of the playoffs) last year to finish our season and there has not been a workout or practice day that I have not reminded our team of that fact!” – Woodlan’s Sherwood Haydock.
WARREN CENTRAL (4-3) AT CARMEL (4-3)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Greyhound Stadium.
COACHES: Jayson West, 42-15 in fifth season at Warren Central, 94-27 in 10th season overall. John Hebert, 24-10 in third season at Carmel.
LAST CONTEST: Warren Central beat Lawrence North, 53-3. Carmel lost to Ben Davis, 28-10.
LAST MEETING: Warren Central, 40-30, on October 7, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Going back to the 2000 campaign, Warren Central’s only losing season came in 2012 when it went 5-6. Carmel has not finished below. 500 since 1997 when it was 4-6.
WESTERN BOONE (6-1) AT DANVILLE (7-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Warrior Field.
COACHES: Justin Pelley, 35-16 in fifth season at Western Boone. K.C. Woods, 17-3 in second season at Danville.
LAST CONTEST: Western Boone beat Southmont, 21-7. Danville beat Frankfort, 67-0.
LAST MEETING: Danville, 33-17, on October 7, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Western Boone has not captured a sectional title since 2001. Danville is scoring an average of 49 points and giving up 10.1 points per contest.
COACH TALK: “Danville has proved they are the team to beat in the Sagamore conference. We will need to take care of the football, limit penalties, and play fast in order to have a chance to win. I expect an intense, hard-fought game. Danville has big play ability from anywhere on the field and we look forward to the challenge that awaits us on Friday night.” – Western Boone’s Justin Pelley.
“Western Boone is a very well-rounded and balanced team. They have tremendous talent and are very well-coached. We will have to put forth our best effort and best execution level of the year. We have to communicate well on defense and be very sharp and disciplined on offense.” – Danville’s K.C. Woods.