BY PAUL CONDRY AND MATT KOPSEA
(ALL GAMES ON FRIDAY)
ANGOLA (8-0) AT EASTSIDE (6-2)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Blazer Field.
COACHES: Andy Thomas, 22-16 in fourth season at Angola, 112-83 in 18th season overall. Todd Mason, 6-2 in first season at Eastside.
LAST CONTEST: Angola beat Garrett, 24-6. Eastside beat Central Noble, 21-7.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Angola, 10-8, on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Angola is looking for its first unbeaten regular season since 1992. Eastside has dropped six of the last 10 meetings against Angola.
COACH TALK: “Eastside is a great team. They have speed and size. We need to take care of the ball on offense, and we need to be more consistent on defense. We cannot give up big plays and expect to win.” – Angola’s Andy Thomas.
“Angola is a very fundamentally sound football program across the board. Coach Thomas has done an exceptional job making his kids believe in his system, which is why they are currently undefeated. For us to have a chance to win, we must make them drive the field. We cannot allow big plays defensively. We must play great special teams and change field position. Offensively, we have to sustain drives and execute every play. We have to play a physical game from the opening whistle to the last whistle.” – Eastside’s Todd Mason.
ATTICA (7-1) AT SOUTH VERMILLION (6-2)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Wildcat Stadium.
COACHES: Ryan Good, 72-36 in 10th season at Attica. Greg Barrett, 6-2 in first season at South Vermillion, 63-36 in ninth season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Attica beat Clinton Central, 44-0. South Vermillion beat Seeger, 28-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Attica, 75-21, on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Attica has allowed just seven points over the last 12 quarters. South Vermillion is enjoying its first winning campaign since going 8-2 in 2009.
COACH TALK: “Our defense will have to play solid up front and our linebackers and defensive backs will have to key on a few of South Vermillion’s main athletes. Offensively, we will need to play mistake and penalty free while not giving up any turnovers.” – Attica’s Ryan Good.
“We need to slow them down and be very disciplined on defense. They are a very good team and they move the ball around. They are big up front and they have speed. Offensively, we need to control the ball and play mistake-free. A championship on the line and the team with the fewest mistakes will win.” – South Vermillion’s Greg Barrett.
CENTER GROVE (4-4) AT INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (3-5)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Indianapolis Tech High School.
COACHES: Eric Moore, 177-60 in 19th season at Center Grove, 225-65 in 23rd season overall. Rick Streiff, 217-76 in 23rd season at Indianapolis Cathedral, 238-108 in 28th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Center Grove beat Lawrence North, 16-0. Indianapolis Cathedral lost to Cleveland St. Edward’s (Ohio), 38-10.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Center Grove, 44-41, in overtime on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Center Grove is trying to avoid its first losing regular season since 2005. All of Cathedral’s losses have come to teams outside of Indiana.
COACH TALK: “Cathedral is another great test for the Center Grove Trojans. I think you can throw out both teams records for Fridays rivalry game. This is the first time Center Grove has played Cathedral away from Ray Skillman Stadium. Cathedral’s great size and speed will give the smaller Trojans’ huge problems in stopping the run and the passing of the fantastic Cathedral offense. Center Grove has been in a slump on offense and we really have to make some first downs and move the chains. First downs will be as important as points in this game. Center Grove can afford zero turnovers and MUST get a takeaway or two to be competitive. Once again, Cathedral arrives with a great running attack from (Markese) Stepp and a quarterback (Roman Purcell) who can do it all. But the Irish defense is a fast and physical bunch that will be difficult to block. The Center Grove offense will try to hit Cathedral with some big plays on offense to help the defense keep us in the game.” – Center Grove’s Eric Moore.
“Center Grove is always well-coached, disciplined, and ready to play, especially in week nine. We must be able to tackle their young running back (Carson Steele), take care of the football with no turnovers, and play great on special teams.” – Cathedral’s Rick Streiff.
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (5-3) AT EVANSVILLE REITZ (7-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, Reitz Bowl.
COACHES: Mike Goebel, 209-60 in 21st season at Evansville Mater Dei. Andy Hape, 46-11 in fifth season at Evansville Reitz.
LAST CONTEST: Evansville Mater Dei lost to Evansville Central, 40-17. Evansville Reitz beat Evansville Bosse, 55-14.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Reitz, 35-14, on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Mater Dei’s three losses (Lutheran Northern, Missouri, Evansville Memorial, and Evansville Central) have come to teams who have a combined record of 22-2. Evansville Reitz is averaging 38.4 points and allowing 16.1 points per contest.
COACH TALK: “This game is always one that is exciting, sometimes electric, with the atmosphere of these two neighboring schools meeting at the Reitz Bowl. Hopefully, our team can focus on the game plan and not the pageantry. Reitz is in the hunt for a city and conference title and they have defeated Evansville Central, the team that handed us a big loss last week. We realize that Coach Hape will have his team at the top of their game, so this will be a game of big time challenges. As far as the things we need to do to be competitive in the game, suffice it to say, we must play at our highest level and improve in every phase of the game.” – Mater Dei’s Mike Goebel.
“Week nine for the west side of Evansville is something truly special. Mater Dei is a great program and we will have to play fundamentally sound football in order to put our team in a position to be successful this Friday. Both teams are extremely balanced, so limiting mistakes will be key to success.” – Evansville Reitz’s Andy Hape.
EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (7-1) AT CASTLE (5-3)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, John Liddy Field.
COACHES: John Hurley, 66-53 in 10th season at Evansville Memorial. Doug Hurt, 91-46 in 12th season at Castle.
LAST CONTEST: Evansville Memorial beat Evansville Harrison, 42-6. Castle beat Evansville North, 35-7.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Evansville Memorial, 29-27, on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Evansville Memorial is in the midst of its best regular season since going unbeaten in 1989. Castle has won five of the last six matchups against Evansville Memorial.
COACH TALK: “We are excited to have the opportunity to compete for a conference title at Castle. We will have to play a complete game. Offensively, we will have to have better tempo and eliminate mental penalties. Defensively, we will need to stop their explosive passing game and stop the run. Coach Hurt does a tremendous job getting his kids ready to play. John Liddy Field is a tough place to go into and get a victory.” – Evansville Memorial’s John Hurley.
“We are going to have to be sound in every phase of the game. Memorial is a very talented, sound, well-coached football team. Their offense is explosive, but also has the ability to run the ball really well. Michael Lindauer, their quarterback, is among some of the best in the state. While their offense gets most of the press, their defense is maybe even more impressive. They are very fast and very talented. We are going to have to play well, and play well consistently to be able to move the ball and put up points. I think that turnovers will be a major story in the game. We are going to have to be able to create turnovers on defense and avoid them on offense. The kicking game and field position will be important as well.” – Castle’s Doug Hurt.
FORT WAYNE SNIDER (8-0) AT FORT WAYNE BISHOP LUERS (5-3)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Luers Field.
COACHES: Kurt Tippmann, 94-20 in ninth season at Fort Wayne Snider. Kyle Lindsay, 32-27 in fifth season at Fort Wayne Bishop Luers.
LAST CONTEST: Fort Wayne Snider beat Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger, 34-31. Fort Wayne Bishop Luers beat Fort Wayne South, 37-19.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Fort Wayne Snider, 52-27, on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Fort Wayne Snider has clinched a share of its sixth consecutive Summit Athletic Conference title. Going back to the 2000 season, Bishop Luers has endured only two losing seasons (2006 and 2013).
COACH TALK: “Bishop Luers is one of the top teams historically in the state of Indiana. This year’s team is no exception. They are extremely explosive on offense with all of their ball touchers capable of scoring any time they get the ball. Defensively, they bring pressures from different looks and in multiple ways. We will have to be good at recognizing their defensive blitzes and make sure we get a hat on a hat in our blocking schemes. Defensively, we have to run to the ball with good pursuit angles to defend their athletes and not give up easy big plays. We are battling for an undefeated regular season, something only 13 other Snider teams have accomplished in our rich history.” – Snider’s Kurt Tippmann.
“We will have to gang tackle their tandem of running backs and a mobile quarterback and be on great pursuit angles to slow down their terrific running game. Offensively, we must take care of the ball, limit penalties, and move the chains. Special teams’ coverage must be solid to ensure we aren’t defending a short field all night.” – Bishop Luers’ Kyle Lindsay.
GIBSON SOUTHERN (8-0) AT SOUTHRIDGE (7-1)
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Raider Field.
COACHES: Nick Hart, 64-8 in sixth season at Gibson Southern. Scott Buening, 42-14 in fifth season at Southridge, 54-42 in ninth season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Gibson Southern beat Tell City, 62-0. Southridge beat Pike Central, 56-8.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Gibson Southern, 38-35, on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Gibson Southern has limited opponents to seven or fewer points five times. Southridge has scored 34 or more points five times.
COACH TALK: “It will take an incredible effort to go on the road and defeat Southridge. They are very well-coached and disciplined. They do a great job with their shotgun Wing-T attack. We must have great eye discipline against them and control the line of scrimmage. On defense, they get after you and we have to be ready to pick up their different looks. As always, big plays and turnovers will play a big part in this big game.” – Gibson Southern’s Nick Hart.
“In order to beat Gibson Southern, we need to maintain our composure on defense against their fast-paced tempo. They have a high scoring offense that is very balanced with run and pass and is very versatile overall. They have been able to create a lot of turnovers this year and capitalize with points off those turnovers. It will be important that we finish drives with touchdowns and find ways to get off the field either via turnover or a field goal which would be a win for our defense against this team.” – Southridge’s Scott Buening.
GUERIN CATHOLIC (6-2) AT INDIANAPOLIS RONCALLI (7-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Roncalli Field.
COACHES: Tom Dilley, 30-12 in fourth season at Guerin Catholic, 110-89 in 18th season overall. Scott Marsh, 7-1 in first season at Indianapolis Roncalli, 34-56 in ninth season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Guerin Catholic beat Bowman Academy, 49-0. Indianapolis Roncalli lost to Decatur Central, 49-45.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Indianapolis Roncalli, 28-21, on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Guerin Catholic has been outscored 56-14 in its two losses to Indianapolis Bishop Chatard and Brebeuf Jesuit. Roncalli has won 13 straight home games.
COACH TALK: “This Roncalli team presents a tremendous challenge. They are a well-balanced team with strong offensive, defensive, and special teams’ units. Offensively, they possess the ability to run and throw the ball with proficiency. Defensively, they have talent in all three levels of the defense, a good defensive scheme, and they play fast. They are a team without any obvious weaknesses. To be successful, we will have to take care of the ball and execute. We must make them earn everything. We must be persistent and respond when situations are difficult. We are looking for this opportunity to play our best game of the season.” – Guerin Catholic’s Tom Dilley.
“To beat Guerin, we have to take care of the football and run the ball well. Defensively, we have to win first down and get off the field on third down.” – Roncalli’s Scott Marsh.
LOWELL (8-0) AT HOBART (6-2)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, The Brickyard.
COACHES: Keith Kilmer, 59-29 in eighth season at Lowell. Ryan Turley, 40-33 in seventh season at Hobart.
LAST CONTEST: Lowell beat Andrean, 16-0. Hobart lost to Munster, 7-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Lowell, 44-23, on November 11, 2016 in Class 4A regional final.
DID YOU KNOW: Lowell has surrendered nine or fewer points six times. Hobart won its first sectional last year since 1997.
COACH TALK: “It’s going to be a great atmosphere with a conference title on the line. We expect Hobart to be physical, fast, and fired up, so we are going to have to match their effort all night long. We are going to have to play mistake-free, grind it out offensive football and stiff, assignment defensive football all night long.” – Lowell’s Keith Kilmer.
“It’s going to be two great teams with two great defenses. I think it is going to come down to which teams offensive line can have success against the others defense. It will definitely be a battle in the trenches.” – Hobart’s Ryan Turley.
MONROE CENTRAL (8-0) AT SHENANDOAH (6-2)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Raider Field.
COACHES: John Hochstetler, 42-22 in sixth season at Monroe Central, 129-105 in 21st season overall. Jordan McCaslin, 6-2 in first season at Shenandoah.
LAST CONTEST: Monroe Central beat Anderson Prep Academy, 54-0. Shenandoah beat Eastern Hancock, 67-13.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Monroe Central, 16-0, on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Monroe Central is going for its second straight unbeaten regular season. Jordan McCaslin was the defensive coordinator at Shenandoah before taking over for Scott Widner in July.
COACH TALK: “We know the great tradition at Shenandoah. Playing at their place is a definite challenge. They make very few mistakes and pursue the ball incredibly well. It is a big challenge for everyone in our program.” – Monroe Central’s John Hochstetler.
“Monroe Central is a very talented group. We have to play a good football game to be successful against those guys. We cannot turn the ball over first of all. They have some size that we haven’t seen for a while, so matching their physicality will be key as well. We cannot give up a big one, so we must make them grind it out and have to drive the length of the field to score. This will be one of our main points of emphasis this week. I am looking forward to a fun Friday night of football. Coach Hochstetler and his staff do a great job, so it should be a great game.” – Shenandoah’s Jordan McCaslin.
NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG) (8-0) AT EASTERN GREENE (8-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Thunder Field.
COACHES: Travis Nolting, 49-24 in seventh season at North Central (Farmersburg). Joey Paridaen, 31-11 in fourth season at Eastern Greene, 33-29 in sixth season overall.
LAST CONTEST: North Central (Farmersburg) beat Wood Memorial, 41-2. Eastern Greene beat Linton-Stockton, 35-12.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Eastern Greene, 29-28, on September 23, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Both teams are looking for their unbeaten regular season. North Central has never won a sectional title. Eastern Greene is averaging 52.5 points per game.
COACH TALK: “Caleb Hamilton is the player we must stop in order to have success vs Eastern Greene. They are a well-coached team. They have a talented group of senior players. This game will come down to who wants it more and makes the fewest mistakes. This game is more than just a battle of unbeaten teams, it’s for the Thunderbird Trophy and the Southwest Conference title. This is the best NC football team we have had in some time. They have the chance to be the best ever. We have an absolutely loaded junior class that must ‘rise to the occasion’ on Friday night. Offensively, we must minimize turnovers, use our athletic and sizeable offensive and defensive lines to control the line of scrimmage, and our talented backfield of Dawson Basinger, Ty Thompson, and Blake Chatman must be on point. We also have to control the tempo of the game and time of possession and must win the special teams phase of the game as well. Defensively, we must slow down Caleb Hamilton. He is a big physical runner that we must tackle low. Our defensive line must play low and physical, play assignment football, and play solid on third down. We must win the special teams’ phase of the game as well.” – North Central’s Travis Nolting.
“First, we must make sure that we stay grounded and refocus this week after having a big win this past Friday. Then we must make sure that we continue taking care of the ball offensively and forcing turnovers defensively. We know that North Central’s offense is potent and will try to keep our offense off the field by running the football. We must force them into long down and distances and keep them off schedule. Our defense has improved each week, so this week must be no different.” – Eastern Greene’s Joey Paridaen.
PENN (7-1) AT MISHAWAKA (5-3)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Steele Stadium.
COACHES: Cory Yeoman, 161-31 in 15th season at Penn. Bart Curtis, 89-33 in 10th season at Mishawaka, 200-100 in 27th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Penn beat Elkhart Central, 47-3. Mishawaka beat Mishawaka Marian, 38-14.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Penn, 21-14, on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Penn beat Mishawaka 35 times in a row between 1981 and 2008. Bart Curtis has not registered a losing record since going 4-6 in his first season at New Prairie in 1997.
COACH TALK: “This is a game where you can throw the records out the window. It is always a hard-hitting, tough, physical contest in which you have to play to the best of your ability to come out on top. Offensively, we must get first downs and take care of the ball. Defensively we must play assignment football, get off of our blocks, and tackle well. Special teams also must limit big plays,” – Penn’s Cory Yeoman.
“We can’t give them any extra possessions because this will lead to catastrophic results. We have to be able to steal a possession from them. It is hard to do, but needs to happen to be in the game at the end to give us a chance to win. We can’t afford to get blown out early because Penn has the ability to do that to any team. This is for the NIC (Northern Indiana Conference) championship, so keep in mind we are literally playing for a trophy Friday night. It is easy to get caught up in the loss to Saint Joe and earlier season issues, so the bottom line is we want to play (and win) for championships and we have put ourselves in position for this Friday evening. We also want to enjoy the moment. Many kids and coaches never participate in a contest and atmosphere like this. We need to relish and cherish these football moments and make the most of them.” – Mishawaka’s Bart Curtis.
SOUTHWOOD (7-1) AT NORTHFIELD (7-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Dawes Field.
COACHES: Dave Snyder, 42-34 in seventh season at Southwood. Brandon Baker, 33-19 in fifth season at Northfield, 72-94 in 16th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Southwood beat Maconaquah, 45-7. Northfield beat Whitko, 64-6.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Southwood, 35-6, on September 1, 2017.
DID YOU KNOW: Southwood has scored 35 or more points seven times. Northfield’s last two losses have both come to Southwood.
COACH TALK: “We are very thankful we get a shot at playing for our conference championship. We stumbled in week four (North Miami) and had to have some help in week eight (Maconaquah) to get this opportunity. Northfield is a quality team that runs the flex-bone, and that always gives defenses fits. On defense. they mix fronts and coverages. They are solid with special teams and have an outstanding punter, along with good return people. We have to be solid in our protection in order to give (quarterback) Carson Blair time to make decisions. We feel we have some receivers capable of making big plays and that is what we rely on. On defense, we have to control the line of scrimmage. We feel we have to limit the fullback and slow down the perimeter game. We have to force punts and not allow long, clock- eating drives. Defending the flex-bone is assignment football which requires focus and discipline. Playing a team twice in the same season is a challenge, particularly a big rival like Northfield, but that is what makes high school football so great. We welcome and embrace that challenge.” – Southwood’s Dave Snyder.
“We need to play much better up front on both sides of the ball. Southwood owned us up front on offense the last time we played. Our defensive line will have our work cut out for us trying to contain one of the best quarterbacks in the state. They have athleticism all over the field. We can’t panic when they make big plays because they will. We just need to play Northfield football to give ourselves a chance to win.” – Northfield’s Brandon Baker.
TIPTON (8-0) AT WEST LAFAYETTE (7-1)
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Straley Field.
COACHES: Aaron Tolle, 94-52 in 13th season at Tipton. Shane Fry, 49-11 in fifth season at West Lafayette.
LAST CONTEST: Tipton beat Lewis Cass, 17-13. West Lafayette beat Twin Lakes, 70-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: West Lafayette, 48-7, on October 21, 2016 in Class 3A sectional opener.
DID YOU KNOW: Tipton has not finished 9-0 since 1997. West Lafayette has not allowed a point over the last 14 quarters.
COACH TALK: “For Tipton to be successful on Friday vs. West Lafayette, we must do a number of things. West Lafayette plays very fast on both sides of the ball; thus we must be able to play at this pace without making mistakes or turning the ball over. Their defensive front is very fast and athletic, so it will be a great challenge to block them and keep them from causing negative plays. Defensively, West Lafayette is huge and we must negate their size with our speed.” – Tipton’s Aaron Tolle.
‘We must win the turnover battle and score in the red zone where we have had three turnovers in in the last two games. We also have to contain their quarterback (K.J.) Roudebush because he is a great passer and dangerous runner.” – West Lafayette’s Shane Fry.
WOODLAN (7-1) AT ADAMS CENTRAL (6-2)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Minnich Field.
COACHES: Sherwood Haydock, 50-27 in seventh season at Woodlan, 183-146 in 30th season overall. Michael Mosser, 64-38 in ninth season at Adams Central.
LAST CONTEST: Woodlan beat South Adams, 25-3. Adams Central beat Bluffton, 46-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Woodlan, 28-16, on October 14, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Woodlan has won 26 straight regular season games against Indiana teams. Adams Central has dropped five games in a row to Woodlan.
COACH TALK: “We have had some great battles with Adams Central the past two years with the winner becoming ACAC champs. We have come out on top in these games; however, to do this again we have to play our absolute best. I do not see how they have lost two games. They will be the best team we have played this year. Their running game is fantastic with their fullback being a big bruiser and their wing back being super quick. They are very well-coached and rarely do anything to beat the themselves. Their quarterback does not have great stats, but is very effective when he does pass and is a good runner. For us to win, we have to OUTSCORE them!!!” – Woodlan’s Sherwood Haydock.
“It will take everything we have to beat the Warriors. We have tried to beat them the last two years for the same championship and failed both times. They definitely have our number. To beat them, we have to be able to put those defeats out of our mind and truly believe that we can win this game. No question that skill we be a factor too, but believing we can do it is the first obstacle we have to overcome. Secondly, we have to score points. Our offense has put up a lot of points lately, but it has been against lesser competition. Woodlan is really good defensively. so it’s a big test for our offense to continue to move the ball and score against a team like them. How we do against them will be a pretty good indicator how we will do in the sectional against teams like Woodlan. We also must stop them defensively, something that will be difficult since they too have been putting up a lot of points. Our defense is playing really good right now, but once again, is it because the competition has not been as good. We have to stop their run and pass game effectively or at least stop them more than they stop us if that is even possible. There are a lot of questions that this game will answer for us. We are definitely the underdogs, so our hope is that our guys will play good enough to have an opportunity to win at the end.” Adams Central’s Michael Mosser.