BY PAUL CONDRY AND MATT KOPSEA
CENTER GROVE (1-1) AT CARMEL (1-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Greyhound Stadium.
COACHES: Eric Moore, 174-57 in 19th season at Center Grove, 222-62 in 23rd season overall. John Hebert, 21-8 in third season at Carmel.
LAST CONTEST: Center Grove beat Whiteland, 41-0. Carmel beat Noblesville, 31-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Carmel, 16-13 in overtime on November 25, 2016 in the Class 6A state title game.
DID YOU KNOW: Center Grove has won the last two meetings between the two clubs at Greyhound Stadium, while Carmel has not been blanked in a game since 2008.
COACH TALK: “The Center Grove-Carmel game always provides the state an early look at two of the top programs each year. For the second time in the games existence it comes after the teams faced each other in a state championship game. Ironically, both times the team who won the regular season game lost in the state championship game. This will be the most inexperienced Trojan team to ever play at Carmel. The Trojans will have figure out the tremendous Carmel defense to have any success, but the Center Grove defense will also be under great stress against that awesome Carmel offense. The Trojans will have to use their excellent kickers to keep the field flipped and try to get first downs. They could be as big as points in keeping Carmel’s offense on the sideline. There will be no room for any turnovers and our offense must make a big play at some point. Both the offense and defense must try to win a grind it out old style game for the Trojans to have a chance. At any rate. it will hopefully be another great game in a series that has provided some of the greatest finishes of all time.” – Center Grove’s Eric Moore.
EVANSVILLE REITZ (2-0) AT CASTLE (2-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, John Liddy Field.
COACHES: Andy Hape, 41-10 in fifth season at Evansville Reitz. Doug Hurt, 88-43 in 12th season at Castle.
LAST CONTEST: Evansville Reitz beat Owensboro Catholic (Ky.), 34-0. Castle beat New Albany, 56-49.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Castle, 25-22, on September 2, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Evansville Reitz has not had a losing season since 1998, while Castle’s last below .500 finish came in 2010.
COACH TALK: “Anytime you travel to Paradise, Indiana to play Castle, your TEAM better be ready to play. Coach Hurt has done a terrific job building a top-notch program. We are going to have to be efficient on offense and stingy on defense to give us a chance. Throw in the fact that you will have to overcome some adversity along the way and it looks to be a great high school football game.” – Reitz’s Andy Hape.
“We have to get both sides of the ball playing together at the same time. In week one, our offense put up points both for us and for Terre Haute South. We threw two pick-six’s and a third interception was returned down to the three-yard line. We were very fortunate to be in the game, much less win it. Our defense was outstanding and kept us in the game. Last week, we gave up almost 700 yards of offense on the defensive side of the ball, around 400 of that being on the ground. Our offense was on fire and was outstanding in leading us to victory against New Albany. We need to put a complete game together and play well on both sides of the ball, and we must dominate the kicking game. The game is at home, which certainly doesn’t hurt. Castle vs. Reitz is a unique experience for fans as we expect to have in excess of 5,000 fans in the stands to see the game. If we can put it all together, I like our chances. If we have a performance like we had on either side of the ball in games one and two, it will be a long night for the Knights.” – Castle’s Doug Hurt.
FORT WAYNE BISHOP LUERS (2-0) AT HOMESTEAD (2-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Walters Stadium.
COACHES: Kyle Lindsay, 29-24 in fifth season at Fort Wayne Bishop Luers. Chad Zolman, 112-35 in 14th season at Homestead.
LAST CONTEST: Fort Wayne Bishop Luers beat Fort Wayne Wayne, 28-20. Homestead beat Fort Wayne Concordia, 49-25.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Homestead, 38-27, on September 2, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Bishop Luers is going after its first 3-0 start since 2010, while Homestead recorded more than 400 yards of offense against defending Class 3A state champion Concordia Lutheran.
COACH TALK: “Luers is loaded with talent and is well-coached. We will have to play at a high level on both sides of the ball to be successful.” – Homestead’s Chad Zolman.
INDIANAPOLIS RONCALLI (2-0) AT INDIANAPOLIS BISHOP CHATARD (1-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, St. Vincent’s Health Field.
COACHES: Scott Marsh, 2-0 in first season at Indianapolis Roncalli, 29-55 in ninth season overall. Rob Doyle, 1-1 in first season at Indianapolis Bishop Chatard.
LAST CONTEST: Indianapolis Roncalli beat Franklin Central, 37-21. Indianapolis Bishop Chatard lost to Lawrence Central, 24-16.
LAST MEETING: Indianapolis Roncalli, 21-14, on September 2, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Roncalli tallied 23 points in the second quarter against Franklin Central, while Bishop Chatard converted field goals of 42, 19, and 36 yards against Lawrence Central.
COACH TALK: “For us to win Friday, we have to not give Chatard extra possessions through turnovers, assert ourselves as the more physical of the two teams, know our assignments and have each man execute in all three facets.” – Roncalli’s Scott Marsh.
LAWRENCE CENTRAL (2-0) AT LAWRENCE NORTH (2-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Bell Field.
COACHES: Bill Peebles, 8-5 in second season at Lawrence Central, 70-61 in 13th season overall. Patrick Mallory, 10-32 in fifth season at Lawrence North, 24-40 in seventh season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Lawrence Central beat Indianapolis Chatard, 24-16. Lawrence North beat Brownsburg, 34-13.
LAST MEETING: Lawrence Central, 27-25, on September 2, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Lawrence Central has not won a sectional title since capturing the 2012 Class 5A state championship, while Lawrence North’s last sectional crown came in 1990.
COACH TALK: “For us to win this week, we have to play mistake-free football. Last week, we put the ball on the ground four times. If that happens, we will get beat. Lawrence North is a very good team. They are strong up front on both sides of the ball and have explosive players everywhere.” – Lawrence Central’s Bill Peebles.
“We must continue playing fast and physical. I believe our guys are trusting the process and need to keep grinding. Offensively, we must attack the entire field. Defensively, we need to keep moving and making plays on the ball. Our defensive line needs to keep up the pressure and allow our back seven to stay in coverage.” – Lawrence North’s Pat Mallory.
LEBANON (2-0) AT DANVILLE (2-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Warrior Stadium.
COACHES: Jeff Smock, 2-0 in second season at Lebanon. K.C. Woods, 12-3 in 2nd season at Danville, 20-7 in third season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Lebanon beat Zionsville, 34-31. Danville beat Mooresville, 59-17.
LAST MEETING: Lebanon, 28-21, on September 2, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Lebanon’s last 3-0 start came in 2014, while Danville has not opened 3-0 since 2002.
COACH TALK: “We need to continue to play for each other and raise the bar. Defensively, we have to tackle well with the great athletes that Danville has. Offensively, we need to continue to be efficient and repeat our efforts last week of zero turnovers.” – Lebanon’s Jeff Smock.
“In order to beat the Tigers this Friday, we have to play very disciplined defense against what I consider one of the top running backs (Jaylin Washington) in the entire state. We have to tackle well and get a lot of guys to the football. Offensively, we need to continue to do a good job of taking what we’re given and not pressing the issue trying to force plays.” – Danville’s K.C. Woods.
NEW PRAIRIE (1-1) AT ANDREAN (2-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, Father Eckert Field.
COACHES: Russ Radtke, 50-13 in sixth season at New Prairie, 340-133 in 41st season overall. Chris Skinner, 7-6 in second season at Andrean.
LAST CONTEST: New Prairie beat South Bend Clay, 73-0. Andrean beat Hammond Noll, 58-21.
LAST MEETING: New Prairie, 28-14, on October 28, 2016 in Class 4A sectional semifinal.
DID YOU KNOW: New Prairie ran for more than 500 yards against Clay, while Andrean scored the game’s first 31 points against Hammond Bishop Noll.
COACH TALK: “For New Prairie to come away with a win Friday, we will need to prevent Andrean from big play opportunities. We have to play aggressive, but under control and force them to have some three-and-outs. Offensively, we will need to make sure we are firing on all cylinders. Our quarterback (Nick Wilson) needs to get us in the right play and the line needs to have us in the right scheme.” – New Prairie assistant coach Bill Gumm.
“Defensively, we must be disciplined. Everyone must take care of their responsibility. We can’t try to do too much. If we end up encroaching on someone else’s assignment, they will make you pay for it. Offensively, we need to have a good balance of run and pass. Against Merrillville, we were run-heavy. Against Bishop Noll, we were pass-heavy. We need to have a balance between the two on Friday.” – Andrean’s Chris Skinner.
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS) (2-0) AT WARREN CENTRAL (1-1)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Warrior Field.
COACHES: Kevin O’Shea, 2-0 in first season at North Central (Indianapolis), 216-73 in 25th season overall. Jayson West, 39-13 in fifth season at Warren Central, 91-25 in 10th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: North Central (Indianapolis) beat Hamilton Southeastern, 37-14. Warren Central lost to Louisville Trinity (Ky.), 42-41.
LAST MEETING: Warren Central, 45-3, on September 2, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: North Central has not opened the season with three straight wins since 2000, while Warren Central has won the last 26 meetings between the two clubs.
COACH TALK: “Warren Central is one of the premier programs in the state and in the nation. For us to compete, we will need to play a near perfect game. This means no turnovers and our offense making first downs. Field position will be a key as well.” – North Central’s Kevin O’Shea.
“North Central is a senior-laden team with a new coach and they are on a roll. So, we have to play very well against a very physically big team with momentum or we will be in trouble. We must eliminate big plays and penalties to be successful.” – Warren Central’s Jayson West.
NORTHWOOD (2-0) AT CONCORD (2-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Jake Field.
COACHES: Nate Andrews, 30-10 in fourth season at NorthWood, 70-49 in 11th season overall. Craig Koehler, 16-7 in third season at Concord.
LAST CONTEST: NorthWood beat Fairfield, 42-0. Concord beat Elkhart Memorial, 38-14.
LAST MEETING: NorthWood, 50-32, on September 2, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: NorthWood exploded for 20 points in the opening quarter against Fairfield, while Concord racked up more than 300 total yards against Elkhart Memorial.
COACH TALK: “We have to find a way to negate the size and strength that Concord has up front. As always, how we respond to sudden change will be a big factor in the game.” NorthWood’s Nate Andrews.
“Lots of clichés here, but they are so true this week. NorthWood is as advertised. There are three areas that are a top priority. We must control time of possession with our running game, keep the ball in front of us on defense, and win the turnover margin. It will be extremely difficult to win if we fail in any of these areas.” – Concord’s Craig Koehler.
SHERIDAN (1-1) AT TRI-CENTRAL (2-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Tri-Central Field.
COACHES: Larry Wright, 401-187 in 52nd season at Sheridan, 402-190 in 53rd season overall. George Gilbert, 59-34 in ninth season at Tri-Central, 220-170 in 37th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Sheridan beat Clinton Central, 56-6. Tri-Central beat Taylor, 37-21.
LAST MEETING: Sheridan, 21-0, on September 23, 2016.
DID YOU KNOW: Sheridan allowed just 36 yards rushing against Clinton Central, while Tri-Central racked up 260 yards on the ground against Taylor.
COACH TALK: “In order to beat Tri-Central, we must pay attention to our assignments to stop their option game. We must read our keys and not get caught looking for the ball. We must keep our attention on our keys to react to their play option passes. On offense, we must block their aggressive defense and hold our blocks. We must take advantage of any breaks we get. If we do these things we can win the game.” – Sheridan’s Bud Wright.
“Sheridan is reminiscent of the Sheridan of old. Bud has the boys hitting on all cylinders. They have great size and one of Class 1A football’s top running backs (Joe Callahan). We have been a late starter in our first two outings, so we will need to start quickly to compete. We will need to have success throwing the ball while we run our veer offense. We will need to stop the belly option and the power off-tackle. It should be a great Class 1A contest. The Sheridan Belly option series vs. the Split Back Veer offense. You really can’t get much more old school than that. We will play not unlike our first meeting some 30 years ago.” – Tri-Central’s George Gilbert.
TERRE HAUTE SOUTH (0-2) AT TERRE HAUTE NORTH (2-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Patriot Field.
COACHES: Tim Herrin, 14-30 in fifth season at Terre Haute South. Chris Barrett, 69-98 in 16th season at Terre Haute North, 97-130 in 23rd season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Terre Haute South lost to Bedford North Lawrence, 44-41. Terre Haute North beat Evansville Harrison, 44-15.
LAST MEETING: Terre Haute North, 6-0, Oct. 28, 2016 in Class 5A sectional semifinal.
DID YOU KNOW: Terre Haute South is looking to avoid its second straight 0-3 start, while Terre haute North has not started 3-0 since 2010.
COACH TALK: “For us to win on Friday, we will need to continue using all our weapons on offense to keep Terre Haute North off balance and limit their big plays.” – Terre Haute South’s Tim Herrin.
“To win in a rivalry game, it really comes down to the elimination of distractions and focusing on fundamentals. There will be a lot events and extra “hype” this week, but those things are for the student body and fans. The game is for us. Like most games, the turnover margin will be a critical factor as well as our ability to eat the clock up, keep the ball out of South’s explosive offense hands, as well as finish those drives. We will have to tackle well in space and cover well on special teams due to their explosive athletes.” – Terre Haute North’s Chris Barrett.