BY PAUL CONDRY AND MATT KOPSEA
BEN DAVIS (1-0) AT AVON (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Oriole Stadium.
COACHES: Jason Simmons, 1-0 in first season at Ben Davis, 27-19 in fifth season overall. Mark Bless, 67-29 in ninth season at Avon, 216-96 in 29th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Ben Davis beat Indianapolis Tech, 51-6. Avon beat Plainfield, 44-13.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Ben Davis, 57-20, on November 17, 2017 in Class 6A semistate.
TOP PERFORMERS: Delbert Mimms III ran 10 times for 77 yards and three touchdowns for the Giants against Tech. Sampson James accumulated 14 carries for 147 yards and one score for the Orioles against Plainfield.
CHALK TALK: “We need to attempt to neutralize the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball to compete with Avon. We need to find some creases to run the ball and find a way to slow down their run game to be successful. We must tackle better than we did in the opener to slow down the exceptional run game they have.”- Ben Davis’ Jason Simmons.
CASCADE (1-0) AT MONROVIA (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Hadley Field.
COACHES: Steve Spinks, 7-15 in third season at Cascade. Kevin Hutchins, 76-38 in 10th season at Monrovia, 93-71 in 15th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Cascade beat Danville, 28-21. Monrovia beat Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter, 15-6.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Monrovia, 57-20, on August 25, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Dylan Koltkamp’s five-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Sanders proved to be the game-winner for the Cadets against Danville. Clay Whitney ran 25 times for 155 yards and one score for the Bulldogs against Cardinal Ritter.
CHALK TALK: “To win this Friday against the Bulldogs, we need to be ready for an all-out fistfight. These are two teams with similar beliefs in pounding the football offensively, playing great defense, and executing in the kicking game. We have a great deal of respect for Monrovia, their coaching staff, and fan base. It is definitely a game that will do nothing but benefit us as we try to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a state title. Whichever team is the most physical on Friday night will win.” – Cascade’s Steve Spinks.
“With the diverse ‘Fly’ offense that Cascade runs, our players must be disciplined and play gap sound defense in order to slow them down on the offensive side of the ball. Offensively, we must keep the chains moving and become more consistent in the red zone. We must win the turnover battle and block and tackle better than they do. Cascade is a much improved team and will give us all we can handle and we must answer the bell. We must play with determination and resiliency to combat the highs and lows that come in a high school football game.” – Monrovia’s Kevin Hutchins.
CENTER GROVE (0-1) AT NEW PALESTINE (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. EDT, Kelso Stadium.
COACHES: Eric Moore, 179-63 in 20th season at Center Grove, 227-68 in 24th season overall. Kyle Ralph, 61-4 in sixth season at New Palestine.
LAST CONTEST: Center Grove lost to Warren Central, 27-15. New Palestine beat Kokomo, 77-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: None.
TOP PERFORMERS: Carson Steele scampered 26 times for 86 yards and a touchdown for the Trojans against Warren Central. Zach Neligh was 9-of-10 for 172 yards and two scores for the Dragons against Kokomo.
CHALK TALK: “This week’s game vs. New Pal is the first time in my 20 years at Center Grove that the two programs have faced each other. This is another top ranked program that the Trojans will be facing. It is an honor to travel to New Pal and compete against what is one of the best programs in the state. Coach Ralph is a football genius, and has done maybe one of the best jobs of coaching in the state. He has developed a team and a great tradition in such a short time. Have to really give him credit for the entire community buying in on what he has led them to. The Trojans are quite beat up after a tough loss to a great Warren Central team. One factor of the game is if we can battle back and fight hard against another great high school football team, and be able to compete. To win, the Trojans have to control the ball from the unbelievable Dragon offense. Turnovers and penalties will be a huge factor and we must play a perfect game to compete with this New Pal team. It would also help if we can hold the states leading rusher (Charlie Spegal), and get our version of the run game playing at a high level.” – Center Grove’s Eric Moore.
“We have to be able to physically and mentally compete with their ‘Wing-T’ offense, while our offense needs to get quality possessions and not turn the football over. We have to be able to play four quarters against a team that is much bigger and deeper than we are.” – New Palestine’s Kyle Ralph.
CHARLESTOWN (1-0) AT BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Blevins Stadium.
COACHES: Jason Hawkins, 81-31 in 11th season at Charlestown, 87-44 in 13th season overall. Reed May, 249-50 in 26th season at Brownstown.
LAST CONTEST: Charlestown beat Silver Creek, 32-14. Brownstown beat Corydon Central, 49-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Brownstown, 43-14, on August 25, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Marion Lukes tallied 23 carries for 247 yards and two touchdowns for the Pirates against Silver Creek. Hayden Kinsler tossed for 155 yards for the Braves against Corydon Central.
CHALK TALK: “Reed May is a Hall of Fame coach and gets his team to play at another level from everybody else. We will have to match their intensity. We can’t turn the ball over or make any silly mistakes.” – Charlestown’s Jason Hawkins.
“To be successful vs. Charlestown. we need play good team defense and be able to contain their great tailback Marion Lukes. Offensively, we need to win the line of scrimmage and be able to sustain long drives with our ball control offense.” – Brownstown Central’s Reed May.
COLUMBUS EAST (0-1) AT COLUMBUS NORTH (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Andress Field.
COACHES: Bob Gaddis, 186-35 in 18th season at Columbus East, 304-135 in 40th season overall. Tim Bless, 123-81 in 19th season at Columbus North, 135-90 in 21st season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Columbus East lost to Whiteland, 26-20. Columbus North beat Franklin, 64-7.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Columbus North, 34-17, on August 25, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Lance Greiwe totaled 17 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown for the Olympians against Whiteland. Michael Johnson ran 23 times for 152 yards and a score for the Bulldogs against Franklin.
CHALK TALK: “We will need to avoid giving up the big plays against their potent offense, as well as battle for field position and possessions.” – Columbus East’s Bob Gaddis.
“To win on Friday, we must clean up deficiencies from week one. Most notably, we must have better ball security and commit fewer silly penalties. Additionally, our veterans must lead us through this big-game atmosphere by keeping us steady mentally, physically, and emotionally.” – Columbus North’s Tim Bless.
EAST NOBLE (1-0) AT WARSAW (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Fisher Field.
COACHES: Luke Amstutz, 48-18 in seventh season at East Noble, 74-33 in 11th season overall. Bart Curtis, 1-0 in first season at Warsaw, 202-102 in 28th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: East Noble beat Plymouth, 16-6. Warsaw beat Columbia City, 10-8.
PREVIOUS MEETING: East Noble, 28-7, on August 25, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Bailey Parker threw for 174 yards for the Knights against Plymouth. Bryce Garner had 20 rushes for 75 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers against Columbia City.
CHALK TALK: “East Noble is an established program that seems to plug players into their system each season. They are well-coached, well-schooled, and extremely disciplined. Coach Amstutz and his staff coach physical football while utilizing their athletic talent extremely well. This will be the last meeting between the two schools in football as Warsaw has contracted Michigan City (four-year deal) beginning in 2019 (week two). Warsaw is 1-4 overall vs. East Noble and has the opportunity to start 2-0 for the first time in 10 years. The Tigers cannot put the ball on the ground if they expect to be in the game. We must also control, eliminate big plays from the Knights while tackling MUCH BETTER than last week.” – Warsaw’s Bart Curtis
HOMESTEAD (1-0) AT FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Zollner Stadium.
COACHES: Chad Zolman, 119-37 in 15th season at Homestead. Tim Mannigel, 42-50 in ninth season at Concordia.
LAST CONTEST: Homestead beat Fort Wayne Northrop, 45-28. Concordia beat Fort Wayne South, 42-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Homestead, 49-25, on August 25, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Cameron Rogers rambled six times for 68 yards and a pair of scores for the Spartans against F.W. Northrop. Amir Drew racked up 10 carries for 122 yards and a score for the Cadets against F.W. South.
CHALK TALK: “Concordia has a very good group of skill players on offense that will be a challenge to contain. We have to be assignment sound and play fast defensively. Offensively, we will need to make sure we are patient and efficient in our approach to attacking this well-coached, disciplined defense from Concordia.” – Homestead’s Chad Zolman.
“Homestead is one of the top teams in our conference, so we will need to play a very clean game offensively. That really is the key to what we do. If we’re able to string possessions together without turning the ball over, we can be pretty dangerous. Defensively, Homestead will really challenge our athleticism. They have a lot of weapons. We will have to fly to the football and gang tackle. One guy will not be able to make the play on his own.” – Concordia’s Tim Mannigel.
HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR (ILL.) (0-0) AT MICHIGAN CITY (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. CDT, Ames Field.
COACHES: Phil Mason, 17-8 in third season at Michigan City, 130-69 in 18th season overall. Craig Buzea, 75-20, in ninth season at Flossmoor, 194-83 in 25th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Michigan City beat Griffith, 53-0.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.), 63-21, on August 25, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Kameron Muhammed hauled in two touchdowns passes for the Wolves against Griffith. The Vikings have not had a losing season since 2009.
CHALK TALK: “Homewood-Flossmoor is just not a state power in Illinois. They are looked at as a national power. This is a great test for our kids. I don’t know if we will see a team with this much talent anywhere in Class 5A. We have to focus on executing what we do and play hard smart and fast. I know our kids will compete hard, that’s for sure. We learned a lot from playing them last year.” – Michigan City’s Phil Mason.
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (1-0) AT BROWNSBURG (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Roard Stadium.
COACHES: Bill Peebles, 1-0 in first season at Cathedral, 75-65 in 14th season overall. John Hart, 17-5 in third season at Brownsburg, 285-87 in 34th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Cathedral beat Noblesville, 31-7. Brownsburg beat Bloomington South, 44-13.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Cathedral, 28-13, on November 5, 1999 in Class 4A sectional final.
TOP PERFORMERS: Bo Sanders recorded eight catches for 103 yards and one score for the Irish against Noblesville. Brandon Burks ran seven times for 98 yards with a touchdown for the Bulldogs against Bloomington South.
CHALK TALK: “We are facing a very good Brownsburg team. They are a very complete team that has few holes and some special players. We will have to play physical up front on both sides of the ball and we will have to find a way to contain their top wide receiver Bryce Kirtz. He scored four times on eight touches last week. It should be a great environment on the west side this Friday.” – Cathedral’s Bill Peebles.
“Cathedral has a great tradition and I’m quite sure we aren’t the ‘biggest fish’ on their schedule to catch. I have tremendous respect for Coach Peebles and Cathedral football. We felt if Cathedral had not dominated Noblesville in special teams and field position that they could have competed with them last Friday. With that said, we want to be special on special teams and make Cathedral drive the ball. No cheap plays. We have to be more physical and get Bryce Kirtz on big plays.” Brownsburg’s John Hart.
LEO (1-0) AT ANGOLA (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Angola Stadium.
COACHES: Jared Sauder, 102-33 in 13th season at Leo. Andy Thomas, 27-17 in fifth season at Angola, 117-84 in 19th season overall.
LAST CONTEST: Leo beat Woodlan, 6-0. Angola beat DeKalb, 31-20.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Angola, 41-35, on August 25, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Cameron Livingston hauled in a 28-yard touchdown reception for the Lions against Woodlan. Chase Schnepf accounted for two touchdowns for the Hornets against DeKalb.
CHALK TALK: “Our kids played hard against DeKalb, but we have a lot of things we need to clean up to be able to play well against Leo. We need to match their intensity. Leo will be highly motivated to play us. We need to play better fundamentally at all position groups. Leo is a tremendous team. They have great players and are well-coached. They will not beat themselves. They will make us execute and not make mistakes.” – Angola’s Andy Thomas.
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS) (1-0) AT HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Royal Stadium.
COACHES: Kevin O’Shea, 4-7 in second season at North Central, 218-80 in 26th season overall. Adam Morris, 1-0 in first season at Hamilton Southeastern, 14-8 in third season overall.
LAST CONTEST: North Central beat Fishers, 31-7. Hamilton Southeastern beat Lawrence Central, 21-20.
PREVIOUS MEETING: North Central, 37-14, on August 25, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Tre’von Elliott racked up four catches for 132 yards and one score for the Panthers against Fishers. Koby Sparks passed for 141 yards for the Royals against Lawrence Central.
CHALK TALK: “To win Friday at Hamilton Southeastern, we will need to slow down their up-tempo offense and control the football when we are on offense.” – North Central’s Kevin O’Shea.
NORTHRIDGE (1-0) AT SOUTH BEND SAINT JOSEPH (1-0)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. EDT, Father Bly Field.
COACHES: Tom Wogomon, 38-19 in sixth season at Northridge, 63-56 in 12th season overall. Bryon Whitten, 8-15 in third season at Saint Joseph.
LAST CONTEST: Northridge beat South Bend Adams, 21-12. Saint Joseph beat Concord, 28-14.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Northridge, 27-10, on August 25, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Julius Graber scampered for 74 yards with a touchdown and also intercepted a pass for the Raiders against South Bend Adams. Ashton Ruszkowski threw and ran a for a touchdown for the Indians against Concord.
CHALK TALK: “For us to win vs. Northridge, we have to eliminate our mistakes. This past week against a very good Concord team, we were able to overcome four turnovers and two blocked extra-points. The first thing that we have to do is eliminate these mental errors to give us the best chance at winning against another very strong Tom Wogoman-coached Raider team.” – Saint Joseph’s Bryon Whitten.
WARREN CENTRAL (1-0) AT LOUISVILLE TRINITY (KY.) (0-1)
KICKOFF: 6 p.m. EDT, Marshall Stadium.
COACHES: Jayson West, 46-16 in sixth season at Warren Central, 98-28 in 11th season overall. Bob Beatty, 224-36 in 19th season at Trinity.
LAST CONTEST: Warren Central beat Center Grove, 27-15. Trinity lost to Carmel, 24-21.
PREVIOUS MEETING: Louisville Trinity (Ky.), 42-41, on August 25, 2017.
TOP PERFORMERS: Jayden George was 12-of-23 for 169 yards and one score for the Warriors against Center Grove. Seth Jutz had 126 yards through the air with a touchdown for the Shamrocks against Carmel.
CHALK TALK: “We have to stay calm and play good sound basic defense as they get into tons of formations etc. They are very well-coached, so we have to play very clean on offense and try to sustain drives to keep their offense off of the field. We have to win the big play battle and have another good week on special teams to have a chance to win. This is going to be a great and tough game as we have to play one of the best teams in the country at their place.” – Warren Central’s Jayson West.