Jump to content
  • Current Donation Goals

    • Raised $3,142.05 of $3,600 target

Gridiron Digest Indiana Football Report - Week 5


Recommended Posts

Northview, Owen Valley meet for WIC supremacy

In West Central Indiana, two programs on the rise will meet on the gridiron this Friday night as Northview and Owen Valley meet in a matchup of 4-0 programs. 

Owen Valley is ranked No. 10 in Class 3A, while Northview sits just outside the IFCA Class 4A poll.

OV has rolled up its record with an offense that is averaging 58 points per game and has scored at least 40 points in each of its four outings, including a 57-7 victory over rival Edgewood last week. 

Meanwhile, Northview’s defense has allowed three touchdowns in the last three weeks, downing West Vigo 41-6 last week after a 28-7 victory over a solid Sullivan squad the week before. 

Northview has been the team to beat in the WIC since coach Mark Raetz took over in 2013, posting nine consecutive winning seasons heading into this year, including a 9-2, sectional runner-up season last year, but hit the ground running with a 27-21 victory over 5A Terre Haute North to open the year. 

“We have a smaller senior class this year, but where we had our returning senior experience is on our offensive and defensive lines,” Raetz said. “We've relied heavily on our line group to provide leadership and promote our culture as we've gotten our younger skill players up to speed. The win against Terre Haute North was big for our program. It gave our team confidence and showed them they could play with a bigger, senior-dominated team.” 

Defensively, the Knights’ success begins up front, where all four defensive linemen - Gabe Stockrahm, Dalton Simmons, Devon Barnhart and Dakota Mackey - are returning varsity starters. Several are also part of that strong offensive line. 

Offensively, the Knights have relied on a powerful running game that averages 332 yards per contest. It’s led by junior quarterback Kyle Cottee - who has 581 yards and averages 7.7 yards per carry in addition to 233 passing yards - and junior running back Imer Holman, who has 478 yards and averages 8.2 yards per carry. 

“It's no secret that our offense is based off having a strong run game, and Imer and Kyle are our two main ballcarriers,” Raetz said. “Our offensive line has done a great job opening holes and running lanes so far this season. The level of competition is going to crank up a notch, so hopefully we will continue to run the ball well.” 

Owen Valley had a resurgence in 2021, going 10-2 and winning the program’s first sectional title since 1992. The Patriots have built on that in head coach Rob Gibson’s second season. They posted a 57-34 victory over South Putnam - Gibson’s alma mater - in Week 2 before a 41-39 OT win over Indian Creek the following week. 

“Our coaches and players have all bought into a big challenge of changing the way we do everything. The seniors last year really took the lead over our team and never looked back, so the example that they set for the younger classes really benefited us going into this season,” Gibson said. “Our group this year picked up in November right where we left off in terms of the level of dedication and relentless effort that it takes to win games in this league. Games are won from December through July and our guys have bought into that. 

“We can say a ton of positive things about all four of the teams that we have played. The Week 2 game against South Putnam was a good test for us to find out how we would play for four whole quarters. Indian Creek Week 3 has to be a WIC classic. Two teams showed up ready to play and whoever had the ball and the marker last was going to win.” 

The strong 2021 rolled into the start to 2022. Senior quarterback Brody Lester is completing 69 percent of his passes for 751 yards and 12 TDs so far, leading an explosive offense. Running back Christian McDonald has run for 471 yards and nine TDs and also has caught nine passes for 208 yards and two scores. Gibson said Lester is the first two-year quarterback he has had, and seeing how he grew in the scheme in a second year has been a significant benefit. 

“Knowing we were losing a lot of really talented players last year even further sparked our staff to find ways to maximize what we believe we are good at and improve what we believe we weren't. That starts with Brody and Christian. Both of them would tell you to look to the offensive line, who is playing well right now,” Gibson said. “But Brody is in command of everything we do right now on offense.” 

Owen Valley, which will host this year’s contest, won last year’s meeting 24-14, but the standard for success has been set by the Knights for years. 

“Northview is the team in the WIC that everyone has been chasing and striving to be like for a long time,” Gibson said. “They are still the team to beat every year. They are incredibly well coached, make very few mistakes, and they play for 48 minutes - regardless of who is in and who they're playing. Mark does a really good job understanding his guys and putting them in positions to be successful based on their strengths. We all try to do that, but he does it very well. So in order for us to be successful against them, we have to understand that good teams make plays. We have to manage the highs and lows of a game of this magnitude.” 

The Knights see a strong opponent on the opposite side of the ball. 

“Owen Valley will be the toughest opponent we've seen so far this season,” Raetz said. “They really have no weaknesses.  They are explosive on offense in both the run game and pass game.  They play sound, fundamental defense.  They are solid in the kicking game.  And they are very well-coached.  We will definitely have our work cut out for us.  We'll have to play well in all phases of the game to be able to win at their place.” 

Lancers finding new-found success

In Edinburgh, the Lancers are in a position they’ve not been since the JFK administration - undefeated after Week 4. 

The last time Edinburgh won its first four games was 1961. 

It is great around the school and community,” coach Tyler DeSpain said. “Everywhere you go you hear someone say ‘How about them Lancers’ or ‘Great job out there Coach.’ We have always had support with the community, but they are going above and beyond now.” 

The Lancers posted a 19-0 shutout at Switzerland County last week, and host 3-1 North Daviess this week. 

Defensively, Edinburgh has allowed four touchdowns total in four games. It’s been based on a mindset of flying to the football. 

“Our defense has been playing great. We preach to fly to the ball and have fun with it,” DeSpain said. “I became friends with John Preston, the DC at Whiteland, and learned a lot from him the last two years. We run pretty much the same defense as them. The kids have fun with this defense and how we have a lot of moving parts and it allows them to be free at times. This year has been different though. The last few years we have had one or two guys that really liked to play defense. Now we have all 11 on the field that want to be a part of every tackle.” 

The success has been part of a turnaround under DeSpain’s leadership. Edinburgh is one win away from clinching its first winning season since 1993. 

It begins with an offense led by sophomore quarterback Caleb Murphy, who is completing 57 percent of his passes for 691 yards. Senior Jarrett Turner has 590 yards from scrimmage in the running and receiving game and senior Caleb Dewey has 268 receiving yards and four touchdowns. 

“Caleb (Murphy) has done a fine job,” DeSpain said. “We have really tried to be a more balanced team this year and I believe that has helped Caleb not feel the pressure of everything being on his back. He is only a sophomore and still has a lot to improve on, but if we keep playing defense and running the ball we have I believe he and the team will continue to have a successful year.” 

Edinburgh was once known for futility - the program lost 68 consecutive games from 2002-09 and had won one game in the two seasons before DeSpain took over. The Lancers went 1-9 in his first year in 2019, then improved to three wins the following year and five wins in 2021 - their first .500 season in decades. Continuity has been key - DeSpain is the sixth coach in Edinburgh history to spend four years at the program’s helm. 

“It has really just been continuity with the coaching staff and buy-in from our kids,” DeSpain said. “Once kids realize that you are not here just for a year or two then kids really start to buy-in. The kids never really have had some they could get to know and be close to when it came to football.” 

Tri lighting up scoreboards

In East Central Indiana, another Class A program has seen a meteoric rise into a contender. The Tri Titans were not long removed from a 33-game losing streak and were two years removed from a fourth winless season in five years when Andrew Totheroh took over the program in 2016. 

The Titans went 8-3 in 2020, then posted an 11-3 record with the program’s first sectional title since 2007 and first-ever regional championship last year. 

Tri has picked up where it has left off, scoring 60 points per game through four wins to start the season, while allowing just 19 points through three games. The Titans blanked Wes-Del 55-0 last week for their second straight shutout. 

The success from last season has bolstered the program - they had 27 players dressed for the semistate game against eventual state champion Indianapolis Lutheran last year. They have 48 on the roster this season, a large number for a Class A school. 

Our youth programs have done an excellent job of keeping our kids together, and as they come up through the feeder programs playing together really helps as they mature and get older,” Totheroh said. “Our current senior group has played together since they were in third grade. Those bonds and chemistry developed pay dividends.” 

They have a meeting with a strong Centerville squad this week at home - the Bulldogs are 3-1 and handed Tri its only regular-season loss last year en route to the Tri-Eastern Conference championship. Centerville is now in Class 3A and is the largest opponent on Tri’s schedule. 

“Centerville is a very good football team,” Totheroh said. “To us, we are looking at this as a great opportunity and a test to see where we are at the midpoint of the season. They do a lot of good things on both sides of the ball, and I’m excited to see if we can hold up vs them, execute and play with a passion for the game of football Friday night.” 

Tri’s Wing-T offense features a powerful running game that is averaging 424 yards per contest. It is led by senior Parker Burk, who totals 587 yards and 14.3 yards per carry. Junior Tyler Brooks (336 yards), senior Gary Paull (308 yards) and senior quarterback Mason Wilson (245 yards rushing) are all averaging more than 10 yards per carry. Wilson has attempted 11 passes all season, but four of his seven completions have gone for touchdowns. 

“Our offensive scheme is unique and forces defenses to play disciplined football,” Totheroh said. “Our offensive line made up of Ryan Craft, Vance Dishman, Sam Mondrush, Larry Reamer and Garrett Moffett have done an excellent job of identifying fronts, communicating with one another, and adjusting if need be to what we’re getting from our opponents Friday Nights.  Mason Wilson, Parker Burk, Tyler Brooks, Gary Paull, Kyler Engle and Grant Cash, our skill positions, have done a great job complementing one another. We’re a team offense and it shows on Friday nights.” 

Notable

Cooper Simmons-Little of Traders Point Christian is the state’s leading passer with 1,357 total yards. He threw for 400 yards and three TDs last week in a 47-42 loss to Park Tudor that was a quarterback shootout - Park Tudor’s Darrell Gordon threw for 297 yards and five TDs. … Another QB putting up big numbers is Indianapolis Lutheran’s Jackson Willis. He threw for 301 yards and three TDs last week in a 52-14 win over Lapel, a week after he and Triton Central’s Jace Stuckey both threw for 400 yards in a 54-41 Saints win. … Roncalli’s Luke Hansen is the first running back in the state to cross the 1,000-yard mark. He has 1,057 this season, tallying his second 300-yard game of the year last week with 307 yards and four TDs in a 38-17 win over Columbus North. He also had 66 yards receiving and a TD … Triton’s Anthony Schuch is averaging 15 yards per carry. He had 219 yards in a 51-10 win over Bremen last week, his second straight 200-yard game. … One game to watch in Grant County is the matchup between 4-0 Oak Hill and Madison-Grant. Oak Hill’s Kyle Turanchick is one of the state’s top rushers with 745 yards. Oak Hill’s next win will be the 150th for coach Bud Ozmun … After a 36-0 win over Shenandoah last week, North Decatur still has not allowed a point this season. … In Class 6A, Ben Davis and Warren Central meet for the 98th time this week. … Kankakee Valley is 3-1 for the first time since 1995. The Kougars have shut out three straight foes. 

Other key games this week

  • 6A No. 1 Brownsburg at 6A No. 9 Fishers
  • 6A No. 4 Hamilton Southeastern at 6A No. 8 Westfield
  • 6A No. 5 Ben Davis at 6A No. 10 Warren Central
  • 5A No. 6 Fort Wayne Dwenger at 6A No. 7 Carroll (Fort Wayne)
  • Penn at Elkhart
  • Martinsville at 5A No. 7 Franklin
  • Vincennes at 5A No. 8 Castle
  • 4A No. 3 Mooresville at 5A No. 9 Decatur Central
  • Perry Meridian at 5A No. 1 Whiteland
  • Homestead at 5A No. 4 Fort Wayne Snider
  • 4A No. 1 New Palestine at Pendleton Heights
  • 3A No. 5 Guerin Catholic at 4A No. 2 Roncalli
  • Warsaw at 4A No. 6 NorthWood
  • 3A No. 1 West Lafayette at Rensselaer
  • 3A No. 3 Gibson Southern at Southridge
  • 2A No. 1 Linton at Boonville
  • 2A No. 8 Heritage Christian at 2A No. 3 Indianapolis Scecina
  • Indian Creek at 2A No. 9 Triton Central
  • Oak Hill at Madison-Grant
  • Rochester at Tippecanoe Valley
  • 1A No. 1 Indianapolis Lutheran at Cascade
  • 1A No. 2 Adams Central at Heritage
  • 1A No. 10 Monroe Central at 1A No. 6 South Adams
  • Eastern (Howard) at 1A No. 7 Carroll (Flora)
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another big game I would add that I realize isn't the "flashiest" of games to promote, but 4-0 Rochester at 4-0 Tippecanoe Valley. Both teams put up a lot of points (Rochester averages 51 ppg while Valley is averaging 40 ppg). Tippecanoe Valley has won 13 straight regular season games and is the defending TRC champion. These two rivals did not meet last season due Rochester having to cancel two games with a COVID outbreak.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, NLCTigerFan07 said:

Another big game I would add that I realize isn't the "flashiest" of games to promote, but 4-0 Rochester at 4-0 Tippecanoe Valley. Both teams put up a lot of points (Rochester averages 51 ppg while Valley is averaging 40 ppg). Tippecanoe Valley has won 13 straight regular season games and is the defending TRC champion. These two rivals did not meet last season due Rochester having to cancel two games with a COVID outbreak.

The Bell Game is back Baby!!!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, crimsonace1 said:

Tri lighting up scoreboards

In East Central Indiana, another Class A program has seen a meteoric rise into a contender. The Tri Titans were not long removed from a 33-game losing streak and were two years removed from a fourth winless season in five years when Andrew Totheroh took over the program in 2016. 

The Titans went 8-3 in 2020, then posted an 11-3 record with the program’s first sectional title since 2007 and first-ever regional championship last year. 

Tri has picked up where it has left off, scoring 60 points per game through four wins to start the season, while allowing just 19 points through three games. The Titans blanked Wes-Del 55-0 last week for their second straight shutout. 

The success from last season has bolstered the program - they had 27 players dressed for the semistate game against eventual state champion Indianapolis Lutheran last year. They have 48 on the roster this season, a large number for a Class A school. 

Our youth programs have done an excellent job of keeping our kids together, and as they come up through the feeder programs playing together really helps as they mature and get older,” Totheroh said. “Our current senior group has played together since they were in third grade. Those bonds and chemistry developed pay dividends.” 

They have a meeting with a strong Centerville squad this week at home - the Bulldogs are 3-1 and handed Tri its only regular-season loss last year en route to the Tri-Eastern Conference championship. Centerville is now in Class 3A and is the largest opponent on Tri’s schedule. 

“Centerville is a very good football team,” Totheroh said. “To us, we are looking at this as a great opportunity and a test to see where we are at the midpoint of the season. They do a lot of good things on both sides of the ball, and I’m excited to see if we can hold up vs them, execute and play with a passion for the game of football Friday night.” 

Tri’s Wing-T offense features a powerful running game that is averaging 424 yards per contest. It is led by senior Parker Burk, who totals 587 yards and 14.3 yards per carry. Junior Tyler Brooks (336 yards), senior Gary Paull (308 yards) and senior quarterback Mason Wilson (245 yards rushing) are all averaging more than 10 yards per carry. Wilson has attempted 11 passes all season, but four of his seven completions have gone for touchdowns. 

“Our offensive scheme is unique and forces defenses to play disciplined football,” Totheroh said. “Our offensive line made up of Ryan Craft, Vance Dishman, Sam Mondrush, Larry Reamer and Garrett Moffett have done an excellent job of identifying fronts, communicating with one another, and adjusting if need be to what we’re getting from our opponents Friday Nights.  Mason Wilson, Parker Burk, Tyler Brooks, Gary Paull, Kyler Engle and Grant Cash, our skill positions, have done a great job complementing one another. We’re a team offense and it shows on Friday nights.” 

 

Love this story and focus on the Tri program.  Thanks for putting this in there.  For all the old talk of forcing consolidations and contractions, Tri didn't buy into that.  They enhanced their youth program which, as a former youth coach, I can tell you has great impact that goes way beyond where the high school is 8-12 years down the line.  Those kinds of things also pay off in the classrooms and hallways ... way beyond the football fields.  South Newton's also showing similar pep-in-the-step in the face of a few adverse seasons.  Rooting for these programs to continue to make strides and grow their programs and experiences for their kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, foxbat said:

Love this story and focus on the Tri program.  Thanks for putting this in there.  For all the old talk of forcing consolidations and contractions, Tri didn't buy into that.  They enhanced their youth program which, as a former youth coach, I can tell you has great impact that goes way beyond where the high school is 8-12 years down the line.  Those kinds of things also pay off in the classrooms and hallways ... way beyond the football fields.  South Newton's also showing similar pep-in-the-step in the face of a few adverse seasons.  Rooting for these programs to continue to make strides and grow their programs and experiences for their kids.

I wanted to focus a bit more on smaller schools this week since we'd been a bit 6A/5A-heavy the last couple, but Tri is a program I've kept my eyes on for quite a while, especially since they'd really struggled not long ago. 

Let's just say the talk of "forcing consolidations and contractions" was never any talk other than of one troll. More opportunities for high school football players means a better game. 

With the right coaches, the right culture and the right amount of buy-in from players and community (and sometimes a good cycle of talent), a team can turn things around. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, BTF said:

Good lineup of games this week. I'm curious though. What makes Whiteland/Perry Meridian a key game?

I was thinking of the same thing. I realize Whiteland is #1 ... but Perry Meridian is not good and this should not be a competitive game whatsoever tonight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/16/2022 at 1:32 PM, NLCTigerFan07 said:

I was thinking of the same thing. I realize Whiteland is #1 ... but Perry Meridian is not good and this should not be a competitive game whatsoever tonight.

I generally list the games each #1 plays. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...