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4A State Championship: Northwood vs East Central

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3 hours ago, 00NWP said:

Bold score there...that means you think NW is the one of the worst teams EC has faced all year.

Not at all. The difference to me is the game will last longer in the second half and Ringer will be on the biggest media stage. Scoring 14 on EC is a big accomplishment IMO.

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On 11/21/2023 at 12:46 PM, Frozen Tundra said:

I see some folks saying NorthWood could surprise East Central and keep it close. Anything is possible but I guess I’m just curious as to what the basis of that belief is. I know NorthWood has a couple D1 studs but I also know the team has two losses and is unranked in both the media and coaches polls. Could someone who knows NorthWood well explain to me why they lost to Northridge and Warsaw? Was there an injury that caused them to lose?

Unless there’s a good reason for the losses, I’m having a hard time believing NorthWood could keep it close based on the results of their schedule. Not trying to be insulting but I really want someone to sell me on why NorthWood is the toughest challenge East Central will face this season.

I think most of the hope from Panther fans is in the results of the past 2 weeks.  I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in losses from the first few weeks of the season either. Northwood literally threw the ball over 80% of plays and Roeder threw 3 2nd half INTs against Northridge which lead to them blowing a 2 score lead in the 4th quarter.  Warsaw was a freak game where there was 5 fumbles and the only game like that.  i dont know if Northwood can keep it close or not but I think people are banking on the fact that Leo was ranked higher  last week and Northwood really controlled that game. I think honestly that’s kinda how this game will be even Northwood is clicking on offense. They will score but never truly be a threat on the scoreboard. 

Edited by PantherPride
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On 11/21/2023 at 9:04 AM, 00NWP said:

So I have not seen East Central play this year, but I went and found highlights that were available.  It appeared that EC runs the ball...a lot.  Is that because they are just beating teams and are killing clock, or are they a passing threat as well?  I ask because if you look at NW...they have had success packing the box to stop the run...ie Mishawaka / New Prairie / Leo and letting the DB's do their jobs.  If they are a "run" team will they adjust to passing?  I ask because some teams die on that hill.  I remember in the 05-06 State game with NW and Chatard...Chatard refused to pass the ball.  I know people always bring up that NW team as...the worst team to win State...but those that followed NW that year knew they could not defend a pass...however...were very good at stopping the run.  Everyone they faced in the playoffs were run heavy offenses.  If that is the case with EC...I like NW's odds of slowing that run game down.

And I remember that when Chatard finally went to their “throwing qb” on the final drive they were able to move the ball down field enough to get a shot on the final play. As an outsider at that time, not living in Wa-Née I kept wondering why teams refused to try and throw against them. It was clear they were an A+ run defense. Also I saw recently that was Chatard’s only loss in 17 state appearances. 

I’ll say as far as EC they did score 38 on Moeller.  I don’t see Northwood doing something even Moeller couldn’t do. Hope I’m wrong though. 

Edited by PantherPride
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On 11/21/2023 at 9:04 AM, 00NWP said:

 If that is the case with EC...I like NW's odds of slowing that run game down.

All have tried...none have succeeded. By Q3 the opposing "D" can no longer keep up....and if the Panthers have 2-way players, then the fatigue (physical and mental) issue is magnified.

And as stated by my fellow south-eastern supporters, EC has a "nail in the coffin" passing game. Burton is a very accurate QB and has the gun to go deep.  Brotherton, Ringer, Helms, Bleh, Genetti and Wheat can all stretch and break the best of secondaries.  If EC hadn't clocked almost every opponent by Q3....relatively speaking, the passing numbers would be just as impressive as the rushing numbers.

With that said, the Panthers did not luck into State, they beat some very good teams to get there. Tuggle and Edmond will be a problem for the Trojans, Roeder will also pose a challenge depending on the game plan. NW coaches and staff are top notch game strategizers....they will have the Panthers ready.

IMO this game will be close early on....but the Trojans will prove to be too much for the Panthers in the 2nd half. I've been wrong about this twice this year (Memorial & NP) where I thought it would be a close contest and EC just rolled, so nothing surprises me with this team.

Good luck to both teams, looking forward to watching this one!


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