Local teams face road games in week nine
High school football teams have reached week nine on the calendar as all three Sullivan County teams will be playing on the road on Friday night.
Undefeated North Central will be playing one of its biggest regular season games and playing for a conference title, Sullivan will be playing for a conference championship and Dugger Union will be searching for its first win.
North Central (8-0, 3-0) at Eastern Greene (8-0, 3-0) — It will be a battle of Thunderbirds unlike the rest.
Both teams are unbeaten, ranked among the best in Class A and vying for a Southwest Conference championship in Greene County.
North Central is ranked No. 8 and coming off of a 41-2 win at Wood Memorial. Eastern Greene, ranked third, broke a 17-game losing streak to the Miners when they defeated Linton 35-12 last week.
“This will be one of the highlight games in the state this weekend,” said North Central coach Travis Nolting. “You have two ranked and undefeated teams playing for a conference championship.
“Our kids are really looking forward to the challenge. Also, it is for the traveling Thunderbird Trophy.
North Central is led by junior running back/linebacker Dawson Basinger, who has rushed for 1,249 yards and 20 touchdowns. He averages over 10 yards per carry.
Blake Chatman has rushed 148 times for 764 and 10 TDs.
Quarterback Ty Thompson has 64 carries for 421 yards and five scores. He tossed his first TD pass of the year in the win over the Trojans — a 39-yarder to Isaac Bonacorsi.
The T-birds amass 400 yards per game, 358 rushing and 42 passing.
Basinger had a team-best 90 tackles, including three for loss.
Caleb Hamilton paces the EGHS offense. He has completed 57 of 79 passes for 988 yards and three TDs. He has not been intercepted this year.
He has rushed 144 times for 1,212 yards and 21 TDs.
“Hamilton is a heck of an athlete,” said Nolting. “Coach Joey Paridaen has done a great job rebuilding that program.
“They won a sectional last year and right now are the team to beat in the sectional. Last year, they beat us on a 37-yard extra point. We have some very good games with them and we are expecting another one on Friday night. I know the kids from both teams will be ready to play.”
This will be the 15th meeting between the two schools. North Central has a 10-4 advantage despite that 29-28 loss at Farmersburg last season.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Sullivan (7-1, 5-0) at Indian Creek (6-2, 5-0) — For the second year in a row, Indian Creek breezed through the East Division and Sullivan cruised through the West Division, earning a spot in the West Indiana Conference championship game.
Sullivan won 63-42 a year ago at Sportland Field. Trafalgar will the site of this year’s battle.
“Our kids will be ready to make the long trip,” said Sullivan coach Blaine Powell. “One of our goals was to repeat as conference champions and we have put ourselves into position to accomplish that.”
The Braves have a 40-7 loss to Class 4A Greenwood and a 41-20 setback to Triton Central as the only blemishes on their schedule.
Indian Creek is led by quarterback Taylor Voris. The 6-0 senior has thrown for 1,463 yards. He has 10 TDs and four picks.
Voris has completed 88 of 182 throws.
Isaiah Lacy is his top target, having hauled in 41 passes for 668 yards and seven TDs.
Brad Trietsch has 25 receptions for 499 yards and two scores.
Dylan Spring has 12 catches for 181 and one TD.
Avery Welch paces the ground game with 91 rushes for 629 yards and eight touchdowns, an average of 6.9 yards per carry.
As a team, they rush for over 200 yards per game, 4.9 yards per attempt and 27 TDs.
Michael Perkins (100, 390, 6), Voris (61, 247, 8) and Aaron Hart (38, 150, 4) have teamed up for 18 touchdowns and 787 yards.
“They are a very good team,” Powell said. “We have seen several of their games already.
“They have shown the ability to move the ball with both the running and passing game. They will present a challenge for our defense.”
The Arrows defeated West Vigo 41-13 at home last week, rolling up 489 yards of total offense.
Jack Conner threw for 263 yards as he completed 15 of 20 passes for four TDs and two interceptions.
Jackson Shake hauled in four passes for 63 yards, including two scores.
Dakota Caton had eight catches for 116 yards. He officially did not score for the first time this season as one TD reception was called back because of a penalty.
Kyle Vernelson and Chris Taylor each caught one pass, both for TDs.
Wes Bedwell had 58 yards rushing and one score and Conner had 48 yards and his 11th rushing TD of the season.
The defense had 16 tackles for loss, two sacks and one interception. They are allowing 21.3 points per game.
“We really dominated defensively,” said Powell. “We have that capability.”
This will be just the second meeting in history between the two schools on the gridiron.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Dugger Union (0-8) at Tecumseh (2-6) — Dugger Union coach Kyle Foli knew 2017 would be a rebuilding year, but it has been tougher than he expected. The Bulldogs are allowing 43 points per game and scoring 8.3 after a 69-0 loss on homecoming to Try-County.
The Bulldogs only had one first down and finished with negative yards from scrimmage.
“Tri-County is a very good football team,” said Foli. “They really handed it to us.
“But I saw a lot of disappointing things out there. Our effort was very poor, especially in the second half. I know we are young, but we continue to do a poor job of executing. Our young linemen don’t stay with their blocks. They aren’t doing what we teach them in practice.”
Now, the Bulldogs hit the road to face the Tecumseh Braves.
THS has lost six consecutive games after opening the season with wins over North Daviess (36-23) and Rock Creek Academy (54-26). They lost at North Posey 42-7 a week ago.
Coach Jeff Daming (31-39) is in his seventh year in charge of the Braves.
Tecumseh is led by quarterback Tanner Brammeier. The 6-3 senior has rushed for 504 yards on 50 attempts, over 10 yards per carry. He has rushed for seven TDs.
Ian Seim chips in with 274 yards on 45 attempts. He has scored three rushing touchdowns. As a team, the Braves average 188 yards rushing per game.
Led by Brammeier, the Trojans s average 36 yards per game passing. For the season, Brammeier has completed 26 of 62 passes for 260 yards. He has thrown two TDs and seven interceptions. Max Letterman, Seim and Deacon Parker are his top targets.
“Tecumseh will be another tough challenge for us,” said Foli. “We have to continue to work hard and get better.”
Dugger Union senior Brandon Smith, who leads the Bulldogs in rushing, suffered an ankle injury last week against Tri-County. He said it was a high ankle sprain, but there could be some ligament damage. He goes back to the doctor on Friday.
Jackson Rogers, Bryar Marlow and Jacob Cross will carry the load in the backfield. Kickoff in Lynnville is set for 7:30 p.m.