As area teams begin to approach the home stretch of the season, John Glenn and Bremen ready themselves for big games in front of Homecoming crowds, while Triton hits the road for its biggest challenge yet in New Prairie tonight. Culver Military heads to John Glenn, meanwhile, and hopes to bring a healthy crowd with it on Parents Week.
JOHN GLENN (3-2) vs CMA (3-2)
If styles make match-ups, this one should be a doozy.
John Glenn will look to utilize its physicality and size to neutralize Culver Military’s speed and athleticism in a non-conference clash between area rivals. The outcome could boil down to who is able to impose their style of play on the other team, and at what tempo the two teams play.
For Glenn, it’s about getting north-south on offense and constructing grinding ground drives with some play-action passing mixed in.
“They definitely want to set the tempo and control the tempo of the game, which concerns us. We’re going to have to minimize their first downs and try to get our offense as many opportunities as possible. John Glenn is going to do just the opposite, I think — try and keep us off the field. It’s going to be interesting to kind of see who can set the tempo,” said CMA head coach Andy Dorrel.
The Eagles’ best hopes likely lie in the big play.
“CMA brings a lot of speed to the field, that’s first and foremost. That’s a big concern for us,” said Glenn coach Dave Sharpe. “Offensively, they utilize the entire field so we have to defend the entire field. We know they’re going to get some plays on us, and we’ve got to make sure those plays that they get are for 10 and 15 yards, not 40- and 50-yard gains. Defensively I don’t think they’ve played a team like us all season long. We’re a power running game, we go right at people and utilize our play action off of that, so it’s going to be an interesting match-up for both of us.”
“We are who we are. We know we’re not really big on our offense line, but we do have some nice athletes on the perimeter, so if we’re able to get the ball in their hands and execute well on our side it’s going to definitely go a long way toward being successful putting some points on the board. We would love for it to be a scoring fest if it comes down to that just because of the way our offense operates and the way our defense operates,” said Dorrel.
Glenn is riding high and looks to keep the momentum building with three straight wins headed into the contest, while CMA looks to bounce back from a loss to Class 3A No. 2 Brebeuf Jesuit last week.
It may be a non-conference match-up, but there are additional stakes to this one with Glenn playing to a Homecoming crowd — in a military-themed night in which the Falcons play in National Guard-sponsored camouflage uniforms — and CMA players performing for their families on Parents Week at the private school.
“Our student body has been outstanding with all the Homecoming festivities every day,” Sharpe said. “It’s just amazing that the vast majority of our kids are really pumped up about this week. Friday night we’re going to see hundreds of our students in the student section cheering us on. We’ve been on the road the past two weeks so our kids are really looking forward to it.”
“We got after it on Monday, and I was really pleased. Just like the NorthWood week, we bounced back right away the following week. Brebeuf was probably a team that was better than us at their key positions,” Dorrel said.
“It’s Parents Week here, and the kids are looking forward to having their parents down. We’ve got to put a good performance on for them so that they’ll be able to see how all of our hard work and commitment is paying off for us.”
The game is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.
BREMEN (3-2, 2-1 NSC) vs LaVILLE (3-2, 1-2 NSC)
It’s Homecoming week in Bremen, and there’s been plenty of revelry. But Lions head coach Bob Holmes knows those Homecoming celebrations always taste a lot better when the hometown heroes can come away with a win.
The Long Green Line will be tasked with keeping concentrated on the ‘W’ against a spoiler-minded LaVille Lancers squad coming off its first Northern State Conference win since 2010, a convincing 23-6 win over Knox.
“Homecoming adds a whole other dimension to our game,” said Holmes. “The kids have to stay focused this week and realize that their job is to win the football game. They can’t get caught up in all the pageantry of this week. We know everybody else will, but we still have to stay focused.”
Bremen enters the game coming off its first back-to-back wins of the season, lopsided victories over Triton and Culver in which the Lions outscored their opponents by a combined 97-21 margin. The biggest key to those wins has been consistency says Holmes, and that consistency of play has largely been the product of consistency in personnel. The Lions seem to have found their identity and look to add to their streak tonight.
“I think we’re getting consistent in who’s playing our rotations, and that helps. We’re getting comfortable with the kids that are playing and the rotations on subbing and keeping bodies fresh and finally zeroing in on some kids that we like at tailback and some kids that we like at linebacker. We definitely are playing more consistent; I think that’s by far the most important thing that’s been happening in the past couple weeks,” Holmes said.
Key to keeping the streak alive will be the Lions’ ability to contain scrappy LaVille quarterback Cam Gurtner and the Lancers’ one-two running back attack of Levi Lucas and Mitchell Henry.
“I think first and foremost they have to contain their quarterback and their running back. (Cameron) Gurtner is an outstanding, gritty kid. He’s done a great job of running their offense, and he’s definitely their spark plug that makes their offense go,” said Holmes. “I think they’re playing extremely well coming off a huge win against Knox last week. They’re going to be excited. They’re coming in here to play us, and we’ve got to take care of the football. We have not done a very good job of taking care of the football the past couple weeks; we have got to secure the ball.”
Opening kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.
TRITON (1-4, 0-3 NSC) at NEW PRAIRIE (5-0, 3-0 NSC)
After opening the season with a win in head coach John Johns’ first year at the helm, Triton’s young squad has taken some lumps the past few weeks en route to a 1-4 overall mark and an 0-3 Northern State Conference record. The most recent losses came at the hands of Bremen’s and John Glenn’s high-powered offenses in Weeks 4 and 5, respectively.
In that regard, the Trojans have a similarly tough task ahead of them this week on the road against NSC front-running New Prairie, which is setting records on its way to the AP’s Class 4A No. 6 ranking.
“We are preparing for a good football team, and our ‘mood’ is what it should be, that of intensity and responsibility. I am pleased with our practices; we just need to play like I know we are capable of playing on Friday night,” said Johns via email.
“We have emphasized team speed, reaction to what we see and to finish play both offensively and defensively… We made some costly mistakes early and began to doubt ourselves in the Glenn game. What we need to take from it is the knowledge of what happens when we don’t play physical from the first rep to the last.”
Improvement is the name of the game for aTriton squad that is learning as it goes. The young Trojans fell behind by 20 in the first quarter of their loss to Glenn last week, but they gave up just three more scores in the remaining three quarters and avoided the shutout. The team hopes to continue building in a challenging match-up tonight.
“We know we are young and inexperienced, and we have responded to some adversity well,” Johns said. “Anyone can look at the scoreboard and see that we have not achieved the way we were expecting to, but our team is very resilient and we learn and improve as individuals with each rep we play, which will make the team much more capable. Ultimately we will get better as a team. We have a great group of young men who will surprise many as they mature.”
Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
In other area action…
Culver Community (2-3, 1-2 NSC) hosts Knox (1-4, 0-3 NSC) in an of NSC match-up. Knox is banged up and coming off its third straight loss, a 23-6 defeat on the road at LaVille. The Redskins are still searching for their first conference win.
Culver has suffered back-to-back losses at the hands of high-powered New Prairie and Bremen, and the Cavs are in the hunt for their first victory since notching back-to-back wins over South Central and Triton in weeks 2 and 3.
Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.