Gridiron Preview Week Five
Columbia City receiver Connor Slavich secures a catch in the end zone during the Eagles second-half rally against Homestead last week. Post & Mail photo / Mark Parker
All three Whitley County teams take winning records into week five. No. 3 ’Busco gets its first true test at home against No. 8 Angola. Columbia City hits the NHC road to DeKalb. Whitko hosts Wabash for homecoming.
Col. City at DeKalb
Records: Columbia City 3-1, DeKalb 0-4
Time: 7 p.m.
Last Week: Columbia City loses to Homestead on last-second field goal 31-28. DeKalb falls at East Noble 42-14.
Last meeting: In 2009, Columbia City won a tight game at home over DeKalb 16-13.
Games Notes: Make no mistake, the Columbia City Eagles are for real.
In the first big test of the season, CC nearly made big waves in the NHC standings, missing an upset win over Homestead in the final seconds.
With or without a victory, Columbia City proved two things. They have an offense that can score points quickly and a defense that can shut down any offense.
QB Logan Rehrer continues to have one of his best seasons as an Eagle adding three more touchdowns to his total. Adding Stephen Farrer and Cody Wildman to the offense, Columbia City adds depth to an already talented backfield and squad of receivers.
The defense stands with 15.25 points allowed per game and only one opponent scoring more than 20 points.
DeKalb, on the other hand, has not scored more than 14 points this season losing to No. 3 Mishawaka, No. 8 Angola, No. 10 East Noble and New Haven (who has received votes in class 3A).
The Barons biggest threat is under center with quarterback Carter Stafford who has passing and running ability.
Wabash at Whitko Records: Whitko 3-1, Wabash 0-4
Time: 7 p.m.
Last Week: Whitko won at Manchester 27-7. Wabash lost at home to North Miami 55-6.
Last meeting: In 2009, the Wildcats traveled to Wabash beating the Apaches 30-7.
Games Notes: Not only is it the best start under third-year head coach Wayne Swender, it’s the first time Whitko has been 3-1 heading into week five since the 1995 season.
Sandwiched around a tough shutout loss to county rival Columbia City, the Wildcats have put together a good start two weeks into the Three Rivers Conference schedule.
After finishing in the middle of the pack last season in the TRC, Whitko stands atop it with three other teams (T. Valley, Rochester, North Miami).
A large part of that is the defense. Winning their games by an average of 14.3 points per game, the ’Cats are sustaining a defensive mentality that limits the opposing offense.
That is not good news for the visiting Wabash Apaches who are all-time 0-6 against Whitko, including two close sectional games.
Wabash has already struggled this season, being held to 14 points or less in each of its four losses.
The Apaches will look for not only their first win against Whitko but their first since the 2009 season opener.
No. 8 Angola at No. 3 Churubusco Records: Churubusco 4-0, Angola 4-0
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Time: 7:30 p.m.
Last Week: Churubusco blew out Eastside on the road 60-28. Angola took care of business edging Lakeland 33-26.
Last meeting: In 2009, Churubusco won at Angola 26-6.
Games Notes: Neither has experienced it yet but one of them will Friday night — a loss.
A battle of ranked opponents will see someone lose their first game when the No. 8 Hornets of class 3A travel to class A’s No. 3 Churubusco for an NECC showdown.
With Fairfield losing to West Noble last week and Angola handling Lakeland, the Eagles hopes of a conference title repeat could be determined in week five between the NECC’s last two undefeated teams.
Angola, behind its standout senior quarterback Alex Bauer, has been gaining momentum each season. Bauer comes off a come-from-behind win against Lakeland last week where he threw for 321 yards, four touchdowns.
Along with his arm, Bauer is a mobile QB with all-state receiving corps in Robby Boots, Seth Fifer and Logan Sellers.
If any defense has a chance at slowing down the Hornet offense it’s Churubusco’s who has yet to allow a point on its starting varsity defense.
The Eagle offense of QB Kyle Monk and Kyle Mathewson will get their first true test with both averaging more than a almost two TDs per game.