Gridiron Preview Week Six
The Indiana High School football regular season is half over. Going into week six, Columbia City gets its biggest test yet for homecoming. Churubusco faces NECC sleeper and Whitko tries to stay unbeaten in the TRC.
No. 9 New Haven at Columbia City
Records: Columbia City 4-1 (2-1), New Haven 5-0 (3-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Last Week: Columbia City cruised to a 28-3 victory at DeKalb. New Haven escapes at Norwell 23-21.
Last meeting: In 2009, Columbia City lost 31-15 at New Haven.
Games Notes: The road to a conference title goes through New Haven Friday night and the area’s leading rusher in Te’Vaughn Hurse.
The Eagles defense that held DeKalb to under 200 yards last week and on average only allows 12.8 points per game will have its biggest test yet.
Hurse comes off a 197-yard performance on the ground where the No. 9 Bulldogs rallied in Ossian for a 23-21 win. To date, Hurse stands at 1,218 rushing yards (avg. 243.6 pg) for the season.
New Haven is off to its best start since 1987 and stands alongside No. 10 East Noble atop the NHC at 3-0.
With the Knights still on the schedule, Columbia City remains in control for a chance at the NHC title.
Quarterback Logan Rehrer continues to display his strong arm in the aerial attack of coach Randy Hudgins offense. But Rehrer has added the rushing game to his abilities this season going for two TDs on the ground against DeKalb.
City’s advantage is depth with a full backfield (Cody Wildman, Jacob Johnson, Dylan Miller) and an array of receivers lining up in the spread offense.
Whitko at Northfield
Records: Whitko 4-1 (3-0), Northfield 2-3 (0-3)
Time: 7 p.m.
Last Week: Whitko beats Wabash in homecoming slaughter 38-0. Northfield lost at Tippecanoe Valley 29-7.
Last meeting: It was one of Whitko’s biggest margins of victory in 2009 beating Northfield 34-12.
Games Notes: You’re either undefeated or winless when it comes to the Three Rivers Conference.
Four teams stand in the top half of the eight team conference with a record of 3-0 while four are in what is a large basement at 0-3.
As one of those on the top half, Whitko takes on the fourth and final of 0-3 teams on its schedule at Northfield Friday.
The Wildcats are in the midst of their best start since 1995 and can make it their best start under third-year coach Wayne Swender.
With three of its last four games on the road for the season, Whitko will control its own destiny facing 3-0 North Miami, Rochester and Tippecanoe Valley in the final weeks.
Defense will be a big part of the ’Cats success with two shutouts to their name and only one team putting up 15 points or more on the Whitko defense.
The Wildcats run-based offense saw its first 100-yard rusher last week. D.J. Fouce put up 118 yards on the ground. Fouce along with Dakota Harmon will be key for the ’Cats.
No. 3 Churubusco at West Noble
Records: Churubusco 5-0 (5-0), West Noble 2-3 (2-2)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Last Week: Churubusco surprises Angola 34-7 in battle of ranked teams. West Noble falls at Lakeland 28-21.
Last meeting: A maturing Eagles team defeated West Noble after a scare 28-6.
Games Notes: Last week was supposed to be the big game for the NECC title but this week could be closer than Churubusco’s 34-7 blowout win over Angola.
The target now firmly on the back of the Eagles as the sole leader atop the North East Corner Conference, teams with a shot left against ’Busco are making it a title bout.
Next on the ticket is West Noble. Having already dispatched the long time defending champion Fairfield Falcons at home 35-28, the Chargers host Churubusco looking to do the same.
It’s rumored but not confirmed that West Noble might have to do it without its top rusher and tackler. Senior Jake Rupright is said to be out with an injury.
With the loss, the Chargers would lose 107.6 rushing yards per game from Rupright not to mention 19 solo tackles for the season on defense.
Either way, the Eagles defense will present a hard-hitting task for the Chargers having allowed only 48 points this season of which only one touchdown was scored on the starters.