Gridiron Preview Week Four

   Week four of the Gridiron Preview looks at Columbia City's toughest contest yet.

Homestead at Col. City                                                                                                         Records: Columbia City 3-0, Homestead 2-1
Time: 7 p.m.
Last Week: Columbia City rallied over Bellmont 21-14. Homestead suffered first loss to East Noble 49-46.
Last meeting: In 2009, Homestead shutout Columbia City 56-0.
    Games Notes: The Columbia City football program is riding high right now with its best starts to a season since 1997 but the climb up the NHC ladder only gets tougher.
    After their first conference opening win since 2005, the Eagles take an unblemished record against a powerhouse in the conference every year in Homestead.
    In 35 meetings, the Spartans have a 25-10 advantage over Columbia City. The last time the Eagles were on the winning side of the contest was 1994 where Columbia City used a high scoring offense to beat Homestead at home 47-21.
    Sound familiar? Columbia City comes in averaging nearly 29 points per game. A offense known for its air attack has tallied over 100 yards on the ground in two of its three games so far with running back Jacob Johnson gaining over 100 all-purpose yards in two of those.
    Homestead comes off a home opening loss to rival East Noble 49-46 after Knights’ QB A.J. Dove threw a TD pass with 13 seconds left.
    Senior Cody Appenzeller will be the main focus of the Eagles defense scoring 7 TDs on 281 rushing yards.

Whitko at Manchester                                                                                                             Records: Whitko 2-1, Manchester 1-2
Time: 7 p.m.
Last Week: Whitko won in double overtime over Southwood 17-14. Manchester was blanked 42-0 at Tippecanoe Valley.
Last meeting: In 2009, Whitko lost at home to Manchester 16-6.
    Games Notes: It doesn’t get much better than a double overtime win for momentum sake.
    After a blowout loss to rival Columbia City, Whitko bounced back opening the Three Rivers Conference schedule with a memorable 17-14 win over Southwood.
    The Wildcats hope it carries over this week where Whitko looks to move to 2-0 in the TRC for the first time since 2005.
    Meeting them is a Squires team that has seen success against the ’Cats in the last three meetings.
    Known as a defensive series for many years, Whitko and Manchester show no signs of that changing with the running game being the focus for both.
    A handful of scores have determined the winner in the last five showdowns with an average score of 15.8 by the winner. No team has score more than 20 points in the series since 2004.
    With Alex Stoddard at quarterback and Dakota Harmon leading the rushing, Whitko hits the ground against Manchester in a low scoring affair.

No. 5 Churubusco at Eastside                                                                                            Records: Churubusco 3-0, Eastside 0-3
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Last Week: Churubusco won at home over Prairie Heights 46-6. Eastside lost in its home opener to Angola 53-12.
Last meeting: In 2009, Churubusco beat Eastside at home 58-14.
    Games Notes: It was to be expected by week four that Churubusco again would be 3-0 with the lighter competition at the start of its schedule.
    As the season leads on, the opponents get tougher with Eastside up next. Still ahead of the opposition, ’Busco takes its lethal band of rushers to Butler for what looks, on paper, to be a fourth straight blowout.
    The Blazers have suffered an average loss margin of nearly 30 points in an 0-3 start to the season.
    What once was known to fans as a tight, grind-it-out series between the two schools has go lopsided with Churubusco taking the last three meetings by an 47.7 point margin of victory.
    Halfback Kyle Mathewson continues another stellar season going for 349 yards on the ground to lead ’Busco. But its the addition of the receiving game where Mathewson has score five touchdowns to also lead the team.
    Kyle Monk has made opposing defenses worry about the quarterback as well with 206 rushing yards, five passing touchdowns and two punt return TDs.