Gridiron Preview: Week Seven

   Only three weeks remain in the indiana high school football regular season. Columbia City takes on the NHC's top team for a share of the conference lead. Whitko gets its first big test in the TRC at home against North Miami. No. 2 Churubusco hits the road to Culver Academy for its only non-conference game of the season.

Columbia City at No. 8 East Noble

Records: Columbia City 5-1 (3-1), East Noble 5-1 (4-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Last Week: Columbia City upset New Haven 34-28 at home. East Noble beat up Norwell 40-14 at home.
Last meeting: In 2009, Columbia City fights through a rainstorm to beat East Noble in the second round of sectional play 17-13.
    Games Notes: A season goal of a Northeast Hoosier Conference title comes down to one week. Week seven.
    In a three-way tie for second at 3-1, Columbia City can dethrone the conference’s top team in No. 8 East Noble and send the NHC into an all-out sprint to the finish.
    It’s all or nothing for the Eagles. A win sends the conference into a four-way tie that also would include New Haven and Homestead.
    The Eagles are in search of their first NHC title since their one and only in 1990.
    The Knights present a obstacle for City and possibly their biggest. The air attack of EN quarterback A.J. Dove has thrown for more than 1,000 yards hitting top receiver Jordan Gater for nearly half of that.
    Gater presents a scoring threat with the ball in his hands every time with 11 TDs through five weeks including punt and kick-off returns.
    Columbia City has proven a dominate running back cannot keep them from winning. The Eagles will have to prove that again with both RBs Jordan Miller and Tyler Truax.

North Miami at Whitko

Records: Whitko 5-1 (4-0), North Miami 5-1 (4-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Last Week: Whitko had its second straight game with 30-points or more at Northfield 35-14. North Miami rolled over Southwood 48-12.
Last meeting: In 2009, Whitko lost a tight contest at North Miami 21-18.
    Games Notes: The conference leaders will start shaping up this week and Whitko hopes to be one of them.
    As one of four 4-0 teams atop the Three Rivers Conference, the Wildcats have cleaned out the TRC basement of its four 0-4 teams and now takes on the cream of the crop.
    Fortunately, the first test comes at home for Whitko with North Miami visiting on senior night.
    The ’Cats are going for the head of the TRC monster with the Warriors leading the conference in scoring.
    The good news is North Miami has yet to be tested as well with a 4-0 record against the same four teams Whitko has beaten.
    In those four games, the Warriors have scored 44.75 points while Whitko has averaged 29.25.
    The difference could be in defense. Whitko has only surrendered 35 points over the four-game conference stretch while North Miami is averaging nearly two touchdowns per game.

No. 2 Churubusco at Culver Military Academy

Records: Churubusco 6-0, Culver Academy 2-4
Time: Saturday 1  p.m.
Last Week: Churubusco blanked West Noble on the road 47-0. Culver Academy lost at home to John Glenn 49-12.
Last meeting: First meeting between the schools.
    Games Notes: A deep breath of fresh non-conference air comes in week seven for Churubusco.
    After six consecutive weeks of North East Corner Conference challengers, the Eagles get a break for their only week away from defending their crown.
    Ranked No. 2 in the latest AP poll, Churubusco is going for its fourth consecutive season with a 7-0 start when they travel to Culver Military Academy Saturday.
    With a unique early afternoon kickoff of 1 p.m., the Eagles take on a program that may not always have the record to show it but play among the best in their area.
    Culver Academy stands at 2-4. It’s not impressive at a glance but looking deeper into their opponents shows Culver’s losses have come to three teams with one loss or less and have played a combined opponent record of 22-14.
    That’s far away from the 11-25 mark of Churubusco’s opponents.
    The Eagles still have big NECC tests yet to come at Fairfield and back home for a finale against Lakeland.
    The non-conference test will be one of playing to win, as ’Busco always does, without hurting their NECC chances.