Gridiron Preview Week Three

   The Gridiron Preview takes a week three match-ups for Whitley County high school football teams.

Bellmont at Columbia City

Records: Columbia City 2-0, Bellmont 2-0
Time: 7 p.m.
Last Week: Columbia City won at Whitko 30-0. Bellmont won at South Adams 28-21.
Last meeting: In 2009, Bellmont won at home over Columbia City 41-20.
    Games Notes: Go back 13 seasons in the record books and you will find the last team from Columbia City that has done what head coach Randy Hudgins and his Eagles have done so far in 2010.
    Not since 1997 has an Eagles’ football team opened the season 2-0. If the same pattern follows as it did that season, a third consecutive win is in the mix Friday night.
    Coming off a blowout win over rival Whitko, 30-0, Columbia City goes into Northeast Hoosier Conference play with one of its best starts in over a decade.
    Snapping a 12-season losing streak to Warsaw, City will look to snap a four-game skid to Bellmont. The Braves come off a last- minute comeback win on the road at South Adams 28-21 where Forrest Fullenkamp and leading rusher Daniel Meyer combined for 271 yards on the ground.
    The running game has been a problem for Columbia City defense in the past. Holding Whitko to just 104 yards on the ground, the Eagles own rushing by junior Jacob Johnson took over with 99 yards.
    CC’s defense comes off a season-high seven sacks at Whitko with rushers Derek Lamle and Jacob Moser in the backfield.


Southwood at Whitko

Records: Whitko 1-1, Southwood 0-2
Time: 7 p.m.
Last Week: Whitko fell to county rival Columbia City at home 30-0. Southwood lost in its home opener to Oak Hill 42-27.
Last meeting: In 2009, Whitko won a defensive contest at Southwood 12-8.
    Games Notes: It’s been either zero points allowed or zero points scored so far this season for Whitko.
    After a season opening 20-0 shutout over Wawasee, the Wildcats took a step back in a 30-0 loss to Columbia City in week two.
    The line of scrimmage proved to be the root of the problem for Whitko with Columbia City getting in the backfield and sacking quarterback Alex Stoddard seven times.
    Despite the pressure, Stoddard managed a solid game from under center throwing 7-for-13 for 97 yards.
    Stoddard and the Wildcats take some positives going into TRC conference play this week against Southwood. For the last five meetings with the Knights its been about defense allowing an average of 16.4 points in the last five games against Southwood.
    A back-and-forth defensive series with the two rivals scoring only 20 points between the two conferences foes in 2009 where Whitko won 12-8.
    The running game is the strength of both teams with Southwood leaning on senior running back Larry Chain as one of six returning offensive starters.


Prairie Heights at No. 5 Churubusco

Records: Churubusco 2-0, Prairie Heights 0-2
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Last Week: Churubusco won at Central Noble 44-7. Prairie Heights lost at home to Fairfield 62-7.
Last meeting: In 2009, Churubusco traveled to Prairie Heights winning 53-20.
    Games Notes: It’s almost becoming second nature by week three. For the sixth consecutive season, Churubusco heads into week three with a 2-0 mark.
    It’s been almost as common for Prairie Heights in a bad way. Starting out with the three-headed monster of the NECC (Lakeland, Fairfield, Churubusco), the Panthers are looking to avoid a seventh straight season with an 0-3 start.
    Under first-year head coach Mike Smith, Heights has suffered lopsided losses to the Lakers and Falcons giving up 110 points in two games.
    The news doesn’t get any better in week three with Churubusco averaging 45 points in two games this season.
    The primary concern when facing the Eagles, like it is every week, will be running back Kyle Mathewson. For the second straight week, Mathewson ran for more than 100 yards with two rushing and two receiving touchdowns.
    A new Kyle in the mix the Panthers will have to worry about is quarterback Kyle Monk who showed off both his arm and legs with two passing and two rushing TDs against Central Noble.