Plymouth (0-2, 0-0 Northern Lakes Conf.) at Warsaw 1-1, 0-0 NLC)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Fisher Field, Warsaw.

Series (last 35 years): Plymouth, 18-17.

John Harrell’s prediction: Warsaw, 45-28.

Last meeting: Sept. 4, 2020, Warsaw, 28-14.

About Plymouth: Coach Jon Barron’s Rockies lost 41-6 against visiting Kokomo in Week 2 … In two games, Kwintin Heiny (40 carries for 140 yards and two TDs) leads Plymouth in rushing and Michael Sheely (two catches for 75 yards and one TD) in receiving … Against Kokomo, quarterback Lennon Creighbaum (5-fo-11 for 63 yards and 12 carries for 27 yards) was the Rockies’ top passer and rusher.

About Warsaw: Coach Bart Curtis’ Tigers are coming off a 35-16 road loss to Michigan City … Warsaw trailed 21-6 at halftime. German Flores-Ortega (1-yard run in the second quarter) and Julius Jones (41-yard run in the fourth quarter) scored touchdowns for the Tigers and Mason Smythe booted an extra point and 26-yard field goal … Warsaw recorded 207 total yards — 163 on the ground led by Jones (eight carries for 83 yards).

Per Warsaw coach Bart Curtis: On Plymouth — “They can play the type of game throwing the ball and running the ball that presents issues. Their quarterback fleet of foot. If you pressure him, he’ll tuck it and go and create plays … They have enough of a running game. You just can’t key on them throwing the football … Don’t let their record fool you. They’ve played two quality opponents (East Noble and Kokomo). They’re far better than their record would appear. They’re going to come over here to play their best game to date without at doubt … We cannot start slow.”

Loss of Cameron Fairchild (the Triton senior lineman Cameron Fairchild who played football at Warsaw as a freshman and sophomore was killed in a traffic accident Saturday) — “It affects our kids, especially our senior who were teammates for two years … It’s awful and heartbreaking.”

On Michigan City game — “Are we going to keep playing them? Absolutely. It is the best thing for us. It’s a good game for us to expose us the things we’re not good at. It gives us a template moving forward of things we need to get better at … We didn’t help ourselves but a lot of that was because of (Michigan City) … They certainly did everything in their power to make things difficult on us. We’ve got to get bette or get used to that. We’re certainly not going to drop them (off our schedule) … They had the ball six times and scored five. We had the ball seven times and scored three if you count field goals at the end of the game … (Michigan City was) really dialed in defensively and they presented problems for us with what they do offensively. You can make up for a lot of things with physicality, aggressiveness and team speed and they certainly do that … The most disappointing thing was that we didn’t handle early adversity.”



Wawasee (0-2, 0-0 Northern Lakes) at Northridge (2-0, 0-0 NLC)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Interra Field, Middlebury.

Series (last 35 years): Wawasee, 19-18.

John Harrell’s prediction: Northridge, 38-3.

Last meeting: Sept. 4, 2020, Northridge, 20-0.

About Northridge: Coach Chad Eppley’s Raiders beat visiting South Bend Saint Joseph 39-14 in Week 2 … This is Wawasee graduate Eppley’s first season as Northidge head coach … The Raiders’ offense is led by quarterback Micah Hochstetler. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for another against Saint Joseph.

About Wawasee: Coach Jon Reutebuch’s Warriors are coming off a 19-7 road loss to West Noble … Wawasee’s points came on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Lucas Ringler to Collin Roberson and Caleb Clevenger in the third quarter. On the season, Brandon Kelly (13 carries for 52 yards), Cameron Zimmerman (11 carries for 42 yards) and Ringler (19 carries for 40 yards) pace the Warriors in rushing … Jaxon Brown (6-of-13 of 107 yards and one touchdown) and Ringler (5-fo-16 for 50 yards and one TD) are the leading passers, Ringler (three catches for 81 yards and one TD), Hunter Tinkey (four catches for 25 yards) and Collin Roberson (one catch for 24 yards and one TD) the top receivers … Pacing in total tackles are Nathaniel Larson (16), David Anderson (12) and Kelly (11).

Per Wawasee coach Jon Reutebuch: On Northridge — “It’s really more about us and our execution and not turning the ball over more than anything for us … They fly to the football … I’m happy for (former Wawasee player) Chad (Eppley). What a great position to be in. That’s a great program for the bottom to the top. They’ve got great community support. I wish him the best except for when we play him.”

QB rotation — “(Lucas) Ringler and (Jaxon) Brown take turns at quarterback. That’s always been the plan. When Brown’s in the game he’s a quarterback. When Ringler’s in the game he can be a receiver, wherever we need him. We want him out on the field trying to make plays.”

On West Noble game — “We went into the game a little under-handed. We had sickness. That made it difficult … We made some horrible turnovers in the first half. That put our back against the wall … We came out in the second half and played hard and that gave us something to build upon.”



Tippecanoe Valley (2-0 overall, 1-0 TRC) at Peru (1-1, 1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Bengal Field.

Series: Peru leads 3-2.

Last meeting: Peru won 21-18, Sept. 4, 2020.

Last Valley win: 34-7, Oct. 19, 2018, in first-round sectional game.

John Harrell’s prediction: Valley, 35-17.

About Valley: The Vikings’ 44-13 win last week at Northfield came at a cost. Starting middle linebacker Joel Cisneros suffered a recurrence to a previous shoulder injury and is “probably” out for the season, according to coach Steve Moriarty. … With the victory over the Norsemen, Valley’s 2-0 for the first time since 2007, when it started 6-0. … The Vikings peppered Northfield with long-distance scoring plays in their second straight decisive win (they beat Wawasee 42-7 in Week 1), including Jamasyn Virgil’s 54-yard halfback TD pass to Braden Shepherd to start the parade. Shepherd added a 56-yard TD run, Virgil a 74-yard TD run and Nate Parker a 58-yard TD run. … Rex Kirchenstien made two catches for 69 yards and a score, while Branson McBrier closed 4-of-7 throwing for 76 yards and a TD. … Wade Jones added an interception.

About Peru: The Tigers rebounded from their season-opening 36-8 loss at 4A No. 14 Logansport with a 39-7 win over Whitko. … Peru, which tied Valley and Northfield for second place in the TRC last season at 6-2, is led by second-year starting quarterback Levi Strong. He rushed for 901 yards and a 6.1 average last year to go with 59% passing while steering the Tigers to a 7-2 overall mark, then added 96 ground yards and 8-of-11 through the air at Logansport.

Valley coach Steve Moriarty:

On Peru — “They have a pretty darn good team. Their loss was to Logansport, and then Logansport beat NorthWood, so that loss obviously came against a good team. They have a lot of starters back from last year and their quarterback runs all over the place. We’ll have a hard time with him.”

On the Tiger defense — “They do a good job coming off the ball. They run a couple different fronts. It’s going to be hard to pick up sometimes so we will have to be paying attention.”

On areas of concern — “I think we need to pick up blitzes a little better. We’re doing a good job taking what the other team’s giving, but we need to mix in the passing game more. We’ve only thrown a few times, but to become a really well-tuned offense, we might have to throw the ball a little more.”



Caston (1-1, 0-1 Hoosier North Athletic) at Triton (1-1, 0-1 HNAC)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday, Trojan Field, Bourbon.

Series (last 35 years): Triton, 16-10.

John Harrell’s prediction: Triton, 28-14.

Last meeting: Sept. 4, 2020, Triton, 14-12.

About Caston: Coach Will Porter’s Comets lost 42-12 at North Judson-San Pierre in Week 2 … Samuel Smith has been a steady rusher and tackler for Caston.

About Triton: Coach Rodney Younis’ Trojans are coming off a 7-0 overtime loss at LaVille … Anthony Schuh gained 109 yards on 22 carries for Triton … Because of the death of Cameron Fairchild, Spirit Week and homecoming activities scheduled for this week at Triton have been postponed. Younis asked not to be interviewed this week.



Rochester (1-1, 0-1 TRC) at Whitko (0-2, 0-1)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Huff Stadium.

Series: Rochester leads 24-12.

Last meeting: Whitko won 28-7, Sept. 3, 2020.

Last Rochester win: 21-7, Sept. 6, 2019.

John Harrell’s prediction: Rochester, 35-17.

About Rochester: The Zebras, under rookie head coach Ron Shaffer, broke a 10-game losing streak dating to 2019 with last week’s 12-7 win over Knox. As it so happened, Shaffer’s first win came against Russ Radtke — the second-winningest coach in Indiana history and the same man who gave Shaffer his first job as an assistant at Griffith in 1994. Since then, Shaffer also had been an assistant at Cass for 12 years across three stints and an assistant at Maconaquah, before sitting out of football last year and being hired by Rochester in April. … Fullback Alex Deming plowed for 252 yards, including touchdowns of 43 and 26 yards, in the victory over Knox, the second TD coming early in the fourth quarter to erase a 7-6 deficit.

About Whitko: Two-way starter Izzy Kyles, the Wildcats’ lone returning All-TRC selection, suffered a knee injury in the second quarter of last week’s loss that coach Chip Coldiron described Tuesday as likely season-ending. Kyles was Whitko’s No. 1 receiver, No. 2 ground gainer and tops in interceptions with three in 2020. … The Cats fell 39-7 last week at Peru, giving them the distinction of being the only team in the state to drop their first two games by identical scores. … Friday will be Whitko’s home opener. The Cats are 1-20 at Huff Stadium dating back to midway through the 2016 season, the win being last year’s home opener against Prairie Heights, 22-20 in overtime. … Senior linebacker Tyler Veach has been a tour de force over the first two weeks, recovering two fumbles — returning one for a score — blocking two field-goal tries and making a team-high 21 tackles. He also ran 10 times for 83 yards against Peru to lead the offense. … Senior Slater Graig has supplanted junior Cody Adkins as Whitko’s starting QB after not having enough practices prior to the opener.

Whitko coach Chip Coldiron:

On last week — “We got a lot better from Week 1. We blocked better, had longer drives, went from seven fumbles to three. I know the score was exactly the same, but we were a lot better from my perspective.”

On Rochester — “Both teams kind of have the same philosophy — run, run, run, run — so it should be a quick game. It should come down to who blocks and tackles and doesn’t turn the ball over. If we can cut our turnovers from three to one, it gives us a much better chance. Hopefully, we’ll also have a game where we don’t lose anybody (after Jack Hill was sidelined for possibly the season by injury in Week 1 and Kyles in Week 2).”

On continued roster growth — “We’re up to 45 kids now. We’re picking up kids and they’re having a blast. They’re having a lot of fun and practicing hard.”



Winamac (2-0) at Manchester (1-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Burk Field.

About the matchup: It only materialized Tuesday after the Squires’ game against Wabash was canceled for health and safety reasons on Wabash’s end, and the Warriors had an opening as well. This will mark the first-ever regular-season meeting between the programs. Manchester beat Winamac 19-6 in a playoff opener in 1991 on the way to what remains its last sectional title, before the Warriors evened the series at 1-1 with a 34-0 first-round sectional win in 2015.

John Harrell’s prediction: Winamac, 38-14.

About Winamac: The 1A No. 10-ranked Warriors have powered to wins of 35-14 at Knox and 38-6 over shorthanded Pioneer, which had seven two-way starters out due to injury or contact tracing. … 1980 Winamac grad and 2021 Indiana Hall of Fame inductee John Hendryx is in his second year as Warrior head coach. He owns a 226-96 record in 29 seasons, including stops at Carroll of Flora, Northwestern and Knox. ...Hayden Clark has rushed for 219 yards and four touchdowns over Winamac’s first two games. Quarterback Russell Compton has added 127 ground yards and three TDs in addition to throwing for 119 yards. … The Warriors won the takeaway battle 3-0 over Knox and added a defensive touchdown against Pioneer.

About Manchester: The Squires had to cancel their game last week against Bluffton after contact tracing led to an entire position group being sidelined. … Manchester is seeking its first 2-0 start since 2009. … In the season-opening 42-6 win at North Miami, junior QB Brock Casper fired five touchdown passes, two of them to Seth Gaerte, on the way to finishing 7-of-9 for 209 yards. Braxton Ream rushed for 113 yards on 17 carries and added a 66-yard TD catch. The Squire defense notched four takeaways, including Garrett Sites’ 36-yard fumble return for a score. … Between contact tracing and other individuals being “banged up,” per coach Alyx Brandewie, Manchester was missing “about a dozen” players last week.

Manchester coach Alyx Brandewie:

On Winamac — “I’ve only watched about 10 minutes of film so far (as of early Tuesday evening) after getting it from Coach Hendryx — and it kind of speaks to what kind of program they are that we were able to trade film and rosters right away — but they’re obviously good. They’re fast, physical and disciplined.”

On being idle — “It was a weird week figuring out how to proceed and what we could do. We basically had abbreviated practices, about an hour each, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and did what we could do with the position groups available to us. Our message was ‘we don’t know what opportunities will come, but we have to stay focused and working so that we’re ready to pounce when opportunity does come.’”

On returning to action — “(Monday) was an e-learning day, so we weren’t allowed to practice, so (Tuesday) was the first time we’ve seen our guys since last Thursday, so it’s been a strange time, but as I told them, ‘let’s just do a good job of controlling what we can control. Let’s have a good Tuesday practice,’ and it’s going to be the same goal Wednesday. Focusing on what we can control is going to give us our best chance to succeed.”