NorthWood (4-3, 3-2 Northern Lakes Conference) at Warsaw (6-1, 5-0 NLC)

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

Series (last 35 years): NorthWood, 24-11.

John Harrell’s prediction: Warsaw, 31-21.

Last meeting: Oct. 9, 2020, NorthWood 22-21.

About NorthWood — Coach Nate Andrews’ Panthers lost 40-20 at Mishawaka in Week 7 … NorthWood, which trailed 22-0 at halftime, scored on a run by Ethan Evers and touchdown receptions by Ni’Tareon Tuggle and Keegin Stats from Owen Roeder … On the season, Panther leaders are Kaden Lone (79-of-123 for 1,024 yards and 10 TDs) and Roeder (37-of-54 for 422 yards and four TDs) in passing, Lone (49 carries for 351 yards and three TDs) and Ethan Evers (51 carries for 238 yards and four TDs) in rushing and Tuggle (24 catches for 390 yards and five TDs), J.J.  Payne (20 catches for 377 yards and five TDs) and Parker Filley (16 catches for 227 yards and three TDs) in receiving … Evers (69) and Caleb Branam (42) are tops in total tackles.

About Warsaw — Coach Bart Curtis’ Tigers won 49-7 against visiting Wawasee in Week 7 … On a night when Warsaw rushed for 516 yards (second-most all-time), Jayce Sawyer (13 carries for 169 yards and two touchdowns) and Reed Zollinger (18 carries for 142 yards and one TD) cashed in on a varsity opportunity … The varsity defense pushed its shutout streak to 12 quarters … The Tigers’ Indiana opponents are a combined 17-25 (including 6-1 Michigan City, 5-2 Mishawaka and 5-2 Northidge) while NorthWood’s are 29-19 (including 6-1 Concord, 5-1 Logansport, 5-2 Jimtown, 5-2 Mishawaka and 5-2 Northridge) … The last time Warsaw was 5-0 in the NLC was 2001 (7-0) … The last three Tiger opponents have combined for 137 yards rushing (73 for Northridge, 10 for Goshen and 54 for Wawasee) … In Week 9, no matter the outcome of Friday’s game, Warsaw will play for at least a share of the NLC title at Concord.

Per Warsaw coach Bart Curtis:

On NorthWood – They have some speed on the edges. Their perimeter game is a hug concern … They’re fast on defense. They have a very capable kicker … A year ago they were 2-3 when we played them. They beat us at their place. Records mean nothing … Their kids play as hard as anybody in the conference. They just go … They will tempo you. They’ll try to get you to jump offsides. They present a lot of issues for us.

Unsung on D — (Inside linebacker) Jonny Burritt is around the ball all the time. He’s always at the football … (Free safety) Theo Katris holds the back of our defense together … (Defensive end) Russ Winchester is a name you don’t hear a lot. He’s played solidly for us up front.

On Wawasee game — We didn’t score before halftime and that didn’t happen (having the ball near the goal line twice in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter) … Our varsity defense played 18 snaps. Other than the early pass that got thrown over our head we played really well defensively.



Tippecanoe Valley (7-0 overall, 5-0 TRC) at Wabash (1-5, 1-3)

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

Series: Valley leads 11-3.

Last meeting: Valley won 35-27, Oct. 5, 2018.

Last Wabash Win: 30-29, Oct. 6, 2017.

John Harrell’s prediction: Valley, 49-10.

About Valley: The Vikings’ 57-6 win last week at Maconaquah lifted them to 7-0 for the first time since 1987. That ’87 club started 9-0. … Class 3A No. 7-rated Valley also moved a step closer to its first outright TRC title since 2006, still needing a win Friday and a win next week over Southwood (3-4, 3-3 ) to assure that. … QB Branson McBrier threw his first pick all season last week, but still finished 6-of-8 for 162 yards and two TDs. For the season, he’s 46-of-63 for 888 yards and 10 touchdowns. … Braden Shepherd ran for 111 yards and two TDs on just nine carries in addition to turning his lone reception into a 74-yard score. … The Vikings led 36-0 at halftime against the pass-happy Braves, triggering a running clock in the second half. The Valley defense closed with five sacks, two by junior Alex Bailey, and an interception from sophomore Nathan Parker.

About Wabash: Sophomore QB Izaak Wright hit 8-of-9 for 131 yards and two touchdowns in the Apaches’ first victory of the season last week, 48-7 over winless North Miami. It was 48-0 at the half. … Wright is 75-of-126 on the year for 1,018 yards with nine TDs against four picks. Favorite target Antonio Grant, a junior, has 23 catches for 426 yards and two scores, while senior fullback Colten Learned is at 255 ground yards and a 4.7 average. … Though the season is entering Week 8, Wabash and Valley have just one common opponent to date. The Apaches fell 41-13 to Northfield, a team the Vikings beat 44-13.

Valley coach Steve Moriarty:

On last week: “They had a good passing game and we knew we would have to have pretty good coverage. Overall, I think we did a good job getting to the quarterback, making him make some decisions. It was nice to play a team that spread like that and tried to put us in a bind.”

On Wabash: “They like to throw the ball as well. They’ve put it in the air 52% of the time. Their quarterback throws a good ball. So we’ll have to keep him contained. Their fullback does a great job of running the ball hard. He’s a big kid. We’ll have to be able to tackle low.”

On approach as a heavy favorite: “We pick out something we need to improve on, how we’re picking up the linebackers or how we’re running our feet. This week, we definitely want to improve our tackling. Sometimes we get too high or don’t run our feet. We want to improve our football team every week. We’re looking at fundamentals as much as schemes.”



Maconaquah (2-3 overall, 2-3 TRC) at Manchester (3-3, 3-2)

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

Series: Manchester leads 2-1.

Last meeting: Manchester won 25-17, Oct. 13, 2017.

Last Maconaquah win: 28-27, Oct. 16, 2015.

John Harrell’s prediction: Manchester, 35-28.

About Maconaquah: The Braves, coming off a 57-6 loss to unbeaten Tippecanoe Valley, feature sophomore sensation Braxton Birner at quarterback. While Birner was a more pedestrian 23-of-41 for 211 yards with a touchdown and a pick against the Vikings, his season totals are 129-of-182 (70.9%) for 1,454 yards in just five games with 16 TDs and five interceptions. That’s 290.8 yards per outing, No. 2 in the state. His percentage is also No. 2 among the top 15 QBs in yardage, and he’s the lone non-senior or junior among the top nine. … Mac and Manchester already have four opponents in common, with a set of results that suggest a potentially tight matchup. Each is 3-1 against those teams, with the loss for each being Valley. Each has had the better result in terms of margin twice. The Squires have outscored those teams by a combined 96-84, while Mac is at 124-125.

About Manchester: The Squires unleashed both a 200-yard rusher (Braxton Ream at 218 with two TDs) and a 200-yard passer (Brock Casper at 12-of-19 for 205 with two TDs) in the same game during last week’s 42-7 win at Whitko. Seth Gaerte blended in five receptions for 118 yards and two scores. … Manchester is seeking its third straight win, which would be a first since 2017 and match the program’s best in the last nine years. Further, the Squires can wrap up a winning TRC record for the first time since 2012 with a victory this week or next.

Manchester coach Alyx Brandewie:

On last week: “We started a little bit, turned it over twice on downs on our first two possessions, but then we got a big fourth-down stop from our defense, and one play after that, Brock hits Seth for a 27 or 28-yard touchdown. … We ran for 275 and threw for over 200. I think we’re getting better each week, and a big part of that is being able to run and pass.”

On Maconaquah: “They’re not trying to hide the fact that they’re going to sling it all over the yard. Part of the challenge to slowing them down is dealing with the tempo. They want to play pretty fast, so for us, that means everybody lining up correctly and being prepared for that. Then offensively, you take whatever they give you. We don’t need to go in with the mindset that it has to be one way.”

On recent success: “It’s been awhile since Manchester’s (finished) over .500 or gone on a three-game win streak. Everybody’s fired up, but if you start thinking too much about those kinds of things, you can get caught being in the wrong place.”



Triton (3-4, 2-4 Hoosier North Athletic Conference) at Knox (1-6, 0-4 HNAC)

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. EST, Community Field, Knox.

Series (last 35 years): Knox, 26-9.

John Harrell’s prediction: Knox, 21-20.

Last meeting: Oct. 9, 2020, Knox 22-18.

About Triton — Coach Rodney Younis’ Trojans lost 35-16 against visiting North Judson in Week 7 … Triton leaders are Cole Shively (28-of-72 for 276 yards and four touchdowns) in passing, Anthony Schuh (144 carries for 966 yards and eight TDs), Shively (63 carries for 157 yards and one TD) and Trace Schuh (26 carries for 119 yards and two TDs) in rushing, Cole Irvine (six catches for 112 yards and three TDs) and Amari Snyder (11 catches for 89 yards) in receiving, Brayden Cunningham (63), Reilley Wood (57) and Landon Lemler (48) in total tackles.

About Knox — Coach Russ Radtke’s Redskins lost 34-14 at Pioneer in Week 7 … Knox is on a four-game losing skid … The Redskins’ win (20-14) came in Week 3 against Highland … Knox is 5-1 in its last six meetings with Triton.

Per Triton coach Rodney Younis:

On Knox – They’re always going to play very physical. They have a Hall of Fame coach. There’s nothing he hasn’t seen. We need to read our keys defensively and fly to the football. Offensively we need to take care of the football and when we get in the Red Zone, we need to score.

Brayden Cunningham — He’s done a really good job for us. He was our starting safety. We moved him to linebacker a couple weeks ago and he’s adjusted well. He’s made some big plays for us.

On North Judson game — It was a good game. We battled with them. North Judson’s a very good team. They had a couple of good plays and that was the difference. We made some strides moving forward.



Mishawaka (5-2, 3-2 Northern Lakes Conference) at Wawasee (1-6, 1-4 NLC)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Warrior Stadium, Syracuse.

Series (last 35 years): Mishawaka, 1-0.

John Harrell’s prediction: Mishawaka, 42-7.

Last meeting: Oct. 9, 2020, Mishawaka 42-7.

About Mishawaka — Coach Keith Kinder’s Cavemen beat visiting NorthWood 40-20 in Week 7 … Justin Fisher returned to the Mishawaka lineup at quarterback and ran for three touchdowns. Chase Gooden scored a pair of TDs for the Cavemen …This week marks Mishawaka’s first varsity visit to Wawasee.

About Wawasee — Coach Jon Reutebuch’s Warriors lost 49-7 at Warsaw in Week 7 … Lucas Ringler caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jaxon Brown late in the fourth quarter against the Tigers … Wawasee gained 121 total yards, including 67 in the air … The Warriors’ opponents are 31-18 this season (including 7-0 Tippecanoe Valley, 6-1 Warsaw, 6-1 Concord and 5-2 Northridge).

Per Wawasee coach Jon Reutebuch:

On Mishawaka – It’s another Flexbone team. We’re going to have to play at a high level to compete … Everybody has to do their responsibility (on defense) and we disciplined. You have to be relentless, stay low and not getting blown out of your assignment.

Vets & youngsters — (Seniors and captains) Driedyn Hernandez (at center), Nathan Larson (at slot receiver, running back and linebacker) and Lucas Ringler (at receiver or quarterback) are bringing it every game …

Young kids plugging in early to varsity ball are (sophomores) Aidan Monds (at linebacker), Brandon Kelly (at running back and linebacker) and Hunter Tinkey (at receiver, cornerback and safety). All three (sophs) are also on special teams.

On Warsaw game — We started the game the way we wanted to. We didn’t convert on fourth down. We hung our heads and they went right down the field … We’re still battling back from adversity during a game. We’ve got to get better at that.



Whitko (1-6 overall, 1-5 TRC) at Southwood (3-4, 3-3)

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

Series: Whitko leads 25-18.

Last meeting: Southwood won 49-0, Sept. 21, 2018.

Last Whitko win: 7-0, Sept. 6, 2014.

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

About Whitko: The Wildcats took a 7-0 lead on Manchester last week before falling 42-7. While up 7-0, Whitko tried unsuccessfully for a first down on fourth-and-1 from its own 25. Meanwhile, the Wildcat defense stopped the Squires on downs twice early in the game after Manchester drove deep into Whitko territory. … The Cats have regained the services of senior Ethan Gilbert and junior Cody Adkins after each was sidelined a couple weeks due to quarantining. Gilbert rushed for a team-best 54 yards on 16 carries against the Squires, while coach Chip Coldiron calls Adkins “a jack of all trades” who has played safety, cornerback, receiver and tight end in addition to being Whitko’s backup QB. … Senior linebacker Tyler Veach and his “special motor,” as Coldiron describes it, racked up 18 more tackles last week. Veach is tied for second in the state at 68 solos and tied for third in total tackles at 99.

About Southwood: The TRC standard over the last few years, the Knights have dropped straight for the first time since early in 2016, following up their 33-22 loss to Manchester with a 33-14 defeat at Peru. … Dual-threat junior QB Morgan Lloyd (610 rushing yards with a 9.7 average and 14 TDs; 710 passing yards with five TDs and two picks) did not play last week after being injured in the third quarter the Friday before. Sophomore Micah Smith has seen most of the action in Lloyd’s absence, with junior standout receiver Cole Winer (41 catches, 586 yards, five TDs) also moving over to take snaps.

Whitko coach Chip Coldiron:

On last week: “That was the first time we had a lead after the first quarter. We were playing pretty well, but I also can’t say we were stopping them. They turned the ball over twice inside our (20), but to be up after the first quarter was a nice step.”

On Southwood: “(Lloyd) is really good, can run and throw, has a good receiver and a good running back. I don’t know if he’s gonna play, but we’re assuming he’s playing, and even if it’s the backup, I thought he came in and did just fine against Manchester. Whoever’s playing, we gotta play hard and we gotta be able to wrap up.”

On early fourth-and-1 at own 25: “It was less than a yard and the seniors wanted to go for it. We ran iso behind a senior guard and didn’t get it, but we’re a 1-and-5 football team, so you try things. If it was more than a yard, we would’ve punted, but sometimes you gotta let your team make those decisions, and (Manchester) had a couple really good skill guys I didn’t know how well we could compete with anyway, so we wanted to keep the ball as much as we could.”