Warsaw (7-1, 6-0 Northern Lakes Conference) at Concord (7-1, 6-0 NLC)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Jake Field, Dunlap.

Series (last 35 years): Concord, 19-16.

John Harrell’s prediction: Warsaw, 28-24.

Last meeting: Oct. 16, 2020, Warsaw 35-17.

About Warsaw — Coach Bart Curtis’ Tigers triumphed 42-24 against visiting NorthWood in Week 8 … The game was tied 14-14 at halftime … On a night when Warsaw gained 317 rushing yards led by Jayce Sawyer (32 carries for 163 yards and one touchdown), Julius Jones (17 carries for 73 yards three TDs), Tucker Curtis (11 carries for 57 yards and one TD) and Bryson Brown (two carries for 24 yards and three TDs) … Sawyer was filling in for the injured German Flores-Ortega … NorthWood passed for 341 yards …The last time Warsaw was 6-0 in the NLC was 2001 (finished 7-0) … In their last three games, the Tigers have scored touchdowns on 19 of their last 23 meaningful drives (not including kneel-downs). They have turned the ball over on downs three times and missed a field goal … Warsaw converted 10-of-13 third down opportunities and is now 57 percent for the season … The Tigers are 2-1 on the road in 2021 … Warsaw is ranked No. 12 in Class 6A by the Indiana Football Coaches Association … The Tigers are 34th in the overall Sagarin ratings (No. 18 in 6A) … Warsaw’s only loss came in Week 2 at Michigan City (35-16).

About Concord — Coach Craig Koehler’s Minutemen rolled 40-7 against visiting Northridge in Week 8 … Concord offensive leaders included Hunter Dutton (140 yards passing with three TDs), Jack D’Arcy (seven receptions for 82 yards and two TDs) and Titus Hackworth Jr. (19 carries for 175 yards and one TD rushing) … Top Minutemen defensive performers were Ephram Lake (8 total tackles with 3.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks), Amarion Moore (one interception return for a TD) and Zaven Koltookian (5 tackles with 1 for loss, 1.5 sacks and one fumble recovery) … The team’s home record is 4-0 … Concord is ranked No.7 in Class 5A by the IFCA … The Minutemen are 39th in the overall Sagarin ratings (No. 9 in 6A) … Concord’s lone setback came in Week 1 (12-7 at Elkhart)

Per Warsaw coach Bart Curtis:

On Concord – They are so well-rounded and multifaceted offensively. The part of their team that gets overlooked the most is their defense. Its absolutely top notch … They’re just so deep. They’ve gotten better and better and better with every game … You’ve got to be disciplined in your coverage because (Dutton) can extend plays … Tackling in the open field is going to be a huge issue because they are very fast.

Third down conversions — I’d like that to be a little higher. We’d like to convert all of them.

On NorthWood game — We knew they could throw the football. That’s the direction they’re going offensively. Most of it was them and their kids making plays. The first two drives were concerning to say the least … We had to scrap, battle, claw just to keep up with them.



Southwood (4-4 overall, 4-3 TRC) at Tippecanoe Valley (8-0, 6-0)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Death Valley

Series: Tippecanoe Valley leads 18-16

Last Meeting: Southwood won 32-8, Oct. 16, 2020

Last Tippecanoe Valley win: 45-0, Sep. 7, 2012

John Harrell’s prediction: Tippecanoe Valley, 38-14

About Southwood: The Knights are coming off of a 35-0 victory over Whitko in a game that featured a running clock for the entirety of the second half. Junior quarterback Morgan Lloyd was everywhere in the game, passing for 140 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 81 more and a score. Most of Lloyds passing yard were caught by junior receiver Cole Winer, who caught six balls for 130 yards and a score. Lloyd has completed 53% of his passes for 850 yards and seven touchdowns. The Knights and Vikings have had five common opponents, with Southwood going 2-3 in those matches.

About Tippecanoe Valley: The undefeated Vikings are coming off of a massive 54-0 victory over Wabash in a game where eight Valley players scored touchdowns. The Vikings have outscored opponents 171-6 over their last three games. Already having clinched at least a share of the TRC title, Tippy Valley will have a chance to win it outright and cap off a perfect regular season Friday. Senior quarterback Branson McBrier threw for 104 yards last week, including the 2000thof his career. McBrier is completing 70% of his passes this season and has thrown for 992 yards to go with eleven touchdowns. Tippecanoe Valley also boasts two 500-yard rushers, Jamasyn Virgil and Braden Shepherd, though Shepherd was injured in last week’s contest and is not expected to play.

Valley coach Steve Moriarty:

On Southwood: “They’ve had our number the last couple of years, but I think our kids have not accepted losing this year. I think if we show up with a good game plan, our kids are ready, and we execute, we should have a good chance at beating them.”

On clinching a TRC Title: “We’ve come in second the last couple of years and we don’t want to do that anymore. We’ll have our home crowd behind us and we’re excited about that. We’ve got to go out there and play a good game.

On Braden Shepherd: “We’re going to ease him back into it, take it week by week, but as of now he is out against Southwood.”

On balanced offense: “When you have so many different players that can make big plays, you try to get each of them involved as best you can. You also have to do your best and take what the defense gives you. Last week we were able to spread it around quite a bit and get a lot of kids into the end zone.”

On facing Garrett in sectional: “Garrett is a good team, they’re better than their record says they are. I think they have as good of a shot at winning this sectional as some of the other teams that are favored to. We need to make sure our kids are ready and we’re not taking anything for granted.”

On staying focused: “We’re lucky that we have our last game of the season at home to clinch a conference title. In some ways, that’s our first playoff game. We just have to take it one week at a time in sectionals and be prepared for anything.”

Peru (5-2 overall, 5-1 TRC) at Manchester (4-3, 4-2)

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

Series: Peru leads 4-3

Last Meeting: Peru won 43-14, Oct. 16, 2020

Last Manchester win: 27-13, Oct. 18, 2019

John Harrell’s prediction: Peru, 28-24

About Peru: The Tigers come into this game the winners of four straight, including last week’s 34-7 domination over Northfield. Senior quarterback Levi Strong threw for 108 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 103 yards and three scores. Senior running back Brayden Masters carried the ball 15 times for 153 times and a touchdown. Peru averages 263 rushing yards a game, led by Masters and Strong, who have both eclipsed the 750-yard mark, and have scored a combined 17 touchdown runs. Peru and Manchester have had six common opponents, and both have had a lot of success, with the Squires going 4-2 and the Tigers going 5-1.

About Manchester: The Squires come into this contest on a streak of their own, winners of their last three games. Last week it was 37-6 thumping of Manconaquah. Manchester’s balanced attack was on full display yet again, with junior quarterback Brock Casper throwing for 198 yards and four scores, while senior running back Braxton Ream had another big day, carrying the ball 22 times for 164 yards. Casper is completing 52% of his passes this season for 1,225 yards and 16 touchdowns to just four interceptions. He’s thrown eight touchdown passes during Manchester’s three-game win streak.  The Squires are trying to clinch their first winning season since 2009, and just their second since 2002.

Manchester coach Alyx Brandewie:

On finishing above .500: “It’s kind of out there, it’s around. Kids are talking about it, thinking about it, but our focus is kind of where it has been all season. We’re aware of it because a lot of different people said some nice things the last couple weeks but we’re trying to keep our focus where it’s been for the first seven weeks.

On the win streak: It all starts with our effort level. Our kids have played their tails off three weeks in a row. We’ve gotten incredible effort from the seniors all the way down to the freshmen. Our physicality has increased weekly defensively, and we’re establishing an identity on offense that allows us to be balanced.

On Brock Casper: He’s a real cerebral quarterback. His decision making is good, he’s pretty good. It’s been an ongoing discussion to get him looks and throws that he’s confident in because when he’s confident and comfortable, he’s pretty talented.

On Peru: They’ve got multiple guys that can really hurt you if you’re not disciplined. We know they’re going to get plenty of five, six, seven yard runs. What you want to try and prevent are those big 30 yard gainers. If we can stay disciplined and not give up the big chunk plays, I believe we can really compete on Friday night.

On facing Bremen in sectional: I made an announcement on Monday after school, said ‘If anyone hasn’t seen it, we drew Bremen in the first round, and we’ll start thinking about that on Saturday.’ They do things the right way, they’re fast and physical, just a very good football team.”



Triton (3-5, 2-4 Hoosier North Athletic Conference) at Winamac (6-0, 4-0 HNAC)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Roudebush Field, Winamac.

Series (last 35 years): Triton, 5-4.

John Harrell’s prediction: Winamac, 31-14.

Last meeting: Oct. 16, 2020, Winamac 10-9.

About Triton — Coach Rodney Younis’ Trojans lost 37-21 at Knox in Week 8 … Cole Shively (112 yards and one touchdown passing), Anthony Schuh (16 carries for 86 yards and two TDs rushing) and Dante´ Workman (two catches for 52 yards receiving and one TD) were offensive leaders … Bolstering the defense were Amari Snyder (8.5 tackles), Shively (seven tackles) and Brayden Cunningham (5.5 tackles) … On the season, Shively (35-of-80 for 388 yards and five TDs) paces the Trojans in passing, Anthony Schuh (160 carries for 1,052 yards and seven TDs) and Shively (72 carries for 177 yards and one TD) in rushing and Snyder (12 catches for 119 yards) and Cole Irvine (six catches for 112 yards and three TDs) in receiving … Cunningham (53), Reilley Wood (47) and Landon Lemler (43) lead in total tackles … Lemler, Tyler Amsden and Anthony Schuh have recovered two fumbles each.

About Winamac — Coach John Hendryx’s Warriors won 49-8 against visiting Caston in Week 8 … It was the 230th career win for Indiana Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer Hendryx, the 13th at Winamac … The Warriors, which lost two games in COVID-19-related issues, have outscored opponents 220-46 this season … The team is 3-0 at home … Winamac is ranked No. 4 in Class 1A by IFCA … The Warriors are 114th in the overall Sagarin ratings (No. 5 in 1A).

Per Triton coach Rodney Younis:

On Winamac – They have 23 seniors on their roster. This is going to be a great challenge, a good challenge to prepare us for the sectional … We have to do much better on the line of scrimmage.

Red Zone — We have to make sure we’re putting points on the board.

On Knox game — It came down to their offensive line just flat beat us down. Physically we didn’t match up well with them and they took advantage of that … Offensively, we had some good sparks. Cole Shively had a complete game for us. We did a little bit better in being more balanced with the run game. That was a positive.



 

 Wawasee (1-7, 1-5 Northern Lakes Conference) at Goshen (3-5, 1-5 NLC)

When: Friday, 7 p.m., Foreman Field, Goshen.

Series (last 35 years): Goshen, 23-13.

John Harrell’s prediction: Goshen, 28-17.

Last meeting: Oct. 16, 2020, Wawasee 37-21.

About Wawasee — Coach Jon Reutebuch’s Warriors lost 42-7 against visiting Mishawaka in Week 8 … Including Mishawaka (6-2), Wawasee opponents are a combined 40-24 this season.

About Goshen — Coach Kyle Park’s RedHawks won 28-14 at Plymouth in Week 8 … Triggered by quarterback Quinn Bechtel (four rushing touchdowns), Goshen won its first NLC game since 2017 while snapping a 29-game conference losing streak.

Note: Wawasee is 4-1 in its last five varsity visits to Goshen with wins in 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2019 and a loss in 2015.

Per Wawasee coach Jon Reutebuch:

On Goshen – They’re riding high. They’re looking to get their second NLC win like we are. We mirror each other in terms of issues we’re dealing with … (Bechtel) is a former tailback and a dangerous runner. We have to account for that. He’s also a dangerous passer and they have some route combos that we have to be ready (to cover).

On Mishawaka game — They’e very good at running their offense … We did a good job on the first drive and then we kind of fell apart.



Wabash (1-6, 1-4 TRC) at Whitko (1-7, 1-6)

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

Series: Whitko leads 11-4

Last Meeting: Wabash won 41-24, Oct. 16, 2020

Last Whitko win: 30-24, Sep. 19, 2014

John Harrell’s prediction: Wabash, 31-24

About Wabash: The Apaches are coming off of a 54-0 loss at the hands of undefeated Tippecanoe Valley. Wabash was only able to manage five first downs in the game, and put up only 102 total yards of offense. Sophomore quarterback Izaak Wright threw for 49 yards, while the Apaches’ leading rusher, junior Andrew Dillon, carried the ball eight times for 28 yards. Wright has thrown for 1,067 yards this season, completing 57% of his passes and throwing for seven touchdowns. Running the ball has been difficult for Wabash this season, as the team has only rushed for 462 yards. Whitko’s two top rushers have combined for 537 yards themselves.

About Whitko: The Wildcats are coming off of a 35-0 defeat to Southwood. The team has lost its last three games, scoring just one touchdown in the process. The Wildcats had 100 rushing yards in their last contest, with 46 coming from senior running back Ethan Gilbert. Gilbert is second on the team with 257 rushing yards this year, despite missing two weeks due to COVID. While Whitko is close to 1,000 yards rushing on the season with 973, the team has struggled passing the ball, throwing for just 95 yards in the first eight games. Senior quarterback Slater Craig is completing 24% of his passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Both teams are 1-3 against common opponents, with both team’s lone win this season coming against North Miami.

Whitko coach Chip Coldiron:

On finishing his first regular season at Whitko: “It’s been a lot of fun being the head coach. Getting to know the kids, getting to know the school. There’s been a lot of hard work, probably more hard work than you realize until you do it yourself.”

On last week: “It all comes down to fundamentals. Firing off the ball, we have to make sure we’re hitting the right holes and taking care of the football. It takes all eleven guys and sometimes if nine or ten are doing what we want but one or two aren’t it can destroy the play. Gotta get to the point where we’re consistent on every play. I thought we played really hard in the second half of that game.”

On this week: “We’re going to play our butts off. It’s our last regular season game, it’s the last guaranteed home game for the seniors so they want to go out with a win. We’ve had an upbeat week of practice. At halftime last week we had a good conversation in the locker room about playing with heart and I think it’s carried over nicely into this week.”

On facing Central Noble in sectional: “It doesn’t matter if it’s Central Noble or Eastside, Bluffton or Fairfield whatever. We’re going to do the best we can. It’s all about getting better every play, getting better every week, and that’s how we’re going to look at it from the sectional standpoint.”