Northridge (7-1, 5-1 NLC) at Warsaw (7-1, 5-1 NLC)
When: Friday, 7 p.m., Fisher Field, Warsaw.
Series (last 35 years): Warsaw, 27-7.
John Harrell’s prediction: Warsaw, 24-21.
Last meeting: Oct. 14, 2022, Warsaw, 35-21.
About Northridge: Chad Eppley’s 4A Associated Press No. 3/Indiana Football Coaches Association No. 6 Raiders beat Plymouth 40-14 in Week 8 … Offensive leaders include Brayden Clark passing and rushing, Derek Sherwood and McClain Miller rushing and Chase Clark, Judah Hochstetler, Zach Baugh and Miller receiving … Defensive standouts include Beau Bojanich, Brock Thompson, Conner Roth and Corbin Kollat … Dylan Ritchie has kicked 17 extra points and three field goals (one from 42 yards) … Northridge puts up 27.5 points per game while allowing 17.6 with the Raiders scoring at least 25 five times.
About Warsaw: Bart Curtis’ 6A AP vote-getter/IFCA No. 12 Tigers beat Goshen 42-7 in Week 8 … With the halftime score 35-0, there was a running clock in the second half … Reed Zollinger ran for three TDs while Quinton Brock, Grady Nolin and Michael Schenk rushed for one each … Brock’s was the first TD run by a Warsaw QB this season … Through eight games, Brock is 12-of-26 passing for 221 yards with three interceptions … Zollinger has 205 carries for 1,225 yards and 13 TDs, Luke Ransbottom 39 rushes for 372 yards and four TDs, Brock 73 totes for 277 yards and one TD … Ransbottom has eight catches for 144 yards … The Tigers have pulled to minus-1 on turnover ratio (18 fumbles lost and 3 interceptions thrown on offense , seven fumbles recovered and 13 interceptions made on defense) … Warsaw scores 24.5 points per game and allows 13.3 … The Tigers gain 315.9 yards per game (288.3 rushing) and yield 219.8 (144.9 passing) … With a win against Northridge, Warsaw will earn at least a share of the NLC title … Warsaw is 3-0 at home and Northridge 4-0 on the road this season … The Tigers have won in the last five meetings with Northridge … Warsaw has drawn Carroll in IHSAA Sectional 2 and is scheduled to play Oct. 27 at Fisher Field.
Per Coach Bart Curtis:
On Northridge — They’re 7-1 for a season. They’re very well-coached and sound in all facets of the game … We get to play this great game. We’re just going to enjoy the opportunity and love one another.
Positives — We’ve intercepted 13 passes (including two by Tristan Wilson against Goshen) … Our secondary play and our under-coverage play has improved … We almost went a whole game without putting the ball on the ground (fumbling late but not losing possession against Goshen) … We’re playing hard all the time.
On Goshen game — That was a young team that has been battling some numbers issues. Ten of 11 players went both ways. (Goshen) didn’t quit … We played well from the beginning.
Bremen (4-4) at Tippecanoe Valley (8-0)
When: Friday, 7 p.m., Smith-Bibler Memorial Field, Akron.
Series: Bremen leads 8-4.
Last meeting: Bremen won 34-7, Aug. 17, 2018.
Last Valley win: 21-7, Aug. 25, 2012.
John Harrell’s prediction: Valley, 38-10.
About Bremen: The Lions have won four straight meetings, during the 2013, ’14, ’17 and ’18 seasons. … Bremen’s coming off a 22-8 loss at South Bend Riley (7-1). Its premier win is a 28-21 Week 4 decision at Triton (5-3). … The Lions feature the state’s No. 2 yardage receiver in junior wideout Tyrus Graverson. He’s at 962 yards on 49 catches with a 19.6 average and nine touchdowns. Senior Reece Greene has added 25 receptions for 553 yards, a 22.1 average and four TDs. … Junior quarterback Silas Laidig is 90-of-155 throwing for 1,657 yards and 15 touchdowns against eight picks, while junior running back Austin Young has carried 107 times for 463 yards and four TDs. … On defense, Young has team-leading figures of five tackles for loss and four sacks. Graverson is the pacesetter in overall tackles at 47 and Greene has two of his team’s eight fumble recoveries. … Graverson’s 22-of-23 on extra points and 5-of-7 on field goals with a long of 36. … Bremen and Valley, who will both be members of the new Indiana Northern State Conference next year, have a pair of opponents in common in fellow future INSC brethren Jimtown and Glenn. The Lions fell at Jimtown 35-24 and were blindsided by Glenn 42-0 last month, while the Vikings own wins of 35-14 over the Jimmies and 37-14 last week over the Falcons.
About Valley: The 3A No. 4-ranked Vikings are seeking the program’s seventh undefeated regular season, which would put them in the company of the 1977, ’78, ’79, ’81, ’87 and 2021 clubs. … Despite the absence of star senior running back Nate Parker, Valley rolled past host Glenn on Saturday. Parker missed the game due to a foot injury suffered a week earlier at West Lafayette and is expected to miss this week’s contest as well, but will “hopefully be back for (top-ranked host Indianapolis) Chatard,” in next week’s sectional opener, per coach Steve Moriarty. … Senior Wade Jones intercepted two passes against Glenn, further increasing his career school record to a staggering 19 and his season total to five. On the year, the Vikings have picked off 12 passes, with seven players owning one each. … Senior Dalton Alber has 10 of Valley’s 47 tackles for loss and seven of the team’s 25 sacks to lead in each. Junior Brock Derf is second in each category at seven and four. … On offense, Valley displayed its ground depth with Parker out. Four players rushed for at least 42 yards each, although one of them, junior Brandon Stiles, is expected to join Parker on the sideline this week with a foot injury of his own. Another four individuals combined for another 80 rushing yards. … Through the air, senior quarterback Cody Eastgate is 46-of-80 throwing for 896 yards and eight touchdowns against four picks. Jones is at 16 catches for 394 yards and four TDs. … It’ll be Senior Night for the Vikings, with 17 players set to be saluted.
Valley coach Steve Moriarty:
On last week — “I thought our team played well. We didn’t have Nate, but Wade had a peak performance with two interceptions and a great catch on a third-down play. Our offensive line played well. The defense gave up some passing yards (212), but that’s with a negative 14 rushing. I was pleased with our effort.”
On Bremen — “They have a great passing game, a couple really good receivers, one who was leading the state for a while. Their quarterback likes to throw deep, so our secondary will have to come ready.”
On the seniors — “It’s a very special class. They’ve only lost two regular-season games the last three years. They’ve won two conference championships. To see them all on the field Friday (for pregame ceremonies) will be special. It’s a group that’s led by example.”
Wawasee (1-7, 1-5 NLC) at Mishawaka (6-2, 5-1 NLC)
When: Friday, 7 p.m., Steele Stadium, Mishawaka.
Series (last 35 years): Mishawaka, 3-0.
John Harrell’s prediction: Mishawaka, 38-14.
Last meeting: Oct. 14, 2022, Mishawaka, 54-21.
About Wawasee: Jon Reutebuch’s 4A Warriors lost 38-21 to NorthWood in Week 8 … Hunter Tinkey caught at TD pass from Luke Keim while Derek Bontrager and Donovan Blair gathered scoring aerials from Mason Shoemaker and Reed Reidenbach booted the extra points … Shoemaker was 19-of-32 passing for 189 yards with two interceptions, Keim 4-of-8 for 85 yards … Tinkey caught eight passes for 116 yards, Bontrager five for 71 and Blair four for 46 … Total tackle leaders were Brandon Kelly (8), Blair (6), Bontrager (6) and Reidenbach (6) … Bontrager and Tinkey had one interception apiece … Through eight games, Shoemaker is 89-of-148 passing for 1,050 yards, 10 TDs and 10 interceptions and Keim is 24-of-54 for 235 yards and one TD and six interceptions … Tinkey has 59 carries for 400 yards and two TDs and Brandon Kelly 59 rushes for 254 yards and one TD … Tinkey has 33 receptions for 479 yards and three TDs, Bontrager 36 catches for 364 yards and five TDs, Blair 12 grabs for 178 yards and one TD and Bradyn Pike 12 receptions for 163 yards and one TD … Pacing in total tackles are Brandon Kelly (68), Payton Sewell (53), Brandon Kelly (45) and Bontrager (44) … Bontrager and Tinker have two interceptions each … The Warriors score 15.0 points per game and give up 26.9 … Wawasee has drawn South Bend Riley in IHSAA Sectional 18 and is scheduled to play Oct. 20 in Syracuse.
About Mishawaka: Keith Kinder’s AP No. 9/IFCA No. 8 5A Cavemen beat Concord 31-7 in Week 8 … Offensive leaders include Brady Fisher passing and rushing, Novell Miller and Ethan Bryce rushing and Bryce and Trey Thomas receiving … Mishawaka scores 35.6 points per game and yields 17.1 … The Cavemen have tallied at least 31 points seven times … Mishawaka is 4-0 on its home field in 2023.
Per Coach Jon Reutebuch:
On Mishawaka — They’re a solid team. They run their offense very efficiently … We’re going to have to play well again just to compete. We want to compete and sharpen ourselves for the sectional.
Positives — It’s great to see that once we set that new level of play in the Northridge game we’ve had that level. There were some extra circumstances in the NorthWood game that didn’t allow us to be closer. The level of play the last three games has been solid.
On NorthWood game — We had done a pretty good job on defense. That last Hail Mary (touchdown pass from Owen Roeder to NiTareon Tuggle) at the end of the second quarter hurt a lot. We probably didn’t recover from that until the end of the third quarter going into the fourth quarter.
Peru (8-0, 7-0 TRC) at Manchester (3-5, 3-4 TRC)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.. Burk Field, North Manchester
Series: Peru 6-3
John Harrell’s prediction: Peru 42-14
Last Meeting: Oct. 14, 2022, Peru 19-18
About Peru: The undefeated Tigers have the chance to win the Three Rivers Conference outright with a win over Manchester on Friday. A loss to the Squires would open the door for Rochester and Maconaquah to earn a share of the title with wins. Only one of Peru’s eight games so far has been decided by one possession, a 27-26 win over Maconaquah on September 15. The Tigers’ high-octane offense is headlined by Matthew Roettger and Alex Ross, who both average over 100 rushing yards a game and have combined for 21 touchdowns this fall. Roettger has also thrown 16 touchdown passes this year on just under 1,000 yards passing. Tanner Boggs, the team’s second-string running back, has totalled nearly 500 yards this season and eight touchdowns of his own.
About Manchester: Manchester was unable to pick up a win against Lewis Cass last week, falling 38-7 at home. The Squires trailed that game just 6-0 at halftime, playing some tough defense to keep things close. Riess Gaerte had 79 rushing yards while also scoring the team’s lone touchdown of the game on a long kickoff return. Gaerte suffered an ankle injury late in the game but returned and is expected to be a go for Friday night. Quarterback Logan Eastgate threw for 60 yards while running for 42 more last week. The Squires have been held to a touchdown or less on offense in four of its last five contests. Behind Gaerte and his eight touchdowns, four players (Eastgate, Eli Metzger, Colton Nelson and Preston Duffy) all each have two scores.
Manchester head coach Eddie Fields:
On Cass game - Cass is a good football team and defensively I think we came out and played really well. Physically, that’s about as well as we’ve played in that first half. We got our first stop of a two-point conversion all season long so that was a landmark for us. We gave up three plays for 180 yards and 120 on the other 40 so that was something that impressed me, but we have to clean up allowing those chunk plays.
On wrapping up regular season at Manchester - I’ve enjoyed it. I’m very grateful to be the head coach here. Our community is phenomenal and I think all of the pieces are here for us to build on. I’m not looking forward to the cold weather but that’s what football is all about. We’re in great shape heading forward.
On Peru - We told the guys this week that we might not have a chance to win the conference, but we have a chance to determine who does if we play well. They’re a really good football team and that’s a team we want to play well against. They’ve got a ton of seniors and juniors, no 9s and 10s on their roster sheet. They don’t blow you away schematically but they do everything well and have a lot of talented players.
Wabash (1-7, 1-6 TRC) at Whitko (1-7, 0-7)
When: Friday, 7 p.m., Huff Stadium, South Whitley.
Series: Whitko leads 12-6.
Last meeting: Wabash won 49-0, Oct. 14, 2022.
Last Whitko win: 30-24, Sept. 19, 2014.
John Harrell’s prediction: Whitko, 24-23.
About Wabash: In a sharp about-face, the Apaches have beaten Whitko each of the last six years after the Wildcats took the first 12 meetings all-time. The sides did not meet in 2015 and ’16. … Wabash’s lone win this season is 20-18 in Week 7 over North Miami (1-7), a team that edged Whitko 24-19 in Week 5. … Senior quarterback Izaak Wright has completed 102-of-221 throws for 1,417 yards and 15 touchdowns for the pass-oriented Apaches. Senior wideout Trevor Daughtry is tied for eighth in the state with 51 receptions, resulting in 777 yards to rank 10th, with nine TDs. Three of his teammates have added another 199 to 210 yards apiece receiving. … On defense, senior safety Keaton Fields has been in on a hearty 106 tackles (41 solos, 65 assists). Daughtry, a safety as well, has three takeaways, two by interception.
About Whitko: The Wildcats dropped their seventh straight game and second straight shutout last week, falling 33-0 at Northfield. … Sophomore Landon Smith rushed for a career-high 81 yards on 19 carries, stepping up following a first-quarter injury to Trevor Freel. Per coach Brad Sprunger, Freel is “questionable” to return this week, while fellow junior Isaac Irwin, also injured in the opening quarter, is “good to go.” … Freshman Crew Ebbinghouse got his first start at quarterback for the Wildcats and will remain the starter this week, according to Sprunger. … Junior Riley Harman caught a pair of passes for 52 yards, upping his season totals to 17 receptions for 431 yards, a dazzling 25.4 average. He added an interception on the defensive side to go with a team-high six tackles … The Cats will try to snap an 11-game home losing streak dating to late in the 2021 season as they conduct Senior Night. They’ll also be home next week for a Class 2A sectional opener against Manchester.
Whitko coach Brad Sprunger:
On last week — “I thought the kids played pretty hard and fairly well. The season’s kind of a broken record right now. We drive down and have a fourth-and-1 and lose the ball. We had three turnovers (two by fumble) and an 89-yard run by Landon Smith called back for a block in the back. It’s just one of those kinds of years. We gotta keep working. I thought Crew didn’t play bad in his first start.”
On Wabash — “They like to throw the ball. They seem to be in a similar situation to us, a broken record where you do some good things, but something bad happens. They’re quick on defense, so it’s always fun to see who you want to stay away from and who maybe you want to pick on.”
On the seniors — “We only have four, and only one from that group that played for us last year, but they’ve worked hard and there’s some talent there that we’re gonna miss next year. With what they’ve (endured), you kind of wish they could come back.”
Triton (5-3, 4-2 HNAC) at Winamac (3-5, 2-4 HNAC)
When: Friday, 7 p.m., Roudebush Field, Winamac.
Series (last 35 years): Triton, 6-5.
John Harrell’s prediction: Triton, 31-17.
Last meeting: Oct. 14, 2022, Triton, 42-6.
About Triton: Zach Whittaker’s 1A AP vote-getter/IFCA No. 11 Trojans lost 42-7 to Knox in Week 8 … Javan May’s touchdown catch from Cole Shively and Shively’s kick in the fourth quarter accounted for Triton’s points … Shively was 6-of-11 passing for 141 yards with one interception … Total tackle leaders were Dante’ Workman (8), Shively (7), Piece Brookins (6) and Evan Renforth (6) … Triton scores 28.6 points per game and gives up 17.6 … The Trojans are 1-3 in their last four games against Winamac … Triton has drawn North Newton in IHSAA Sectional 41 and is scheduled to play Oct. 20 in Morocco.
About Winamac: Josh Burgess’ 2A Warriors beat Caston 28-22 in Week 8 … Talen Garner and Jadon Jones had rushing TDs, Maddox Bucinski caught at TD pass from Cash Roth and Jones returned an interception 100 yards for a score … Defensive leaders were Jones and Tucker Fox … Winamac scores 15.4 points per game and gives up 28.1 … After an 0-5 start, the Warriors are on a three-game win streak.
Per Coach Zach Whittaker:
On Winamac — We’re not taking them lightly. That’s for sure. They seem to be playing their best football at the right time … It’ll be a get-right week for us and getting back to our basics. We need to stay focused and get back to who we are.
Health — We’ve been battling with injuries all season. We’re finally getting healthy. We only have three (expected) out this week. We’ve had games where we had nine sitting out.
On Knox game — There’s a reason they’re undefeated … They came out and executed well. We did not. It came down to poor execution on our part and they made us pay for it.