Four Downs: Can three locals build off wins?

Photo by Kylie Schepers/Special To The Herald
Senior Aidan Jochem (8) and Southridge will try and build off the team's first win of the season - a 30-15 triumph Aug. 27 against Boonville. 

By Herald Staff

Here are the games for our teams this week.

Panthers at Wildcats

Teams: Evansville Reitz (2-0, 2-0) at Jasper (2-0, 2-0), Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Last Meeting: Jasper won, 35-14, Sept. 4, 2020

1. Jasper left Evansville a victor for the second week in a row with a 49-12 win Aug. 27 at Evansville Harrison. However, the Wildcats trailed, 12-7, at one point. Jasper coach Tony Lewis thought his team did not have a good week of practice, which was probably why they didn't play hard in the first half. Some halftime adjustments opened things up for them.

2. The Wildcats will be putting their undefeated record to the test against fellow 2-0 team Evansville Reitz. Sophomore quarterback Roland Vera threw three interceptions in his team's game against Vincennes Lincoln, but one might not have known it by looking at the 41-0 final score. The Panthers have outscored their opponents, 72-7, these first two games.

3. Lewis knows the Wildcats are going to have their hands full defensively, as the Panthers have a lot of weapons. One of those weapons includes Jay Smith, a senior running back for the team. An article from WFIE previewing Reitz's season described Smith as well-rounded, and Lewis thinks being gap sound and playing good, fundamental football is how to slow him.

4. "Any time you can be in front of your home fans, that's a good thing," Lewis said. "We expect a big crowd, and I'm sure Reitz is going to bring a big crowd. They're 2-0 as well, playing really well. Coach (Cory) Brunson does a great job preparing his teams, and they'll be ready to go."

Raiders at Vikings

Teams: Southridge (1-1) at North Posey (2-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.

Last Meeting: Southridge won, 55-21, Sept. 4, 2020

1. Southridge's rushing attack Aug. 27 against Boonville was a difference of night and day compared to the first week against Linton-Stockton. The Raiders totaled 108 yards on the ground. So, Southridge coach Scott Buening noted the coaches challenged the offensive line, and the result was 334 rushing yards against the Pioneers.

2. Buening believes the Raiders have a lot to improve upon following their win against Boonville, but it's a lot more enjoyable trying to do so after a win. He thinks the Raiders are trying to clean up some technique issues - such as in Southridge's blocking schemes, or trying to better carry out fakes on offense.

3. The Raiders will be dealing with an experienced, senior-laden North Posey team. Such seniors include quarterback Harold Bender, running back Devin Lintzenich, and also some linebackers in Will Weatherholt and All-Pocket Athletic Conference selection Wyatt Willman. This is also Southridge's first PAC Small Division game in 2021.

4. "They're very explosive, and we're going to have to do a really good job of trying to their contain their quarterback - great athlete, three-year starter," Buening said. "He's got a tremendous arm - very, very accurate, been real impressed with how accurate he is throwing the ball down the field, and then he's got some guys that can go get it."

Rangers at Marksmen

Teams: Forest Park (1-1) at Tell City (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

Series: Forest Park leads, 8-7.

Last Meeting: Tell City won, 25-0, Sept. 4, 2020.

1. Forest Park's 21-7 loss Aug. 27 against Perry Central is an example of stats not telling the whole story. The Rangers gained more yards, and the Commodores put the ball on the ground more, but the latter won by two touchdowns. Forest Park coach Ross Fuhs thought there were times where 10 players did their job on the field, but one did not, which was costly.

2. Fuhs did note some improvements from the week before, though, such as hydration and nutrition, plus his defense playing downhill. He told of Perry Central having a few big plays, but not many first downs against the Rangers. There are still some changes, and evaluations, to be made this week.

3. Tell City's defense has limited some opponents since the beginning of last year, but was not the case in the team's Week Two, 35-0 loss to Heritage Hills. The Patriots capitalized for 208 rushing yards in their rout, and the Rangers will hope to do the same. Fuhs noted how the Marksmen can fly to the football, and they need to know their keys defensively.

4. "They'll definitely be ready to rock and roll," Fuhs said of the Marksmen. "It's kind of been a rivalry game for us the last few years. A couple of years ago, we beat them two times in a row - last game of the season and first game of the sectional. So, it's kind of been a rivalry, but yeah, I'm sure they'll be ready. But on the flip side, we need to be, too."

Pioneers at Patriots

Teams: Boonville (0-1) at Heritage Hills (1-1, 0-1), The Jungle, 8 p.m.

Last Meeting: Boonville won, 28-9, Sept. 4, 2020

1. Heritage Hills didn't attempt a single pass in its 35-0 win Aug. 27 against Tell City, but it didn't have to. The Patriots gained 208 yards, all on the ground. Coach Todd Wilkerson lauded his players for executing well on the offensive side of the ball, crediting his offensive line for blocking to the whistle, runners breaking tackles and also emphasized making plays.

2. In pitching a shutout, the defense did its job, too, by not allowing the Marksmen to generate much of anything through the air or on the ground. Nobody for Tell City had more than 23 rushing yards, and the Pats limited four-year quarterback Aden Dodson to 15 yards on three completions. Wilkerson thought his players played physical and fast in this outing.

3. Heritage Hills will get a look at Boonville, another team in the Pocket Athletic Conference's Large School Division. The Pioneers had no answers for Southridge's rushing attack in their 30-15 loss Aug. 27 at Raider Field. The Raiders ran for 334 yards, but Wilkerson noted it was Boonville's first game, and he's expecting a better defense from the Pioneers this week.

4. "We used to have to play Southridge every year and they'd play the under center Wing-T," Wilkerson said. "So, we're going back to our old files to pull out our defensive alignments for when Southridge used to be an under center Wing-T team and we're practicing that this week, and we're going to work hard to be ready to stop that."

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