Four Downs: Jasper, Southridge look to stay undefeated

Photo by Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Senior quarterback Blake Mann (5) and Jasper will look to improve to 4-0 Friday by taking on Evansville Bosse at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium.

Here are previews for the upcoming games for our schools on Friday.

Bulldogs at Wildcats

Teams: Evansville Bosse (0-2) at Jasper (3-0), 7:30 p.m., Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium

Last Meeting: Jasper defeated Evansville Bosse, 46-19, in the sectional opener Oct. 22, 2004.

1. Jasper is off to its first 3-0 since 2015, and is seeking its first 4-0 start since 2014. Wildcats coach Tony Lewis noted the adversity they had with their turnovers against Evansville Memorial and some of the big plays the defense made in the 35-14 Sept. 4 win at Evansville Reitz. Lewis is proud of the way they’re playing.

2. Lewis thinks the offensive line is doing a great job communicating this year, but with the different types of defenses Jasper will be playing this, he also wants his linemen to make calls quickly to alert the backfield the changing of the blocking schemes for the team’s option offense. He added they’ve worked on this the past couple weeks, and have been doing so again this week.

3. Bosse’s scheduled Sept. 4 game with Castle was cancelled. The Bulldogs have allowed 103 points through their first two games, and while Lewis is aware of their struggles early on, he described the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference as “Dog-Eat-Dog,” and that his players have to have a great week of practice and be ready to play.

4. “We had a good week last week rushing the football and that’s obviously been one of our better things that we’ve done offensively,” Lewis said. “So, we’ve got to prepare for different types of getting eight, up to nine men in the box to take away our run. So, we have to be able to do something in the passing game in terms of play-action, as well sprint out, as well as bootleg.”

Raiders at Chargers

Teams: Southridge (3-0) at Pike Central (0-3), 7:30 p.m., Weathers Field

Series: Southridge leads, 42-4.

Last Season: Southridge won, 70-3.

1. Southridge senior quarterback Chase Taylor balled out in his team’s 55-21 against Pocket Athletic Conference Small School rival North Posey Sept. 4. Taylor was 9-of-15 passing for 147 yards, three touchdowns, while carrying the ball 27 times for 216 yards and four additional scores. Raiders coach Scott Buening praised his team’s offensive line, and added Taylor runs well between the tackles.

2. Buening has praised his defense’s pursuits, but added last week he wanted to see better tackling as well. He thought it’s something that takes a little bit of time, but he thought they improved in that aspect against the Vikings. Buening thinks the game is slowing down for the Raiders, and he thought his players did a good job of not letting North Posey drive the football.

3. The Chargers are currently riding a skid at the moment. Pike Central last won on Sept. 8, 2018, in a 7-6 game against Tell City. The Chargers have since lost 19 games in a row, including their first three this season. Pike Central dropped an 11-point loss in the Aug. 21 opener against Brown County, but has been shut out in consecutive weeks — allowing 126 points through three games.

4. “They’ll spread the ball out a little bit,” Buening said of the Chargers. “They’ll go from a spread offense to a power offense, and so they throw some different formations at you, which is going to create a challenge…They’ve got a big offensive line — they get off the ball and they can create some gaps and holes. They do some things there that obviously can cause some challenges.”

Rangers at Braves

Teams: Forest Park (2-1) at Tecumseh (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

Series: Tecumseh leads, 3-2.

Last Season: Forest Park won, 26-0.

1. Forest Park coach Ross Fuhs thinks his team is refocused and regrouped after losing for the first time, 25-0, Sept. 4 against PAC Small School foe Tell City. It’s all about moving forward now. Fuhs told the Herald earlier this year how winning the Small School Division is one of the team’s goals. That might have taken a slight dip, but he added there’s still plenty of games left.

2. Senior Tanler Schnarr and junior Beau Rasche filled in on the offensive line in the game against the Marksmen. Fuhs said Schnarr is learning more each week and has been likely to get more reps this week. He added Rasche was also going to get a lot of reps this week, but he’s been also rotating at the tight end spot.

3. The Braves did not play their scheduled Sept. 4 game against North Knox, so their last action was Aug. 28 in a 39-0 win against Pike Central. Sophomore running back Chase Jones racked up 218 rushing yards and three touchdowns against the Chargers. He wants his defense to be more aggressive and get to the football to derail Jones this coming Friday.

4. “We’re really working on team tackling this week — guys getting to the football, our pursuit drills, so multiple guys being there to tackle him,” Fuhs said. “Honestly, they run a lot of the same stuff Tell City ran. So, it’s kind of the same stuff defensively this week as far as responsibilities, but the big thing for us is just tackling better in open space and getting multiple guys to the football to bring him down.”

Rebels at Patriots

Teams: South Spencer (1-2) at Heritage Hills (0-3), 8:00 p.m., the Jungle

Series: Heritage Hills leads, 37-12.

Last Season: Heritage Hills defeated South Spencer, 42-0.

1. Heritage Hills dropped a 28-9 loss Sept. 4 at Boonville, but coach Todd Wilkerson was the proud of the effort the Patriots gave. Wilkerson said the Pats played “extremely hard” against the Pioneers, and were not far from getting the go-ahead score late in the third quarter. He also praised the energy the Pats played with, but just didn’t make a few plays red zone.

2. Wilkerson is looking to his defense to take good angles, tackle and get the opposition on the ground this week. Still, the defense created a couple turnovers to put the offense in good position. Once the offense gets to the red zone, Wilkerson said, it’s about executing at a very high level. He stressed it’s important for the offense to hold their blocks in red zone territory.

3. The Rebels have a couple of pieces Heritage Hills will have to focus on. Senior Cameron Weigand rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns Sept. 4 against Pike Central, and also ran for 74 yards on 19 carries Aug. 28 at Mount Vernon. Quarterback Kobe Bartlett, a fellow senior, doesn’t always throw the ball a lot, but completed at least 66 percent of his passes in both of the aforementioned games.

4. “Four games in a row, we’re going to face quarterbacks who can really throw the ball down the field, and do a nice job of managing their offense,” Wilkerson said. “So, for us, it’s just about, again, doing our job, making we’re in the right places at the right times, communicating, making sure we’re tackling well. So, I just look for every week for our secondary to get better.”

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