Four Downs: Raiders, Pats to meet Friday

Photo by Hunter Tickel/The Herald
Senior Kaden Neukam (18) is a key piece for Southridge who will look to make an impact against a Heritage Hills defense that looks to contain him in this local-on-local game Friday.

By Herald Staff

Here is a look at the games featuring our teams this week. 

Huskies at Wildcats

Teams: Evansville North (4-3, 4-3) at Jasper (7-0, 7-0), Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium, 7:30 p.m. 

Last Meeting: Jasper won, 23-16, Oct. 9, 2020

1. Jasper coach Tony Lewis informed The Herald of some updates on Wednesday. Senior back Ian Giesler was not at 100% in the team's 30-12 against Castle Oct. 1, but Lewis said he's fine. The same cannot be said, however, for fellow seniors Isaac Day and Will Weinzapfel, who will be out of action the rest of the season.

2. Those are just three of the 15 senior players who are expected to be recognized Friday on senior night. Lewis has touted the senior group as a reason for Jasper's success this season, and he noted how close they are to one another and how well they get along. He put it that when they like one another, they'll more likely to play hard for one another.

3. Jasper can clinch at least a share of the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference on Friday with a win against Evansville North. The losses the Huskies have this season have been some close ones. They have their all-time leading passer, senior dual-threat Ethan Brawdy, at quarterback, and can also run it with the likes of senior T.J. Hankins and junior Angelo St. Louis.

4. "I think (Brawdy's) gotten himself in really good shape this year," Lewis said. "You can tell on film he's quicker than he was last year. He's a leader, obviously, you can tell he's a leader of that team and he's just a tough, hard-nosed kid. They do a lot of RPO stuff - run, pass, option and he does a really good job of reading people and throwing to open receivers."

Raiders at Patriots (Southridge)

Teams: Southridge (4-3) at Heritage Hills (5-2), 7:30 p.m., The Jungle

Last Meeting: Southridge won, 34-14, Oct. 9, 2020

Series: Heritage Hills leads, 37-15.

1. Southridge football has come a long way this season after some early struggles. The Raiders are coming off back-to-back wins for the first time this season and are above .500 for the first time in 2021. Raiders coach Scott Buening said they don't get caught up in their record, but with the controllables, and he's impressed how his players have grown.

2. The Raiders had been rolling with junior Levi Neukam at quarterback, but due to an injury, sophomore Hudson Allen filled in during the team's 49-7 win Oct. 1 at South Spencer. Allen was 2-of-3 passing for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Buening said Allen will most likely be at quarterback again Friday, and thought he did well filling in for Neukam.

3. Southridge will have contain junior twins Skyler and Shane Staples of Heritage Hills to have success on Friday night. Skyler had a rushing touchdown, while Shane had two. Buening noted it's a tough scheme to defend. They also both returned a punt for a touchdown as the Patriots enjoyed a 65-0 win Oct. 1 at Washington.

4. "Our punt coverage team and our kickoff coverage team are going to have to be on point this week and do a great job in their coverage," Buening said. "When you play a team like this that's as good as they are defensively and plays the style of offense they do, field position's key and really important in regards to setting up scores and giving yourself opportunities to score."

Chargers at Rangers

Teams: Pike Central (1-4, 0-3) at Forest Park (2-5, 0-3), 7 p.m.

1. It continues to be a tough 2021 for Forest Park after a couple of nice seasons in 2019 and 2020. The Rangers fumbled the ball seven times and lost five of them in their 34-7 loss Oct. 1 at North Posey. Coach Ross Fuhs said that ball security is always a point of emphasis, and losing five fumbles in a game makes it tough to get going.

2. The Rangers wanted to give senior quarterback Cooper Uebelhor another shot after an injury, and he had some reps in the loss to the Vikings. However, Fuhs said Uebelhor's ankle was bothering him, and the captain and senior leader asked him to put Jace Berg in there, who took Uebelhor's place Sept. 24 against South Spencer. Who Forest Park rolls with at the position this week will be a game time decision.

3. Fuhs said in a Wednesday text message to The Herald he would like to see Uebelhor get some snaps on Friday because it's senior night, "but we'll see." He's one of 12 seniors the Rangers have this year, with many of them having started for two or three years. Fuhs hailed them for the leaders they are with how hard they play. They'll welcome Pike Central in an effort to snap a three-game skid.

4. "I think the biggest thing for our guys is we've got to understand they've got one win and we only have two," Fuhs said of the Chargers. "We can't overlook anybody the way the season's going, and I think all you have to do is flip on a film and see how much more structured and improved they are this year."

Raiders at Patriots (Heritage Hills)

Teams: Southridge (4-3) at Heritage Hills (5-2), 7:30 p.m., The Jungle

Last Meeting: Southridge won, 34-14, Oct. 9, 2020

Series: Heritage Hills leads, 37-15.

1. Heritage Hills enjoyed a 65-0 win Oct. 1 at Washington, a big bounce back from a 42-3 loss at Gibson Southern the week before. Patriots coach Todd Wilkerson noted that it's always good to win, and it's always good for the morale of the team when so many players make big plays and score touchdowns. A total of six different players had at least one touchdown to their credit.

2. The Pats mainly ran the ball against the Hatchets, but both junior Camden Schipp and senior Luke Rickelman got reps at quarterback. Wilkerson thought Rickelman looked good at quarterback, noting he can still throw the ball well and added that the senior having time at quarterback makes the Pats more dynamic in the run game.

3. Southridge has different pieces who can make an impact out in the backfield in senior Kaden Neukam and fellow senior Aidan Jochem at fullback. Jochem had another big night with 11 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns against the Rebels. Wilkerson said the Pats will have to know where he is Friday night, as he's big, strong and breaks a lot of tackles.

4 "We will definitely be aware of where is, but their offense is similar to ours in that they're able to get the ball to different players," Wilkerson said. "And really, if you key too much on one guy, you might get hurt with another one. So, I think it's all about just overall defensive scheme, reading our keys, trusting what we see on defense and then getting to the ball and getting the guy on the ground."

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