Four Downs: Raiders to host Pats this week

Photo by Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Sophomore Skyler Staples and Heritage Hills will try to be the first team in 2020 to score a win against Southridge on Friday. 

Here is a look at the games for our teams on Friday.

Wildcats at Huskies

Teams: Jasper (5-2, 5-2) at Evansville North (5-2, 5-2), 7:30 p.m., Bundrant Stadium

1. Jasper coach Tony Lewis feels that the Wildcats need to do a better job of finishing drives, and Lewis said they focus on doing red zone drills every week by using goal line offense to begin practice on Tuesdays and Fridays. He added this week will be no different, and he felt that not finishing drives contributed to Jasper's 14-10 Oct. 2 loss at Castle.

2. The Wildcats will be going against an Evansville North team on Friday that is in the same boat as they are. The Huskies also began the season 5-0, only to have lost each of their last two games. Lewis imagines North's coaches will emphasize getting better and little things right this week, just like Jasper's has.

3. Northwood has senior Capoleton Presswood at running back, and Lewis knows all the things Presswood brings to the table. He cited how strong Presswood is, that he's agile and has speed. Lewis thinks Presswood is as complete of a back as Jasper has seen all year and will see the entire year.

4. "We've got to do a better job than we did last week up front," Lewis said. "I thought that, late in the game, really throughout the game, Castle's offensive line got a good push up front, and defensively, we did not do a good job of getting up to their second-level linebackers with our blocking, and North presents the same issue up front. They've got a good line, and they've got good linebackers."

Patriots at Raiders (Southridge)

Teams: Heritage Hills (3-4) at Southridge (7-0), 7:30 p.m., Raider Field

Series: Heritage Hills leads, 37-14

Last meeting: Heritage Hills def. Southridge, 27-7, Nov. 8, 2019 in the sectional championship

1. This game is Southridge's regular season finale at Raider Field. However, the team has already had Senior Night. Raiders coach Scott Buening said that the team always feels they will go where the seniors take them, and he likes how this particular group of seniors have taken ownership of the team.

2. Southridge will be taking on a Heritage Hills squad that began the season 0-3, but is 3-1 since. The Raiders and Patriots have had mutual opponents this year, as Southridge scored wins against Boonville and Gibson Southern, both of whom have beaten Heritage Hills this year.

3. Buening noted how well-coached and disciplined the Pats are in what they do. He believes the Pats force the Raiders to go and win a lot of individual battles, which a testament to how well-prepared they are. Buening noted that Heritage Hills puts a lot of pressure on its opponents where nothing comes easy.

4. "Bottom is, against these guys, you better be good up front," Buening said of Heritage Hills. "D-Line is going to be key. They get off the ball, they play low, they use great leverage, they come off the ball hard, they're very aggressive, physical, and again, they take what they do, and they do it well."

Rangers at Chargers

Teams: Forest Park (5-2, 1-1) at Pike Central (0-5, 0-2), 7:00 p.m.

Series: Forest Park leads, 7-5

1. Forest Park is coming off a 41-26 win Oct. 2 against Springs Valley. The game was originally supposed to be against North Posey before the Vikings cancelled. This week's scheduled game against Pike Central is on, according to Rangers coach Ross Fuhs, despite the Chargers cancelling their scheduled game against North Knox following a positive case.

2. Fuhs thinks the Blackhawks are better than their record, citing that they have lost some close games this year. Springs Valley led Forest Park, 12-7, at halftime, before the Rangers made some halftime adjustments. Fuhs noted the Rangers changed their blocking scheme on a few plays, and they began running more to their weak side.

3. Junior quarterback Cooper Uebelhor threw three interceptions against the Blackhawks, but Fuhs thinks the offensive line needs to do a better job of protecting him. He said some of Uebelhor's interceptions came as Springs Valley's defense made contact with him. Fuhs believes Uebelhor needs three or four seconds to throw the ball, and make better reads.

4. "We want to put Forest Park football on the map," Fuhs said, as the Rangers are one win away from back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in program history. "We want people to realize that it can be a football school, too. I feel like another winning season this year will hopefully draw more excitement around the program."

Patriots at Raiders (Heritage Hills)

Teams: Heritage Hills (3-4) at Southridge (7-0), 7:30 p.m., Raider Field

Series: Heritage Hills leads, 37-14

Last meeting: Heritage Hills def. Southridge, 27-7, Nov. 8, 2019 in the sectional championship

1. Heritage Hills coach Todd Wilkerson is proud of his players, as he loves the attitude the Pats have had and how hard they keep working. Wilkerson thinks the younger players have grown up with their production and understanding of what Heritage Hills is trying to do. He noted a lot of players are getting better every week.

2. The Pats had been without senior quarterback Jacob Schmidt these past two weeks, as junior Luke Rickelman filled in at quarterback. However, Heritage Hills is expected to get Schmidt back on Friday. Wilkerson noted the Pats get to go back to their offense with having him and Rickelman adding more depth at running back.

3. Heritage Hills will get a look at a diverse Southridge rushing attack. Senior quarterback Chase Taylor has rushed for triple digits multiple times on the keeper this season, while fellow senior Matt Springer has broken out these last two games. Another senior, wide receiver Camden Gasser, was effective in the jet sweep Sept. 18 against Gibson Southern.

4. "You got to try to limit Taylor and Gasser for sure," Wilkerson said. "Week in, week out, those guys are kind of what is making their offense run. Those guys are making the big plays at big times. So, they'll definitely be a focus of ours, knowing situation, and obviously knowing, with Gasser's speed, where he's at on the field all the time."

More on