TERRE HAUTE —
West Vigo vs. Linton
Kickoff — 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Airwaves — WQTY-FM 93.3 in Linton.
Records — The West Vigo Vikings (0-3) will take on the Linton Miners (3-0) as part of the Western Indiana Conference Classic inside Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, even though Linton is not a member of the WIC.
Last meeting — On Sept. 8, 2012, West Vigo lost at Linton 40-0.
Last time West Vigo defeated Linton — The Vikings earned a 33-29 decision at Linton on Sept. 10, 2010.
Coaches — Jeff Cobb is 42-44 in his ninth season at the helm for West Vigo. Brian Oliver (3-0) is in his first season at Linton.
Outlook — So far, West Vigo has taken losses from at Evansville Harrison (28-22), at Greencastle (35-6) and at home against Brown County (34-30).
Meanwhile, Linton has posted victories at home against Eastern Greene (50-12), at home against Sullivan (34-24) and at Wood Memorial (59-8).
Injuries, lineups — For West Vigo, every regular appears healthy. Some key players to watch include senior wide receiver/defensive end Tyler Gustafson, senior linebacker Sam Bowden and junior offensive lineman Garret Ray.
For Linton, junior defensive tackle Jace Brewer (knee) is questionable and senior defensive tackle Wyatt Franklin (shoulder) missed last weekend but will return to face West Vigo. Some key players to watch include senior wing back/safety/punt returner Zane Hayden, junior fullback Austin Hale and senior quarterback/inside linebacker Dane Rupska.
Coaches’ comments — Cobb on his squad: “We’ve had a great week of practice, attempting to fix a lot of the little mistakes that we’ve been making. We’re looking forward to playing Linton at Lucas Oil. It’s a great opportunity for all of our kids.”
Cobb on playing the Miners: “They’re a great program, probably the premier program in the southern part of the state. They’ve gone back to more running, kind of the traditional Linton team. On defense, they bring a lot of pressure up front. Our offensive line will have to be able to maintain blocks against them.”
Oliver on his squad: “We’re very pleased [with a 3-0 start]. … The kids are working really hard for us. One of our strengths is our line, on both sides of the ball. They’re the heart and soul of our team right now.”
Oliver on playing the Vikings: “They’re always big. They’re going to be tough competition. They’re a blue-collar school, just like us. This should be a very physical game.”
— By David Hughes
Southport at Terre Haute North
The action — Southport’s Cardinals (3-0, 1-0 Conference Indiana) make their first trip to Terre Haute in many years to face Terre Haute North’s Patriots (2-1, 0-1) in a critical conference game.
Kickoff — 7:30 p.m.
Airwaves — The game will be broadcast on WFNF-AM 1130 and WFNF-FM 99.5, beginning with a 7:15 pregame show.
Last meeting — Southport beat North 21-17 on Sept. 16, 1994, and the teams haven’t played since.
Coaches — Bill Peebles is 37-49 in his ninth season at Southport. Chris Barrett is 46-76 in 12 seasons at North, 74-108 in 19 seasons overall.
So far — Southport’s wins have come over Roncalli (21-16), Mooresville (47-0) and Perry Meridian (55-31). North has beaten Castle (44-14) and Northview (47-14), allowing the last 14 points in both those games, but gave up two late touchdowns and lost to Terre Haute South 28-24.
Outlook — Early indications are that two of the bigger rivalry games in Conference Indiana — the Vigo County rivalry and the Perry Township rivalry between Southport and Perry Meridian — will go a long way toward determining the championship. That makes this a huge game for the Patriots, who don’t want to start 0-2 in the league, and an opportunity for the Cardinals to assert themselves.
Injuries, lineup changes — Southport has lost two players for the season, defensive back David Simmons (broken hand) and linebacker William Griffin (knee). North gets three players back who missed last week’s game — safety Austin Massey, receiver Jordan Moothery and tackle Austin Vermillion — and will have cornerback/running back Kai Stratten at full strength again.
Southport running back Christian Perry set school records with 41 carries and 317 yards in a six-touchdown performance last week and sophomore quarterback Luke Johnston has thrown for more than 200 yards every week for Southport. Ricky Brookins, averaging over 150 yards per game on the ground, has been North’s top weapon so far; quarterback Chris Barrett II wasn’t needed to throw much in either of the wins and suffered through some dropped balls in the South game.
Words from Peebles — “Anytime you’re 3-0, you have to be happy about what you’ve been doing, but we know we have to continue to improve.
“[North is] a big, strong, talented team … and coming from the [Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference], they know how to play football. Conference Indiana is traditionally more of a spread-you-out-with-speed league, so it will be an interesting dynamic for us to go against them.”
Words from Barrett — “We were a lot more fundamentally sound and more composed [last week at Northview]; the guys did a good job regrouping [after the South loss] and doing what they were supposed to do.
“[Southport is] probably the team to beat in the conference. They’ve been scoring a lot of points, they have a big running back but yet they’re very balanced offensively, and their defense brings a lot of pressure. It’s been a cerebral week of practice for us trying to learn to pick up their blitzes.”
— By Andy Amey
Terre Haute South at Perry Meridian
Kickoff — 7:30 p.m. Friday
Airwaves — www.wabashvalleysports.com.
Records — Terre Haute South’s Braves (2-1, 1-0 Conference Indiana) look to stay in first place in the new league on the road. Perry Meridian’s Falcons (2-1) look to rebound from a loss to Southport.
Last meeting — Perry Meridian won 36-24 in 1997.
Last time South beat Perry Meridian — South won 36-25 in 1995.
Coaches — Scott Marsh is 17-28 in his 5th year at Perry Meridian.
Outlook — Terre Haute South quarterback Timmy Herrin has been strong through three games with 645 yards, six touchdowns and one interception.
His QB opponent tonight has helped the Falcons average 52 points — including a 83-78 win against Decatur Central — while throwing for 1,036 yards, 14 touchdowns and one interception.
“He’s a good player. He throws the ball well especially up the sidelines and down the field up the middle,” Herrin said.
Injuries, lineups — For South, Taxi Brown (defensive back, quarterback) is out with an ankle injury.
Coaches’ comments — Herrin on his team: “Our defensive line helping control the run game and also getting a good pass rush has helped us get a good start this season. We’re excited about it, the new conference and the opportunities it’s going to bring. We’re going to have to continue being balanced on offense and.”
— By Craig Pearson