News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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October 24, 2013

West Vigo, Northview face tough squads in first-round sectional matchups

TERRE HAUTE — While Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South take a well-deserved break, the other Wabash Valley high school football teams will get first-round sectional action started tonight.

West Vigo will bring a 1-8 record to the Thorntown area to take on the Western Boone Stars (6-3) in Class 3A Sectional 29.

“They play in the Sagamore Athletic Conference, which traditionally has been a very strong conference,” West Vigo coach Jeff Cobb told the Tribune-Star. “They’ll run a lot of option [on offense]. They’ll spread you out. They’re very talented. I’m impressed with their quarterback’s arm. He’s got a very strong arm.”

So what can West Vigo do about it?

“We’re continuing to work with a great group of kids, although they’re young,” Cobb said. “We keep coaching them every week. We’re excited about sectional and we think we can play with this [Western Boone] team. We just have to be confident.”

Senior quarterback Jimmy Maples and sophomore running back Dakota Short are two key members of the Vikings’ offense.

Meanwhile, Northview (7-2) gets to stay home to battle No. 4-ranked Indianapolis Chatard (6-3) in Class 4A Sectional 22. Chatard’s losses have come against Brebeuf (22-17), Indianapolis Cathedral (37-35) and Cincinnati Elder (20-13).

The Knights have lost to Class 5A No. 2 Terre Haute North 47-14 and South Vermillion 14-13.

“They’re good,” Northview coach Mark Raetz said of the Trojans. “You can’t really find many weaknesses with them — solid running game, good with play action. Defensively, they’re very solid.”

Northview is led offensively by sophomore quarterback Tucker Stewart, who has passed for 939 yards this season and ran for 184 yards in a 43-36 victory at Brown County last week, along with senior wide receiver Tyler Rector. Junior defensive end Derek Mills is a big contributor on the other side of the ball.

“Lately, we’ve been running the ball well,” Raetz mentioned. “We’ve been able to hit a few big plays in our passing game.”

In order to hang close with Chatard, the Knights will need a few more of those. Also worth noting, they’ll be missing senior inside linebacker Connor Pierce (concussion) on defense tonight, so that won’t help.

In a small-school matchup, Class A No. 1 Linton (9-0) will visit Union (1-8) in Dugger in Sectional 48. To say that on paper this appears to be a mismatch would be a major understatement, considering Linton racks up 45.2 points per game and Union averages 11.1. The Bulldogs have been shut out three times and held to single digits five times.

“I really respect Dugger and coach [Todd] Gambill for what they do,” Linton coach Brian Oliver emphasized. “They have low numbers [because of school enrollment], but their boys come out and play their best.”

Oliver said his own squad — with senior wingback Zane Hayden being an important component of its offense — is likely to be missing senior quarterback Dane Rupska tonight because of a sprained ankle. If Rupska is unable to play, Oliver will turn to senior Beau Eaton to fill in behind center.

Not surprisingly, Oliver isn’t too worried about it either way.

“Last week, [Eaton] ran for three touchdowns and threw for three touchdowns [in a 59-26 home win over North Central],” the Miners’ first-year coach pointed out. “So, absolutely, we feel confident with him in there.”

Another state-ranked Class A team, No. 10 North Central, will put its 7-2 mark on the line at Turkey Run (1-8). On Sept. 6, the same teams squared off on the same field.

Final score: North Central 75, Turkey Run 0.

The Thunderbirds are led by 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior fullback Chase VanSchoyck, who has 171 carries for 2,222 yards and 33 touchdowns rushing along with 11 receptions for 422 yards and seven more TDs in 2013.

“He’s very difficult to stop,” North Central coach Travis Nolting warned. “He really hasn’t been shut down all year.”

North Central’s regular-season losses were to the two top-ranked Class A teams in the state — North Vermillion (37-7) and Linton (59-26). Other than those games, there have been plenty of points going on the scoreboard for the T-Birds.

“We’re looking good,” Nolting assessed. “We’ve got an opportunity to compete for a sectional title, if we continue to play at a top level. If our defense comes alive, I think our offense is going to score some points.”

Asked about being the heavy favorite tonight, Nolting stressed that his players won’t be taking the Warriors lightly.

“We’ll have to play to the top of our game,” he said. “We have to prepare every Friday night and not have a letdown no matter who the opponent is.”

In Class 2A Sectional 40, Sullivan (6-3) will travel to South Spencer (7-2) most likely without the services of senior quarterback Michael Willis, who sprained his ankle last Friday in a 31-7 home triumph over West Vigo.

Sullivan coach Trent Olson said that if Willis can’t go, his offense will use a combination of Wildcat and traditional formations with freshman Trey Powell doing most of the passing. A couple of the Golden Arrows’ standouts are senior Jake Kinnaman at tight end/defensive end and senior Brooks Weszeley at running back/outside linebacker.

“The big thing is in the last couple of weeks, the defense has played a lot better,” Olson noted. “We’re looking for that to keep South Spencer’s scoring down.”

South Spencer’s setbacks were dealt by Gibson Southern (50-13) and Southridge (33-0).

“They’re a big, physical, run-first team,” Olson said of the Rebels. “They play in a pretty tough conference [Pocket Athletic]. We know we’ll have our hands full.”

Also on tonight’s slate are Monrovia (4-5) at South Vermillion (2-7) in Class 2A Sectional 37 and Rockville (6-3) at No. 2-ranked North Vermillion (9-0) and Riverton Parke (1-8) at No. 6 Fountain Central (8-1), both in Class A Sectional 47.

As for Terre Haute schools, North (vs. Castle) and South (vs. Evansville North) will return to action next Friday in Class 5A Sectional 16.

 

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