TERRE HAUTE —
It’s hard to believe that Indiana high school football teams will close out the regular season this week. Time flies.
For four teams, big games are on the schedule before postseason play begins — and it’s because of what they have done in the first eight weeks.
Linton (8-0) vs. North Central (7-1) at Lucas Oil Stadium, 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Once again, the Miners are going for an unbeaten season and an undisputed Southwest Seven Conference title. Their two “closest” games have been against Sullivan 58-26 and North Daviess 35-12. They have outscored opponents 339 to 12 in the other games, with four shutouts.
North Central’s only setback came against undefeated North Vermillion by a 48-0 count. The Thunderbirds have blanked their last three foes while scoring 135 points.
Austin Karazsia is one of the leading passers in the state for the Miners and Koye Kaiser is the leader in other categories, scoring five touchdowns last week.
Chase VanSchoyck of North Central set a state single-game rushing mark this season and was second in the state totals last week while Dante Rehmel is a leader on defense.
Sullivan (6-2) at West Vigo (5-3), 7 p.m. Friday. This one will decide the Western Indiana Conference championship with the Arrows 5-0 and the Vikings 4-1, losing only to Owen Valley.
Sullivan lost to a strong Vincennes team 19-14 to open the season and then to Linton and has not lost since. West Vigo’s losses came to Linton, Owen Valley and undefeated Greencastle — its opening opponent in sectional play. The Vikes also lost to Evansville Harrison, but the Warriors had to forfeit that game.
Illinois teams have two games left on the schedule but Casey and Robinson will meet in a big Little Illini Conference game at Robinson on Friday.
The Warriors are 7-0 and, like Linton, are going for another undefeated season and LIC title. Robinson is 5-2 with its only LIC loss being to Olney by one point.
The Maroons are in the Egyptian Division while Casey is in the Eastern Division in the conference.
As noted, players from the area were ranked in the top 10 in Indiana statistics going into last week’s games.
In passing, Karazsia was sixth, completing 135 of 186 passes for 1,781 yards and 24 touchdowns. Payne Fortner of Sullivan was 10th, completing 113 of 207 passes for 1,672 yards and 14 scores.
In rushing, VanSchoyck was second with 1,516 yards on 142 carries.
In receiving, Grant Stamm of Linton was 10th with 39 receptions for eight touchdowns and 697 yards.
Rehmel was tied for seventh in total tackles with 65 and tied for fifth in tackles for losses with 16.
In last week’s USA Today poll, Carmel moved up to 21st. No other Indiana team received votes.
• Tom-Cattin’ It — Drew Brees broke an NFL record that had stood for 52 years on Sunday when he completed his first touchdown pass for New Orleans in a victory over San Diego.
He now has thrown TD passes in 48 straight games dating back to 2009, breaking the old mark of 47 set by Johnny Unitas from Dec. 9, 1956, to Dec. 4, 1960.
• Cincinnati and Detroit are off to 2-0 starts in baseball postseason action.
The Reds did it on the road and won the first game when starter Johnny Cueto was lifted after facing just one batter. Hard to believe the Reds won their first playoff game since 1995.
St. Louis won the NL wild-card game by being the first team to beat Kris Medlen in a while. The Braves had won in his last 23 starts.
• Kentucky got good news in college basketball last week when twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison of Texas said they would play for the Wildcats.
Demetrius Jackson of Marian Catholic in Illinois is rated No. 19 at his position and says he will go to Notre Dame.
• Buster Posey of San Francisco became the first catcher to lead the National League in hitting since 1942, batting .336.
And how about those Colts?
Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at 812-232-3231, by email at email@example.com or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN, 47802.