It's East vs. West in the West, or maybe it's the West vs. Putnam County.
Whatever its title, high school football conference games return to the Western Indiana Conference on Friday night, with West Vigo hoping for a homecoming victory and Northview and Sullivan going on the road against South Putnam, North Putnam and Greencastle respectively.
Terre Haute North also plays a conference game Friday night in not the best timing situation for the Patriots, while Terre Haute South seeks redemption with a long bus ride. And in the Wabash River Conference, arguably the top four teams in the league are featured in the top two games.
Game by game, here's what's available.
• South Putnam (3-2, 1-1) at West Vigo (4-1, 1-1), 7 p.m. — The winner will be tied for second in the WIC West. The conference wins for both the Eagles and Vikings were close games against Greencastle, so the Vikings will be happy to get a benefit from homecoming — and be hoping for another stellar defensive outing.
• Columbus North (2-3, 0-1) at Terre Haute North (2-3, 0-3), 7:30 p.m. — The illness of quarterback Matt Gauer adds a level of uncertainty that the Patriots didn't really need right now. The Bull Dogs may be a little less powerful than in recent seasons, but they have beaten their city rival Columbus East, and one of their losses was to top-ranked Class 6A team Avon.
• Terre Haute South (4-1) at Bedford North Lawrence (2-3), 7:30 p.m. — A little over a week ago this looked like a game the Braves could put in the book, particularly since the Stars were routed by the Bloomington North team that the Braves overcame in overtime. Last week, however, South lost big to Bloomington South and BNL defeated formerly unbeaten Seymour, so all bets are off.
• Northview (3-2, 2-0) at North Putnam (5-0, 2-0), 7 p.m. — On paper this is a game that should favor the Knights in the battle for first place. Hard to discount the Cougars, however: they've won twice by a point (one in overtime) and a third game by two points and have come from behind — sometimes way behind — in four of their victories. Sullivan's Golden Arrows will be very unhappy to describe how that can happen.
• Sullivan (2-3, 0-2) at Greencastle (3-2, 0-2), 7 p.m. — These teams generally expect their game to determine first place, not which one of them avoids the WIC West cellar. Last week's win over South Vermillion may have gotten the Arrows untracked, but these will be two desperate teams battling it out.
• Parke Heritage (5-0, 3-0) at South Vermillion (3-2, 2-1), 7 p.m. — Both teams have big WRC aspirations. The visiting Wolves have taken care of business routinely so far, but it's a must-win contest for the Wildcats' hopes.
• North Vermillion (4-1, 3-0) at Attica (4-1, 3-1), 7 p.m. — Repeat the first sentence of the previous paragraph. The Falcons haven't lost a conference game in a while, but the Red Ramblers were one of their closest wins a year ago, and that was at Cayuga.
• North Daviess (4-1) at Linton (4-1), 7 p.m. — Looking for a nice, friendly game of high school football? Go somewhere else. These two teams don't like each other at all, and the Cougars' success this year might prompt them to challenge the Miners more than they usually do.
• North Central (1-4) at West Washington (5-0), 7:30 p.m. — Thunderbird fans have fond memories of their last trip to rural Campbellsburg, site of their first-ever sectional championship about 11 months ago. Is it possible the host Senators will forget all about that Friday night?
• Indianapolis Shortridge (0-4) at Riverton Parke (1-4), 7:30 p.m. — Assessing the inner-city Indianapolis schools is never easy, but the Blue Devils haven't beaten any of them yet. They're a Class 4A school, but if the Panthers stick to their fundamentals they should be fine.
• Olney (3-1, 3-0) at Marshall (2-2, 2-1), 7 p.m. CDT — The rest of the Little Illini Conference will be rooting for the Lions, who can make the league race very tight. The visiting Tigers are the last LIC unbeaten team.
• Robinson (1-3, 1-2) at Casey (2-2, 2-2), 7 p.m. CDT — The Warriors have played arguably the toughest all-LIC schedule so far and seem to be on a roll, but they can't look past the Maroons.
• Paris (3-1) at Macomb (0-4), 7 p.m. CDT — The only nonconference game for these Tigers looks like a winnable one, but since you can't get to Macomb from here (or anywhere) the degree of difficulty is ramped up a little bit.
• Martinsville (1-3) at Kincaid (South Fork) (0-4), 7 p.m. CDT — The Bluestreaks are going for two in a row, and how often do they get to say that?
• OPH (0-4) at Catlin (Salt Fork) (3-1), 7 p.m. CDT — The records are a lot different, but both teams lost one-sided games to Watseka. Maybe getting away from home will be good for Oblong-Palestine-Hutsonville.