Two weeks in the books and we're off to a fantastic start to the IHSAA football season. Football Friday Night on Fox 59 returned to its regularly scheduled time slot, 10:35, and the crew is starting to get back to mid-season form.
Apologies for posting the Rewind a couple days later than I would like, but hopefully it is better late than never. Once again, this is the place each week you can find some observations from the previous weekends games along with the tv highlights from the previous weekend's Football Friday Night on Fox 59
Sending a Message: I'm sure it has been a long football off-season for the Hamilton Southeastern Royals. Not only did they lose in the sectionals to arch-rival Fishers, but they had to watch the cross-town rival Tigers celebrate a state championship at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Scott May's team dominated Fishers in the regular season one year ago, but wasn't on the Tigers level when it counted most in the playoffs. The renewal of the Mudsock Rivalry was one-sided (at least on the scoreboard) as Hamilton Southeastern gained a measure of revenge 28-7. I found Rick Wimmer's comments to Kyle Neddenriep very telling, however, in saying his team played well in most areas.
True, I was listening on the radio when just before halftime the David Calhoun of the Royals scored on a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown to take a 14-0 lead. If the Tigers score there and it's tied at 7, we might've had a different outcome. Regardless, I think the two teams will play a much closer game should they meet again. No matter what happens, Southeastern sent a message to the Fishers Tigers Friday night.
Clutch play: I enjoyed spending some time Friday at the Kokomo-Plainfield game. I was disappointed the Wildkats didn't have a larger visiting crowd based upon all of the regular season success they've had in recent years. Plainfield won the game 21-14, and one play went a long way towards determining the outcome.
Facing 4th and 6 from the Kokomo 11-yard line with under a minute to play, Plainfield went for the first down/touchdown. Quarterback Nick Collier rolled to his right an hit Joey McGuire in the middle of the end zone to tie the game at 14. Kokomo could not replicate the success it had with long touchdown drives in the first half as turnovers were their downfal and the Quakers scored the only second half touchdown.
I think this game easily could've gone to the Kats if not for Coach Brian Woodard's clutch call and Collier and McGuire's perfect execution.
Representing on the U: I will admit I didn't get to watch much of either the Columbus North/Columbus East or Cathedral/Warren Central games which were broadcast live to a national television audience on ESPN U.
However, by watching some highlights, reading the recaps, and listening to others who did, both were very competitive and entertaining and had to make neutral observers gain a little bit of respect for Indiana football. The fields were filled with college talent and the games played well on television. The other high school games on ESPN U last weekend didn't exactly get me excited, who really cares about the high school games of teams outside of the state you live in? However, the die-hard fans who only think high school football exists in Florida, Texas, Ohio, and California, and watched the two IHSAA games got a better idea of why we have so much respect and excitement for prep action in Indiana as well.
Huge Conference Indiana Showdown: Through the first two weeks of the season Pike is 0-2 and Southport is 2-0. While the Cardinals have been a Conference Indiana contender in recent years, Pike has been the class of the league. They've only lost three conference games over the last five years. Are the Red Devils coming back to the pack? Possibly, but I think Derek Moyers squad will be more than ready for the visiting Cardinals this Friday.
Lawrence Central and Columbus North are also going to have a say in the league race, but I'll go out on a limb and say the winner of the Pike-Southport game will win the league title. 2-0 vs 0-2...nope...both are 0-0 ain Conference Indiana play and I think the Red Devils have the talent to take that first big step towards another league crown.
High-flying Mauraders: Mount Vernon didn't exactly enter the off-season with a great deal of momentum. The Mauraders lost their last five games after a promising start to finish 5-5. Doug Armstrong's team is off to a fantastic start in his first season on the sidelines.
Not only did they beat Kokomo on the Wildkats home turf 21-7 in the season opener, but they out-scored Class 5A Marion 63-44 in the game before the Warren Central-Cathedral game Saturday afternoon. It will be interesting to see if the Maurauders can contend with the likes of Pendleton Heights, Delta, and New Palestine in Hoosier Heritage Conference play, but early indications would say yes.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times