I'm not quite sure I buy into that argument, although 6-10 looks like a best-case scenario for the Colts right now, and with a few more losses, the #suckforLuck campaign will start pretty loudly. I've been saying all along that if the Colts are eliminated from playoff contention, there is no reason for Peyton Manning to play this season. However, I'm starting to think if they are among the worst teams in the league, perhaps he tries to come back and lead the Colts to a few victories to prevent the chance that Andrew Luck is drafted and waiting in the wings.
We were treated to yet another outstanding night of competition under the Friday Night Lights as the regular season flies by the halfway point. It won't be long until we are printing off sectional brackets in the WXIN-WTTV newsroom and announcing the pairings for the 39th Annual IHSAA Football State Tournament. (Live broadcast 7:00 PM, October 9th on WTTV, Indiana's 4)
Football Friday Rewind: Week 5
Another classic Brownsburg-Avon game: Much has been written on this site and others about the number of IHSAA games at Lucas Oil Stadium. I'm not going to re-visit the pro's and con's but you have to admit, the best game on that field this weekend was not between the Colts and Browns. In fact, the Kerry Collins vs Colts McCoy grudge match might've been 3rd or 4th best considering there were two games played at LOS Friday and four Conference Indiana showdowns on Saturday.
The lead game on Fox 59's Football Friday is one I want to recognize, Avon 17 Brownsburg 14. The Bulldogs entered the contest with a perfect 4-0 record highlighted by a 38-37 victory against Hamilton Southeastern in week three. Avon had just one loss, to those same Royals to start the season. I had no idea which team was going to come away victorious, just had a really good idea that it would be close. That it was. In the end Avon's big play capabilities were a nice addition to their power running game and enough beat Brownsburg's grind it out ground attack 17-14 in a game I'd love to see once again come sectional time.
Logan Haston has done a fabulous job of replicating some of the success his brother Tyler had with the Orioles and had two huge touchdown passes, the second of which to Jalen Edwards gave the Orioles a 17-7 lead. Mark Bless is now 3-0 against arch rival Brownsburg in his brief tenure in Hendricks County.
Can't wait until September 30th: Two teams have separated themselves from the pack in Class 5A, and we shouldn't be surprised by the names. Warren Central and Carmel. The Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference rivals are currently #1 and #2 in the state and meet for the second straight year in the regular season at Lucas Oil Stadium. The game will likely determine the MIC champion and #1 team in the regular season polls. What is interesting is that the two cannot meet again at Lucas Oil Stadium. In 2009, the Warriors beat Carmel in one of the most controversial finishes to an IHSAA event ever.
The Carmel vs Warren class 5A state championship would be an obvious pick again this year, except Carmel the SAME SECTIONAL Warren Central. The Greyhounds are no longer in the North, thus that IHSAA draw will be VERY interesting and perhaps might lead the coaches to keeping some tricks in the bag when the two meet in the regular season. Regardless, the Warriors and Greyhounds took care of business against Lawrence North and North Central respectively and should do the same this week against Terre Haute South and North Central.
Status quo in the Hoosier Heritage Conference: There is one team perfect atop the Hoosier Heritage Standings and it should a shock to NO ONE. New Palestine won it's 16th consecutive league game Friday shutting out Rushville 53-0. While the Lions are certainly not a football powerhouse, they did start the season with a 2-0 record and the margin of victory by the Dragons shows how serious this team is. No let-down, week in, week out, Tim Able's team just takes care of business.
I have been very impressed from what I've seen of quarterback Conner Simmons as we've had the chance to feature New Palestine quite frequently this season on Fox 59. I remember in 2009 when I thought the Dragons had a chance to knock off Cathedral in a regional game played at North Central high school. Kofi Hughes and company were too much, but the Dragons could get another chance in the 2011 regional.
New Pal should take an 8-0 record to the regular season finale at Mount Vernon. They would have to outlast the Mauraders and Pendleton Heights in the sectional. The Arabians showed, they are for real as well after knocking off previously unbeaten Mount Vernon 38-6 Friday. New Palestine keeps winning and I will be really interested to see if they can run the table and claim the Sectional 13 crown.
What did you expect? I visited Tipton High School for their season-opening game against Hamilton Heights. When leaving the stadium, I glanced up at the schedule board and saw a game that would be worth a return visit from Fox 59. September 16th versus West Lafayette. I remembered that when making out the Week 5 schedule and sent photographer Shaun Murphy to catch that game along with the Eastern-Hamilton Heights game.
West Lafayette led the state in defense having given up just 12 points through the first four games. Sure enough, they beat the Blue Devils 17-7 relying on a stingy D. In the other contest, Hamilton Heights, a team that features a variety of skilled weapons hosted Eastern, who led the state in scoring through four weeks. The Huskies won 34-21 in a game that featured numerous highlight-worthy plays. Sometimes we can over-analyze games and match-ups. If you like defensive football, you should've went to Tipton Friday. If you like points, you should've went to Hamilton Heights. Lucky for Shaun Murphy, he got the best of both worlds.
What about the Ritter Raiders?: In 2008, Ty Hunt's teams won the Class A State Championship. Cardinal Ritter has put together a very solid program over the years and could make some noise once again this year in the post-season. Even though Ritter lost to Chatard 42-27, Friday, I left the game thinking Ritter has a chance to make a post-season run. Sophomore quarterback Jake Purichia was among the players suspended earlier this season. He missed the Raiders 32-29 loss to Speedway at Lucas Oil Stadium Sept. 10th. Purichia returned in a big way Friday hooking up with favorite target Eddie Cmehil 13 times for 192 yards and four touchdowns.
Obviously, we have to give Chatard credit for the victory, but everyone expects to see the Trojans at Lucas Oil Stadium again on Thanksgiving weekend. I'm more interested to see what becomes of Ritter, especially when you look at the competition in Sectional 30 (North Putnam & Speedway are both 5-0) Much like the Warren Central and Carmel sectional we discussed earlier, the post-season draw could play a big factor in who advances in the IHSAA State Tournament.