Friday’s game at Culver Military may represent a break from conference play, but John Glenn certainly isn’t taking it lightly.
The Eagles are in the midst of a strong 3-2 season with a signature win over Lafayette Central Catholic in Week 4 and have yet to be beaten at home in two tries so far. And with lopsided losses the last two seasons against Glenn, they’ll be looking for payback against the Falcons (3-2) this Friday.
“I think our kids are really focused this week. Culver Military’s got a really good team this year so we’re definitely not taking them lightly,” said Glenn head football coach Justin Bogunia. “It’s non-conference, but still our goal is having a winning season and a winning record and being able to get closer to that week by week so the guys try just as hard to win this game as they would a conference game. I think that they’re pretty focused for this weekend, and we’ve had as good a week of practice as any.”
While Glenn has relied mainly on a balanced rushing attack this year, the Falcons have also been airing it out with increasing frequency. Quarterback Kyle Liedtky went 9-for-16 with three passing touchdowns last week to balance his team’s Wing T run game.
Bogunia and CMA head coach Andy Dorrel both know how critical the success or failure of that new wrinkle in Glenn’s offense could be Friday night.
“It’s a typical John Glenn team; they’re very physical at the point of attack. They run the ball very well off tackle, and they have some speed. They seem to throw the ball a little bit more, so we’re going to have to be very sound defensively,” said Dorrel. “We’ve had trouble with this team in the last couple years. They’ve done a nice job of being able to make some plays at some opportune times, so we need to be able to limit that and force them to drive the field. We can’t give up big plays. That’s what’s hurt us in both of our losses. If we can limit those big plays and control the ball on offense, we feel that’ll give us the best chance to be successful.”
“Offensively, we need to control the ball, we need to sustain drives. Hopefully we can run the ball on them, and we’ll probably need to mix it up,” Bogunia said. “I thought last week we had a lot of improvement in our passing game, and when we’re able to run and pass it makes our offense that much more proficient and harder to defend. Hopefully, we’re going to kind of build on that. I think that’s key for the offense to be successful — being able to keep them off balance with the run and the pass.”
While CMA defends a clean home slate, the Eagles are also looking to bounce back from a loss at Brebeuf Jesuit last week.
Dorrel’s squad has earned some nice wins facing a tough schedule this season —including a close 27-20 win over NorthWood in Week 2 and a down-to-the-wire win over Lafayette Central Catholic in Week 4 that ended LCC’s 48-game win streak and earned Dorrel his career second NFL/ Colts Coach of the Week honor — but the Eagles have had trouble stringing wins together since opening 2-0, taking two losses after long road trips down to Indianapolis, including last week’s 25-15 loss at Brebeuf.
“We have a tough schedule. Brebeuf was pretty talented, and we had some opportunities at that game, we just couldn’t quite finish and take advantage of them. We led at halftime but just weren’t able to make the big plays in the second half,” Dorrel said.
“It’s a fun group of kids to coach, and we’re still very positive. We won some big games, we’re just having struggles stringing those wins together.”
And although Glenn’s coming off a 39-7 Northern State Conference rout of Triton last week, it wasn’t all bright spots for the Falcons, who continued to be plagued by penalties with 65 yards lost in eight penalties against the Trojans, something that will likely be more costly against a talented CMA team.
Bogunia thinks he’s found a recipe to finally help get a handle on the infractions, however.
“It started with running on Saturday. I talked about having consequences for your actions, and you’re not going to improve anything unless you establish that,” he said. “Now, it’s not just ‘Oh, we lost 5 yards.’ Now it’s ‘Oh, I’ve got to run two laps around the track.’ I think that was the first step.
“I think that’s the only way you really can address it. I think you’re a little bit more keen and sharp on the little things when you have consequences like that.”
Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Bremen at LaVille
The Lions (3-2, 2-1 NSC) have struggled to find continuity from week to week with injuries throughout their lineup this year. They finally put together their first consecutive wins with a 32-28 victory in a back-and-forth thriller against Culver last week, and they’re hoping to keep the ball rolling as the Lancers (1-4, 0-3 NSC) host Bremen in a Homecoming match-up Friday night.
“We have to stay focused and continue getting better each and every day,” said Bremen head coach Bob Holmes. “It was nice to be consistent last week. We had the same kids playing in the same spots for two weeks in a row, and we’re just going to continue worrying about ourselves and getting better.”
While LaVille has struggled to find wins at 1-4 this year, the Lancers have shown glimpses of being competitive, including a strong first half against Class 3A No. 1 Jimtown at home in Week 3. After a bit of a letdown at Knox last week, the Lancers should be fired up for their first Northern State Conference win on Homecoming night in Lancerland.
“You’ve got to respect your opponent,” said Holmes. “That’s why the games aren’t decided on paper. We have to be ready to play. LaVille’s going to play hard. It’s their homecoming, and they’re excited and going to be wanting to kick Bremen’s butt this week. We’re going to have to step up and be ready with our best punch.”
Game time is slated for 7 p.m.
In other area action…
Triton (0-5, 0-3 NSC) remains in the hunt for its first win as it plays host to a strong New Prairie team (4-1, 2-1 NSC), still reeling from a surprisingly lopsided 42-12 loss to 3A No. 1 Jimtown, which knocked the Cougars out of the IFCA’s Class 4A Top 10 list.
The Trojans have scuffled to some slow starts each of the past two weeks in losses to Bremen and John Glenn and will look to carry over a bit of offensive momentum from a creditable second half at Glenn last week. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, Culver Community (1-4, 1-2 NSC) tries to put the brakes on a two-game skid at Knox (1-4, 1-2), which is still riding high after earning its first win against LaVille in Week 5. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. EST.