The Eagles have a lot to play for tonight.
At the start of the season, Culver Military head football coach Andy Dorrel had a hunch this year’s squad might be able to have a special season, and at 6-2, his team is on the verge of its first perfect home slate since 2005, which has included wins over Class A No. 1 Lafayette Central Catholic and Class 2A No. 4 Churubusco in Weeks 4 and 7.
A win over Fairfield tonight would provide a fitting Senior Night capper to the Eagles’ regular season as well as a good springboard into CMA’s Sectional 17 opener at John Glenn next week.
“You always want to win that last game going into playoffs. It’s also our Senior Night so it’s very important for our kids,” said Dorrel. “Right now we stand at 4-0 at home this year, so this would put us undefeated in home games this year. We haven’t been able to do that in a couple of years, so this group has a chance to do something special.
“If we can get that win it’s going to be pretty exciting around our place.”
CMA enters tonight’s contest on a three-game win streak which started with a 20-7 victory over Glenn Sept. 21. The Falcons come into the game on a two-game skid after starting the season at 6-0, and the visitors will be looking to right the ship before the state tournament starts next week.
“Fairfield is 6-2 on the year, they’ve had two tough games the past two weeks, so they’ll be hungry for a victory. A lot of pride on the line,” said Dorrel.
“They’re very multiple on defense, so we’re not sure what we’re going to get. They do fly around and they’re very aggressive. Offensively they seem to thrive on the big play, a lot of their scores this year seem to come on big plays so we’re going to like every week try to minimize big plays and make them drive the field and hopefully make some mistakes.”
Also at tonight’s game, prior to the 7:30 p.m. kick-off, CMA will make a special donation to Paqui Kelly, wife of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly, to help support her Kelly Cares Foundation.
As part of their senior community service project, senior Eagles players Aramonti Phillips and Tristan Van de Velde, as well as Culver Academies classmate Mason Quinn sold “Pink Out” T-shirts to students to help benefit the breast cancer foundation. The CMA cheerleaders will also sell eye black with pink logos to support the foundation, and students have been asked to wear the hot pink shirts and eye black to the game.
Bremen at John Glenn
While a competitive loss to Jimtown last week effectively knocked Bremen out of contention for a repeat Northern State Conference title, the Lions (5-3, 4-2 NSC) still have goals in the conference.
Both Bremen and the Falcons (4-4, 4-2 NSC) enter tonight’s game at John Glenn with a 4-2 NSC mark with losses to 6-0 Jimtown and 5-1 New Prairie. The stakes are a third-place or higher league finish — depending on the outcome of the Cougars’ game at Knox tonight — as well as a some postseason momentum headed into next week’s tourney openers.
“You always want to do as well as you can in the conference,” said Bremen head coach Bob Holmes. “This game is for at least third place, so you definitely want to play well for that reason, and you want to go into the tournament headed the right direction, and that’s a big thing we’re trying to accomplish this week.”
John Glenn enters tonight’s game after snapping a two-game skid on the road with a 35-6 victory over Culver Community last week. Bremen, meanwhile, heads to Walkerton on the heels of a 21-6 loss to Jimtown, but despite the loss, the Lions have plenty to feel good about after holding the unbeaten Class 3A No. 1 Jimmies to their lowest points production of the season and outplaying the visitors 6-0 in the second half at Don Bunge Field.
“Our kids are sitting at 5-3, and the three teams that we’ve lost to only have three losses,” said Holmes. “Tippy Valley’s 6-2, New Prairie’s 7-1, and Jimtown’s 8-0. We lost to three good ball clubs, and we’re starting to get a little bit healthy and we’re just looking forward to getting better. We did take a little moral victory from last week’s game. I think more than anything we realized we can compete with the tougher teams in our conference and hopefully in 2A.”
Culver Community vs LaVille
Since losing four-year quarterback Collin Stevens to a separated shoulder in the second series of the Cavaliers’ Week 7 game with Jimtown, Culver Community’s offense has been struggling to find points production, reaching the end zone only once in the team’s last two games.
A lot of that certainly has to do with strong defense by Jimtown and John Glenn, but there’s also been a learning curve for promising sophomore quarterback Preston Hansel. The Cavs (2-6, 2-4 NSC) are looking for a better result in Hansel’s second varsity start tonight as they host LaVille (1-7, 0-6 NSC) at 7 p.m.
“We moved the ball between the 20s last week. We were inside of the red zone twice without any points,” said Culver coach Andy Thomas. “The biggest thing we were worrying about with (Hansel) is getting the ball up. We’re just throwing the ball and trying to get the ball to our wide outs, and with each week he’s getting better at throwing it and more experience at running our offense.”
LaVille underwent a similar quarterback change three weeks ago, too — although not due to injury — when the Lancers put sophomore Mitchell Henry in at starting signal caller. The Lancers took a tough 48-0 loss on the chin at New Prairie last week but shouldn’t be overlooked as evidenced in a competitive loss to Triton Sep. 28 in which LaVille led the Trojans 10-7 at halftime. The Lancers are bound to be up tonight as they look to break into the Northern State Conference win column in their last chance at Culver.
“They’re still playing hard,” said Thomas. “They played really hard against Triton and could’ve easily won the game. They played hard against New Prairie last week and got a stop on the first series. I think they’re doing the right things and getting better, and I think they’ll be ready to play.”
Triton at Jimtown
Triton (1-7, 1-5 NSC) hits the road tonight for a challenging match-up at unbeaten Class 3A No. 1 Jimtown (8-0, 6-0 NSC). While the Jimmies are the heavy favorite, the Trojans will look to improve on last week’s 28-7 loss to Knox as well as grab some momentum going into next Friday’s Sectional 35 opener at Adams Central. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.