RPI: Football Friday, September 27

September 26th, 2013 at 10:56 pm by under Ross Rowling's Roundup, Sports, WTHI Blog

RPI: Football Friday September 27

Last week the RPI came just about as close to 5-0 as you can get, without getting there. The only blemish was a Terre Haute South loss to Columbus North. The Braves fell in a close one, 21-20. Back at it again this week and as the season continues to roar on, here’s five to watch.

Game 1: Robinson at Olney

We’re going to start the RPI in Illinois this week. That’s how good I think this one is going to be. It’s such a big match up, it’ll be played on Saturday.

These two teams are a combined 7-1, with the Maroons coming in unblemished. The running game continues to thrive in Robinson. With teams keying in on standout Jason Richart, Joe Smith has been dynamic of late. Smith ran wild against Marshall last week, going for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 7 carries.

On the other side of the field, Matt Music has the Tiger offense in sweet harmony. Olney hasn’t scored less than 33 points in a game all season. They even put up 36 in a losing effort against an undefeated Casey squad to open the season. Since that opener, the Tigers are outscoring opponents by an average of 39-7.

With Lawrenceville already having a conference loss to Robinson, the winner of this one will have a great chance at taking the Egyptian Division of the Little Illini Conference. I think it will be down to the wire, but the Robinson running game is just too much to handle.

Pick: Robinson

Game 2: North Daviess at Linton

The story line in this one is a beauty. The states top rusher against Class A’s top ranked squad. Colton Lengacher leads the North Daviess offense into this one with 1,392 rushing yards on the season to go along with 17 touchdowns.

The Cougars know this will be the toughest defense they’ve faced this season. Coach Helms probably says it best stating, “We don’t expect to have the long TD runs we have had in previous weeks. We will need long, sustained, and successful drives to score in this game.” Coach Helms is correct; the best way to beat Linton is to keep that potent Miner offense off the field.

The one player the Cougars are particularly concerned with is wide receiver Grant Stamm. North Daviess doesn’t want to give up the deep ball, and Stamm leads an offense that has incredible team speed. The Cougars have only turned the ball over twice all season long. If they keep up that impressive ratio, they’ll be right in the game.

But this week, it’s different. Even after graduating an incredible senior class, Linton is still Linton. Dane Rupska is a dual threat at quarterback, and the Miners have so many weapons in the backfield you can’t name them all.

You better believe the Miners will be keying on Lengacher. Beau Eaton told Sports 10 earlier this week that, “If he’s that good, he’ll prove it on Friday night.” He’s a great player, but can one player beat an entire stout defense?

The North Daviess offensive line has been great, and they have other weapons. Guys like Logan Turpin, Brady Helms, and Dakota Adams have to step up and make big plays to get North Daviess on the scoreboard.

I get to go to this one personally, and I’m pumped. If Lengacher does what he’s been doing North Daviess will win this game. But I can’t see the Miners letting him run wild.

North Daviess was the last team to beat the Miners in the regular season, but that was back in 2010.

Pick: Linton

Game 3: North Vermillion at Attica

The Falcons are really starting to look like state championship contenders. They have the backing of their community, and the product on the field right now is just ridiculous. Coach Brian Crabtree’s marquee players have only played 12 of 20 quarters to far this season. They are absolutely rolling people. Through five games this season the Falcons have beat teams 286-7. That’s an average score of 57-1.4. That’s ridiculous. Attica is a good team. They are 3-2 on the season, but they’ve lost their last two. Coach Crabtree said, “I think Attica matches up with us really well. They aren’t very big, but fast, strong, physical, and aggressive. We kind of mirror each other. It could be a really interesting game.”

With all due respect to Coach Crabtree, he can’t say they are going to blow them out. I can. Attica is just good enough to justify playing the North Vermillion starters for 4 quarters. I’m excited to see what kind of numbers they put up with that kind of time.

The Falcons will continue to impress.

Pick: North Vermillion

Game 4: Vincennes Lincoln at Northview

All of the sudden midway through the season we look up and Mark Raetz is 4-1 in his first year at the helm at Northview. The Knights are in the drivers seat for the WIC, but this week they step out of conference to take on Vincennes Lincoln. It’s a Lincoln team that’s going to be out for redemption. The Alices took one on the chin Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium, losing to Jasper 64-2. They’ll have to figure something out soon, because this Northview team is getting good at winning football games. No one has crazy numbers on this team but Tucker Stewart, Ben Girton, Kelly Hawkins, and Tyler Rector have come together to provide great balance that just keeps winning ballgames. The Knights will look to protect the football and control the line of scrimmage against a physical Lincoln bunch. Raetz said, “Vincennes is a tough opponent. They are a physical team who beat us 22-3 last season. We will have to play well in all phases of the game to win.”

Well coach, I’m going to say you do just that.

Pick: Northview

Game 5: Sullivan at Owen Valley

Both teams come into this one at 3-2, looking to stay in the upper echelon of the WIC. Sullivan was the team that looked like they had a high flying offense coming into the season, but Owen Valley is outscoring everyone in the conference in league games. The Patriots are also giving up the second most, so this one should be a shootout.

The Arrows are really looking to get off to a good start this week. They’ve been a little slow out of the gate and are looking to change that against Owen Valley. Jake Kinnaman has been a big play machine for Sullivan, but they need other stars Brooks Weszely and Michael Hutchcraft to break out to win this one.

The two losses the Patriots have are to very good teams. Northview and South Putnam knocked off Owen Valley this season. I look for this one to be a shootout, with the ball going up and down the field in a hurry.

This is the game the Arrows get healthy, and they show the firepower we’ve been waiting for.

Pick: Sullivan

As always, your opinion is welcomed. Catch these games and more on “In the Zone” on Friday (except for Robinson-Olney because it’s on Saturday). Until next time, I’ll see you at the game.

-Ross

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