Crawfordsville football has been focused on self improvement and not necessarily on what other team lines up on the other side of them this season. The Athenians suffered a 42-14 loss last week to county rival North Montgomery to fall to 0-6 (0-4 SAC) on the season. Next up on the schedule for CHS will be a trip to Lebanon (2-4, 2-2 SAC). The Tigers are coming off a narrow loss to Tri-West a week ago 28-21. It will also be Lebanon’s homecoming with the Athenians looking to come in and play spoiler.
“Lebanon is always a tough place to play,” Crawfordsville coach Brad Clark said. “It’s their homecoming and we know coming in that they’re a tough team. We saw that on film this week. They had a great game against Tri-West a week ago. Coach Smock prepares them well and they’ll be solid in every aspect of the game. We’ve focused this week on our ability to run the football more and stop the run more effectively. Those are two things that we didn’t do a great of last week against North.”
The Tigers are led out by junior QB Jackson Folden. Folden is 34-74 (45.9%) on the season for 400 yards with four TD’s. Brendan Shockley who has 66 carries for 399 yards on the season. The player on the Tigers that makes them go is speedster WR Kaden Lark. Lark is a matchup nightmare for opposing teams with his lethal speed and athleticism. MaxPreps doesn’t have stats for the WR but he also made an impact on special teams with multiple punt returns for scores.
“He is just a very dynamic player and you have to know where he is on the field at all times,” Clark said of the preparation for Lark. “You can’t replicate his speed so it comes down to us understanding where he lines up and what he’s going to do. He’s electric in the kicking game too. We’ve told our kickers that you have to kick it away from him. He’s probably one of the top return guys in the state so we’re going to have our hands full trying to contain him.”
Crawfordsville has shown flashes at times of being able to play with their opponents, but the main problem has been its come in spurts this season and not for a complete four quarters.
Kaden Patton leads out the Athenian offense. Patton has thrown for 1,115 yards this season and seven touchdowns. The main problem has been Patton’s 16 interceptions. Ethan McLemore, week in and week out has been the go to target for CHS. His 579 receiving yards are 18th in the state and he’s added six touchdowns. Sam Minnette (25-229) and Ashton Wilson (14-188) both also have been targets in the passing game.
“We can’t turn the football over as much as we have lately,” Clark said. “We’ve driven the ball down the field a lot this season but have probably stopped ourselves about as much as other teams have stopped us. Our goal is to run the ball better this week to take that pressure off our passing game. Defensively we have get off the field more and we did that a little bit early against North.”
Lebanon sports editor Will Willems will have coverage of that game for us at the Journal Review. You can follow his updates on Friday live on twitter @Will_Willems.