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Battle tested Chargers ready for Bruins


North Montgomery football knows they’re capable of having a special season. A week ago, the Chargers defeated county rival Crawfordsville 42-14 for the county title and checked off the first box of their goals for the season. The Chargers who through six weeks come in with a 4-2 record overall and a 3-1 record in the Sagamore Conference now will get ready to face its biggest test of the season. The 5-1 (4-0 SAC) and No. 6 ranked (coaches poll) Tri-West Bruins will come to Linden on Friday looking to continue their quest for a SAC title.

North Montgomery coach Josh Thompson has always preaches to his players about believing that they belong on the field with any opponent they face. The Chargers already hold a win over Western Boone this season. The mood and message around practice this week has been the same as then for when the Bruins and Chargers go toe to toe.

“We’re telling our kids that they belong on the field and are just as good as Tri-West is,” Thompson said. “They have to believe that we can be in a position to win this game. Our kids have all of the talent and ability to do just that, we’re just going to have to show up and execute at a high level against a very good football team.”

Tri-West comes into the game led by junior QB Malachi Walden. Walden has been the do-it-all player for the Bruins this season. Through the air Walden is 66-199 for 748 yards and nine TD’s. On the ground, he’s been just as deadly running for 718 yards and six more scores on 96 carries. The Bruins have three receivers in senior Noah Lien, senior Cole Morgan and junior Thaddeus Brown that our Walden’s main throwing targets. Lien has 20 catches for 249 yards, Morgan 11 for 148 and Brown 16 for 126.

“The biggest thing will be us playing sound defense and know our responsibilities,” Thompson said of stopping the Bruin offense. “That starts with lining up in the right spots, and reading our keys like we’ve taught them throughout the week of practice. We have to sprint to the football and can’t let them break lose for extra yards and big plays.”

Last week against Crawfordsville the Chargers were able to flex their muscle up front and churn out 382 yards on the ground. For most of the season it’s been a very balanced attack for the Chargers who have senior QB Ross Dyson leading the way. Dyson has completed 78-137 passes (56.9%) for 1,060 yards this season and 11 TD’s. On the ground Dyson has 437 rushing yards on 94 carries and five more TD’s. Austin Sulc has 236 yards and seven scores on 43 touches. North has two receivers in Kelby Harwood and Roman Utterback who are both over 300 yards receiving. Jarrod Kirsch has 193 with Sulc having 138.

A win for the Chargers would be its first over the Bruins since 2011. More importantly a win would give the bring the Chargers into a tie for first place in the SAC. Thompson always preaches county, conference and sectional to his players. Friday night the Chargers have a chance to take a monumental leap forward toward their conference goal.

You can catch a live broadcast of the game on 103.9 WIMC with Jared McMurry, Deontae Peete and Jeff Nelson beginning at 6:30.