For two teams to have a rivalry, both teams must win regularly. And after the first 15 meetings, North Montgomery dominated Southmont, winning 24 of 26 games, but when Desson Hannum took over the Mountie football program 13 years ago, he knew they must get back to being competitive with the Chargers.
“This is my 13th season, and to a Mountie football player this game probably means as much as anything to them,” Hannum said. “It’s a huge rivalry. When I first got here the rivalry was very lopsided, and that’s one thing that we’ve kind of prided ourselves in over the last several years here that we wanted to make it a rivalry again.”
Southmont has done just that. The Mounties own a 6-4 record over the Chargers in the last 10 meetings, and have won three straight. North Montgomery owns the overall series with a record of 34-16.
The teams will meet at North Montgomery on Friday night, both coming in at 1-1 on the season with each a loss to North Putnam.
Battle Up Front
North Montgomery has dominated up front so far this season, averaging 155 yards per game on the ground. Charger’s coach Josh Thompson knows it will be a key heading into the contest.
“I think it’s extremely important,” Thompson said of winning the battle up front. “Last week our offense was able to maintain possession of the football, and we ran twice as many plays as Hamilton Heights. A lot of that would be due to our offensive line and that we were able to chunk out yards as we needed.”
Mounties Have Speed
Southmont will likely have a speed advantage, but getting the ball to their play-makers in open space will be the key to capitalizing on it.”
“We have some speed, and we’ve got to be able to get that speed in space and let them run a little bit,” Hannum said. “You want to give your athletes a chance to touch the ball and be successful there.”
Conference Boost On The Line
With North Montgomery and Southmont squaring off in week No. 3, both teams have a chance to put their best foot forward in competing for a Sagamore Conference championship.
“We continue to talk about what made us successful last week in terms of our response in how things went in the game,” Thompson said. “We want to continue to improve on that. In addition it’s a big county rivalry game and you don’t have to do a lot to get the kids up for that.”
Keys To The Game
First for a North Montgomery victory, the Chargers will need to match the Mounties yard-for-yard on the ground, and this will take a full effort from both the offensive and defensive lines. North Montgomery will also have to take advantage of their balanced offense and spread the ball around.
For a Southmont win, the Mounties will need to take care of the football, and turn long drives into points early and often. Southmont can win a high-scoring affair, but they can’t afford to dig another hole like they did last week at North Putnam.
Players To Watch
North Montgomery’s Jaron Bradford (319 passing yards) and Kai Warren (116 receiving yards) will once again be a duo to watch for the Chargers, along with offensive lineman Drew Webster.
Southmont’s Cameron Giles (202 rushing yards) will be the feature back for the Mounties, while Ty Welliever (45 rushing and 69 receiving yards) emerged last week as another weapon in the Southmont offense guided by sophomore quarterback Trent Jones.
Crawfordsville at Webo
Keys To The Game
Crawfordsville will have to slow the Star’s offense, and possess the football if they want to win on Friday night, and coach Kurt Schlicher says the goal remains to go out and find a way to win on game day.
“Western Boone is an excellent team, well coached and loaded with talented players,” he said. “Our team understands what we are facing this week. In saying that, our goal has stayed the same this week as any other which is working to find a way to win Friday night.”
The margin of error will be slim, and the Athenians (0-2) will likely need to score almost every time they touch the ball if they want to knock off the defending Class 2A state champions in the Stars (1-1).
Players To Watch
Crawfordsville quarterback Cale McCarty (282 passing yards) continues to improve week-by-week, along with his top target in Andrew Martin (six catches for 73 yards). Also look out for Western Boone’s combo of quarterback Spencer Wright (210 yards) and Conner Hole (six catches for 106 yards).
Western Boone leads the series over the last 10 games 9-1, with Crawfordsville’s lone win coming 28-27 in 2016. This will be the 40th meeting, with Western Boone leading the all-time series 21-18.
Eastern Hancock at Fountain Central
Improvement on a week-to-week basis remains key as Fountain Central (0-2) will look for their first win of the season over a 2-0 Eastern Hancock team at home on Friday.
“We keep practicing and working on getting better,” Mustangs coach Ryan Hall said. “We will continue to work on running the ball more consistently, and we need to continue to improve our stamina.”