A week after competing against one county rival, Crawfordsville football will now compete against it’s other rival when CHS welcomes North Montgomery for Homecoming on Friday. The Athenians (0-5, 0-3 SAC) are coming off a 48-18 loss to Southmont while the Chargers (3-2, 2-1 SAC) come into the game riding high after a 20-14 win against Western Boone a week ago. The rivalry has been historically dominated by the Chargers who won last year’s contest 44-7 and currently own an 13-game winning streak against the Athenians with Cville s last win coming back in 2011. North has also defeated CHS twice in the sectional.
With a county title on the line, Charger coach Josh Thompson who always preaches to his team county, conference, and sectional, notes the magnitude of this game with his team being able to accomplish one of their pre-season goals.
“It’s obviously a big game for us,” he noted. “County is always one of our goals and we’ve put ourselves in a good position to where we can achieve that on Friday. It comes down to us showing up and being able to take care of business and not take Crawfordsville for granted.”
Friday night will be homecoming for the Athenians when the Chargers come into town. Throw in the excitement of playing a county rival and Crawfordsville coach Brad Clark knows there’s plenty of reasons for his team to be pumped about Friday.
“It’s a home game, it’s North, and it’s Homecoming,” he said. “Put all of those factors together and it’s a fun week. There’s been a lot of energy in our school with everything going on. Now it’s up to us to try and go put a bow on what’s been a great week here.”
The Chargers through five games have shown real balance offensively. They’ve thrown the ball for 984 yards, all coming from senior QB Ross Dyson who is 68-121 (56%) on the season. He’s thrown 10 TD’s and three interceptions. Dyson, as he has been for the entire season is the Chargers leading rusher with 79 carries for 294 yards, Austin Sulc has 34 carries for 105 yards and five scores, while Noah Hopkins has 31 carries for 110 yards.
Roman Utterback has stepped up and been the leading receiver for the Chargers so far this season with 24 catches for 299 yards and five TD’s. Kelby Harwood, who had a phenomenal leaping catch a week ago against WeBo, adds 15 catches for 276 yards. Jarrod Kirsch 11 for 193 while Sulc adds 11 for 133.
Clark noted how his defense will be tested against the versatile Charger offense.
“They’re always going to have a physical down hill running game, but adding the versatility of Dyson carrying the ball makes them hard to prepare for,” he said. “He’s thrown it real well too and can scramble around and makes plays. Our guys are really prepping to not give up the big plays like we did last week and making them drive the length of the field to score. “
Crawfordsville on the other hand relies on their pass-heavy attack. Kaden Patton has throw for 906 yards but is just 74-155 (47.7%). He’s also already in just five games thrown 12 interceptions. Patton’s favorite target is senior Ethan McLemore who has 29 catches for 474 yards and four scores.
Thompson is preparing his team to contain the Athenian offense which has shown it’s ability to rip off some big plays.
“We can’t let them have those big play scores,” he said. “We did a good job of that against Western Boone so it’s about continuing to do that this week. We also have to contain their quarterback and not let him get outside the pocket where he’ll have more time to throw. McLemore is a talented athlete so we’ll have to keep an eye on their receivers all night.”
Cville and North Montgomery are scheduled to kick things off at Crawfordsville at 7 p.m. on Friday. You can catch a live broadcast of the game on 103.9 WIMC beginning at 6:30 as Eric Danforth and Codey Emerson will have the call.