PREP FOOTBALL PREDICTION BLOG
CLASS 4A REGIONAL
No. 5 REITZ (11-1) at COLUMBUS EAST (12-0), 7 p.m. CST Friday
It’s sort of like old home week for Bob Gaddis and Andy Hape, who was an all-state offensive lineman playing for Gaddis at Reitz in the early 1990s. In recent years Hape had recruited some of Gaddis’ Columbus East players when Hape was an assistant at Earlham and Franklin College. Both have a wealth of respect for each other and each other’s standout running backs. Columbus East’s Markell Jones, who is headed for Purdue, has rushed for 3,072 yards rushing and scored an even more amazing 53 touchdowns. He is second in the state in rushing and first in scoring with 318 points.
Reitz’s Malik Higgins’ 1,819 yards rushing (14th in the state) and 23 scores seem tame by comparison. Gaddis joked that he’s been dreaming (having nightmares) about Higgins, who has been offered a scholarship by Ball State. Jones’ numbers are unreal, partly because he is running behind such a dominating O line. The Panthers surrendered 38 points to Jasper in their sectional championship game win, which could prove problematic against Columbus East. The defending state champion and ground-oriented Olympians were averaging 59.5 points before defeating East Central 28-9 in the sectional title game last week. Columbus East beat Reitz 35-21 in the 2012 regional at the Bowl. Reitz QB Paul McIntosh ran wild in the 2007 regional, leading the Panthers to a 61-60 win, also at the Bowl. If Reitz wins, it would either host Indianapolis Roncalli or play at No. 2 New Palestine in the semistate. John Harrell’s website predicts a 45-24 Columbus East victory.
My prediction: Columbus East 48, Reitz 35
CLASS 2A REGIONAL
No. 3 TRITON CENTRAL (11-1) at No. 1 MATER DEI (12-0), 7 p.m. CST Friday
Even though Wildcat slotback Julian Weidner is averaging 10.0 yards per carry in gaining 1,214 yards rushing, he was never truly at full speed until last week, due to a lingering groin injury. Entering last Friday’s 28-9 sectional final win over North Posey, Weidner had just 62 receiving yards all season. He had five catches for 114 yards against the Vikings, which bodes well for Mater Dei entering the regional, which could use all the diversity it can get. Wildcat coach Mike Goebel compared Triton Central’s Jonah Thacker to former Central standout Avion Sullivan. Thacker has gained 2,189 yards rushing on 309 attempts, a 7.1 average. He has scored 32 rushing TDs. MD routed Triton Central 48-14 in a 2011 regional at the Bowl, but Goebel says this year’s edition of the Tigers is far superior. John Harrell’s website predicts a 28-27 Wildcat victory. If MD wins, it will be on the road in the semistate, either at No. 6 Monrovia or Shenandoah.
My prediction: Mater Dei 24, Triton Central 21.
Last week: 2-0
Thanks for reading.